April 3, 2013

THE SKED: “Justified” Finale Runs Low On Ratings Bullets

More articles by »
Written by: Mitch Salem
Tags: , , , , , ,


The critical consensus on this season of JUSTIFIED–including here–was that it was excellent, perhaps the best of the series so far.  Viewers, though, seemed less enthused, as last night’s season finale had just a 0.7 rating in 18-49s, down almost 45% from the Season 4 premiere (and down 30% from the Season 3 finale).  The news wasn’t much better in the older-skewing total viewers number, where last night’s 2.25M was down 43% from the season premiere, and down 16% from Season 3’s finale.  Justified was thoroughly outrated by TBS’s Cougar Town and the Big Bang Theory rerun that followed it, each with a 1.0 in 18-49s.

An 0.7 is a decent enough rating for FX, about as much as its other original shows besides breakout hit Sons of Anarchy, so its renewal for a 5th season is–sorry–justified, but it’s something of a mystery that such an accessible, exciting, entertaining series seems to have disappointed its audience.  Justified isn’t borderline esoteric like Mad Men or even The Americans, it’s a fairly straightforward, if densely plotted, crime show.  One hopes these ratings won’t encourage FX to dumb down a series that’s very much in its creative prime.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."