While FX executives are clearly disappointed by the audience’s rejection of the critically praised freshman drama Lights Out, which was canceled today, they are pretty happy with the performance of sophomore Justified. So much that they are close to renewing the series for a third season. There is no rush, but the deal with producing studio Sony Pictures TV for Season 3 might be completed in time for FX’s upfront party in New York on Tuesday, when the cast of the neo-Western crime drama starring Timothy Olyphant is slated to appear, along with actors from the other FX series.
Despite hitting a season low in 18-49 last night, Justified is running way ahead of Season 1 as the series has emerged as a big DVR gainer, getting a 55%-60% ratings bump from time-shifted viewing. Season-to-date, the drama has averaged 4 million viewers in Live Plus 7 for its original Wednesday 10 PM telecasts. That is up 16% from Season 1. In 18-49, the average is 2.1 million, up 16%. With multiple plays included, each episode of Justified draws 7.4 million total viewers this season, up 9% from Season 1 and close to the cumulative viewership for FX’s flagship drama Sons of Anarchy. The average total 18-49 audience for each episode is 3.8 million, up 10%.