Audiences feeling ‘Justified’

FX series debuts to 4.1 million viewers

“Justified” arrived like gangbusters Tuesday, as the Timothy Olyphant starrer drew the most viewers to an FX premiere than any show since “The Shield.”

Skein, based on characters created by Elmore Leonard, drew 4.1 million viewers and ranked No. 1 among cablers on the night in adults 18-49. Series received a break on the broadcast side as CBS’ “The Good Wife” and NBC’s “Parenthood” are much more femme-skewing, with the male-driven “Justified” winning in men 18-49.

In March 2002, “The Shield” drew 4.8 million viewers in its pilot and aired on the net for seven seasons.

FX has had plenty of ratings success with its testosterone-fueled dramas: The second season of “Sons of Anarchy” was a hit and now “Justified” is looking to be a long-term player. On the comedy side, “The League” — about a fanatical group of fantasy football players — and spy toon “Archer” have been picked up for second seasons as well.

Only current trouble spot for the net is Glenn Close drama “Damages,” which is a hit with critics but has been ratings challenged.

In “Justified,” Olyphant plays a U.S. marshal who is relocated to his Kentucky home and is forced to deal with personalities from his past. Walton Goggins (“The Shield”), Nick Searcy and Jacob Pitts co-star.

Show comes from Sony Pictures Television and FX Prods., and is exec produced by Graham Yost, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Leonard and Michael Dinner.

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