Justified Axed After Four Weeks

Justified's Timothy Olyphant

Hopes of TV One screening season two of Justified in HD have been shot down with the network axing its Thursday night run.

The highly acclaimed crime drama, which has been nominated for four Emmy Awards, will be replaced by yet another British reality series, Motorway Cops, from August 4, which means this week’s episode will be the last to air at 9.30pm.

The news is a blow for anyone who laments the lack of quality drama in primetime – but isn’t surprising given the show’s 25-54 rating sunk below 4% last week, or a third of the viewership that tuned into lead-in My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

More surprising was Justified’s scheduling in what’s been a factual entertainment slot on the back of another fact ent hour – which means it wasn’t programmed where viewers expect to see quality drama on TV One, minimising its chances of finding the audience it deserves.

However, given that network’s schedule is now virtually wall-to-wall reality TV, there are few slots open to quality drama in peak-hour, and those dramas that do air at 8.30pm or 9.30pm, like Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour, scarcely qualify as quality.

TVNZ has yet to advise when Justified will return but expect it to be post-11pm.

As for the prospect of season two airing in HD, it now seems unlikely it even will be picked up given the show was acquired on the open market and not through any of TVNZ’s output deals.

Moreover, if TVNZ does continue the series beyond season one, it won’t be in HD as the broadcaster is unwilling to pay the extra handling and transmission costs of HD for off-peak content.

Also don’t hold out hope for a NZ Blu-ray release, given Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has released the series only on DVD in the UK and has distributed other HD shows, like Breaking Bad and Nurse Jackie, only on DVD here.

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10 Responses to “Justified Axed After Four Weeks”

  1. (Sigh.) Oh well, at least the US release of Justified is apparently region-free. I guess I’m getting that.

    The thing I do not understand is this bizarre refusal to decide not to provide a Blu-Ray release for huge chunks of the world. I can understand why companies might not want to do a release here in NZ – we are a small market – but to refuse to release shows like Justified or Breaking Bad in the UK and Europe? Especially when (with Breaking Bad) you region-lock the US release? How does that make sense?

    The frustrating thing – I have so far refused to buy Breaking Bad. I refuse to buy it because it is a beautiful show and I want to own it in high-definition. I check Amazon UK once a month for a region B release of BB. If we get to the end of the show’s run and there’s still no Blu-Ray release, then I’ll cave and get the DVDs, but until then, that’s money I could be giving to Sony but will be spending on something else.

  2. Maybe the PeopleMeters should be removed from homes of reality TV fans …

  3. I watched a few episodes and the show fails to justify (lol) all the acclaim. It’s watchable but I won’t be losing sleep over its canning.

  4. I have the US DVD release of Justified Season 1. My protest against TVNZ’s bizarre scheduling, conspicuous lack of promotion and precipitous dumping of this excellent show will be to watch each episode between 9.30 and 10.30pm each Thursday night. Then I will get Season 2.

  5. I’ve watched all the episodes shown on TVNZ of Justified and think it’s brilliant!! It’s a great surpise to find TVNZ have axed it after only four weeks and I’m very disappointed. Bad choice, TVNZ.

  6. I thought the show Justified was the best thing to show on TV One in a long time. Something that was not a reality or futuristic (vampire etc) show was a welcome relief. Very disappointed, TVNZ. Please reconsider.

  7. In a way I’m glad. I usually watch quality TV on DVD/Blu-ray only, without the drudge of ads. Justified is good enough to buy, but I felt guilty paying for something that was free-to-air. Now I can simply buy the series and leave TVNZ to news and … well, nothing else really.

  8. Just sat down to watch the last recorded episode I have, my SKY recorder cuts it off before it finished, TVNZ have removed it from its On Demand website and I discover that it was only the 5th episode of 13 for the first season and they have axed it already. Unbelievable programming, well done TVNZ — let’s fill the space with some more reality TV: cheap to make, cheap to purchase but, in my opinion, not worth the effort to watch.

  9. I really am sick to death of the reality TV garbage that TV One pedals and pretty soon that’s all we will have to watch on that channel. Justified was right up there with Breaking Bad, not quite as realistic as The Wire but the storyline, script and direction were excellent. It must be quite soul-destroying working for TV One and I really wonder how they feel when they get home at the end of the day. Sky is not much better, however, so it’s off to the DVD store to buy these good shows. Just when I thought someone at TV One still had a clue, they replace Justified with Motorway Cops for goodness sake. TV One, you can stick it.

  10. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that quality drama gets canned while obscene reality TV gets churned out, dime-a-dozen. It’s even worse if you’re a sci-fi fan, they don’t usually get a second season. Oh well, I’ll just go back to downloading the series from P2P like I use to. I’ll have both seasons in HD by the weekend. Too bad TV networks, you’ve brought it on yourself, you need to look after the intelligent people, too.

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