Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Following today’s TCA session on FX’s Justified, showrunner and executive producer Graham Yost spoke about how he planned to juggle duties on Justified and his role as an executive producer of new FX series The Americans, which would be the subject of the following panel.
“It hasn’t been that hard, it has certainly been more work but it has been great”, Yost said. “My involvement with The Americans is, I talk to Joe Weisberg [creator and executive producer] and [executive producer] Joel Fields all the time”, said Yost. “I read the outlines and give them notes, I read the scripts and give them notes, I read the cuts and give them notes.”
Added Yost: “Sometimes I’ll weigh in on casting, but basically that’s my involvement”. He described himself as a good sounding board because of his long relationship with FX.
Actress Margo Martindale, who won an Emmy for her role on Justified even though her character was killed, now has a role in The Americans. Yost was asked jokingly whether The Americans is where characters that die on Justified will go to resurrect.
“It was funny, when the idea of Margo playing the character of Granny first came up, [FX chief] John Landgraf and I were really excited, but Joel and Joe were concerned because they were afraid she was so identified” with her Emmy-winning role on Justified, Yost said. “We said no, don’t worry, that’s part of the FX fun.” Yost cited star Timothy Olyphant’s guest appearances on The League and Damages. He described FX stars as a sort of “repertory company.”
And not to forget Justified’s Walton Goggins in an eye-popping cameo as a transgender escort in Sons Of Anarchy. “I had not heard about that until people started tweeting photographs,” Yost said. He said one photo was blown up and was frequently deployed on the set in Walton’s chair “in his full transgender glory.”
Justified is based Elmore Leonard’s 2001 short story Fire In The Hole, and in 2012 Leonard came out with a new novel, Raylan, about Olyphant’s character Raylan Givens, that includes crossover material from the show. On the panel, Yost was asked about the connection.
“That all started with Tim [Olyphant],” Yost said. “On set, he met Elmore and said why don’t you write another Raylan story?” (Olyphant chimed to call himself a “fucking genius” for that move).
Although Yost jokingly asked Olyphant to avoid profanity, the actor offered this description of the tone of the show, based on Leonard’s vision: “Some dudes are gonna get fucked, or they’re gonna get fucked. That’s the best-case scenario. We include that in as many scenes as possible. “