Justified: City Primeval
Based onCity Primeval and
"Fire in the Hole"
by Elmore Leonard
Developed by
ComposerMark Isham
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes8
Executive producers
Production locationChicago
EditorHunter M. Via
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time44–52 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseJuly 18 (2023-07-18) –
August 29, 2023 (2023-08-29)
Out of Sight

Justified: City Primeval is an American neo-Western crime drama television miniseries developed by showrunners Dave Andron and Michael Dinner. The series continues the story from Justified taking inspiration from the Elmore Leonard novel City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit and short story "Fire in the Hole". Timothy Olyphant returns to star as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, with Paul Calderón also reprising his role as Detective Raymond Cruz from the 1998 crime comedy film Out of Sight, a film adaptation of Leonard's 1996 novel of the same name. A world premiere was held on June 1, 2023, at the 12th ATX Television Festival, and the series premiered on FX on July 18, 2023, with back-to-back episodes. It received generally positive reviews from critics.


Raylan Givens left Kentucky for Miami, where he continues working as a U.S. Marshal while helping to raise his daughter. He soon finds himself in Detroit, pursuing The Oklahoma Wildman, Clement Mansell, who has been eluding the Detroit police force.


Main article: List of Justified characters



Special guests



See also: List of Justified episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
1"City Primeval"Michael DinnerDave Andron & Michael DinnerJuly 18, 2023 (2023-07-18)0.848[1]
While Raylan takes a now fifteen-year-old Willa Givens to a camp after repeated disciplinary problems, a pair of criminals try to steal his car. He subdues them but misses the camp deadline, forcing him to take her along while he extradites the men to their hometown, Detroit. Raylan and Willa aggravate judge Alvin Guy during the arraignment, so he drops the Miami charges. Guy submits a request to the local chief of police that Raylan help investigate an attempt on his life, forcing him to stay in Detroit. The police catch one of the perpetrators, who reveals that the attack was motivated by Guy having sex with the other man's mother for legal favors. She sells him out to the police, and they rescue her when he takes her hostage. Dangerous criminal Clement "The Oklahoma Wildman" Mansell comes to town to rob wealthy Albanian Skender Lulgjuraj, who his girlfriend Sandy Stanton has seduced. He follows Skender's car, but gets distracted when Guy and his assistant unintentionally cut him off. He rams them and kills them both when Guy pulls a gun, taking a notebook he finds in his pocket.
2"The Oklahoma Wildman"Michael DinnerDave Andron & Michael DinnerJuly 18, 2023 (2023-07-18)0.493[1]
In 2017, bar owner Andrew "Sweety" Sweeton sets up his drug dealer friends to be robbed by Mansell, who kills them. Horrified, Sweety turns him in, and attorney Carolyn Wilder introduces herself to Mansell. In the present, Raylan and detective Wendell Robinson track Mansell's abandoned car to Sandy's penthouse, where Robinson recognizes her as the woman Mansell was with when he arrested in 2017. Mansell orders her to throw the gun that killed Guy into the River Rouge, but she instead hides it in Sweety's bar. She warns Mansell that the police are looking into him, while Carolyn warns Raylan to stay away from Mansell. Sweety calls her after Raylan and Robinson visit him after observing Sandy leaving his bar. Mansell tracks down Raylan's hotel and has dinner with Willa, and she watches in horror as Raylan takes him outside and beats him.
3"Backstabbers"Jon AvnetEisa Davis & Chris ProvenzanoJuly 25, 2023 (2023-07-25)0.560[2]
Mansell complains to Carolyn that Raylan beat him, but she cuts him off when she learns he provoked him. The police arrest him, Sandy and Sweety, though none of them give up any information and the gun in the bar remains unfound. Sweety's worker Trennell finds the gun, so he takes it and relocates it inside a jukebox. He informs Carolyn that he has it, but refuses to hand it over until she can provide a deal for him. Raylan learns that Skender intends to marry Sandy and realizes she and Mansell are targeting him. Posing as Sandy's brother, Mansell gets Skender drunk and convinces him to show them his safe room. As they drive, Mansell realizes Robinson and detective Norbert Bryl are tailing them, so he tricks them into crashing their car. He attacks Skender after realizing he has no money on hand. Concerned for Willa's safety, Raylan sends her back to Florida against her wishes.
4"Kokomo"Gwyneth Horder-PaytonTaylor ElmoreAugust 1, 2023 (2023-08-01)0.603[3]
Mansell crushes Skender's leg under the room's automatic door. His powerful uncle sends a pair of brother enforcers after Mansell, who force Sandy's employer to give them her address. Carolyn agrees to give Sweety protection if he gets her the gun, but he declines, having learned from Mansell that Guy's notebook is full of information on corrupt and powerful individuals. The brothers torture Sandy's roommate to try and get her to come back, but Mansell stops her. Checking Sandy's apartment on a whim, Raylan and Bryl encounter the men and kill one of them. The Albanians follow Carolyn due to her connection with Mansell, so she calls Raylan and he wards them off. He stays outside her house to keep an eye on her, and she decides to bring him a drink.
5"You Good?"Kevin Rodney SullivanEisa Davis & Chris ProvenzanoAugust 8, 2023 (2023-08-08)0.573[4]
Raylan and Carolyn have sex, and he is confronted by her ex-husband Jamal when he wakes up, trying to get her to pay his tax lien. Mansell and Sweety blackmail realtor Burt Dickey to get his name removed from the notebook, but Mansell is annoyed at how little they get and later steals an expensive painting from him. Jamal interrupts Raylan and Carolyn's date, so she visits him later to try and make peace but is furious to learn he is dating another woman, meaning she has been paying alimony to him without needing to. She goes to Sweety and demands to see the notebook. Looking for information on Mansell, Raylan tracks down the officer who arrested him in 2017. He is unable to give him much, but tells Raylan about a criminal he killed and staged the shooting as self-defense.
6"Adios"Sylvain WhiteTaylor Elmore & V.J. BoydAugust 15, 2023 (2023-08-15)0.665[5]
Dickey hires his associate Lonnie to take the painting back from Mansell. Raylan and detective Maureen Downey press prosecutor Diane Rogers, listed in the notebook, into helping them catch Mansell and Sweety. She contacts them and offers a bribe to have her name removed, while Lonnie approaches Sweety, who gives him the location of the meeting to kill Mansell and offers to get the painting, unaware that Sandy already sold it. Mansell is arrested at the meeting before Lonnie can kill him, but is released after not having brought the notebook or any weapons. He goes to Sweety's, having taken his gun back, and kills him and Lonnie before burning the building.
7"The Smoking Gun"Katrelle KindredDave Andron & Michael DinnerAugust 22, 2023 (2023-08-22)0.590[6]
In 1988, Sweety takes custody of an orphaned Carolyn. In the present, she and Raylan confirm that Trennell moved the gun. Sandy refuses to testify against Mansell and goes to Skender, who threatens her life. Mansell threatens Carolyn into remaining his lawyer. As Downey brings in the man who found Guy's body and tries to frame him as the killer, Raylan realizes she is in the notebook. Witnessing this, Bryl admits to framing guilty criminals with planted evidence and gives Raylan Mansell's gun. Sandy flees with Mansell's money as the owner of her penthouse returns. Mansell holds him hostage to try and get her to come back and kills him despite her setting up a meeting. Raylan goes in her place, but their confrontation is stopped when the Albanians, alerted by Carolyn, kidnap them both. They throw Mansell's gun into the Rouge.
8"The Question"Michael DinnerDave Andron & Michael DinnerAugust 29, 2023 (2023-08-29)0.670[7]
The Albanians bring Raylan and Mansell to Skender's house, where the former is allowed to seal the latter inside the safe room to die. The police detain Downey with intent to charge her. Carolyn implicates Rogers as corrupt in hopes of getting Guy's position. Skender, wanting to kill Mansell and regain his honor, opens the room but is killed by Mansell, who massacres and robs the Albanians. Suspecting he will go after Carolyn next, Raylan waits for him in her house and kills him when he reaches for what Raylan believes is a gun, actually a cassette tape of Mansell's music. Raylan returns to Miami and retires despite a retiring Dan Grant offering to give him his position as chief deputy. Carolyn, now a judge, writes to him and asks to meet him again someday. In Kentucky, Boyd fakes an illness and seduces a guard to escape from prison. Out on a boat with Raylan, Willa's question about why he quit is interrupted by a call from the Lexington marshal's office.


The production team behind Justified announced that it was working together to develop a new series based on City Primeval by Elmore Leonard in March 2021. At the time, it was rumored to possibly be a Justified spin-off series.[8] FX confirmed the Justified revival speculation in January 2022 by announcing that a new Justified miniseries was in development, taking inspiration from City Primeval. Dave Andron and Michael Dinner were set as the showrunners, and Dinner would direct as well.[9] City Primeval follows a different character, so the story is being adjusted to use Raylan Givens as the protagonist instead. In February 2022, reports surfaced that Quentin Tarantino was in talks to possibly direct an episode or two as well since he is a fan of Leonard's work, having adapted Leonard's novel Rum Punch into the film Jackie Brown, along with taking inspiration from Leonard in Tarantino's other works.[10] In April 2022, Tarantino was confirmed to not be directing the series.[11]

Timothy Olyphant agreed to reprise the role of Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens.[9] In May 2022, just before the start of production in Chicago, casting announcements added several starring actors to the cast, including Aunjanue Ellis, Boyd Holbrook, Adelaide Clemens, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Marin Ireland, Victor Williams, Norbert Leo Butz, and Timothy Olyphant's daughter, Vivian Olyphant.[12][13] Ravi Patel was also added as a recurring cast member shortly afterward.[14]

The production was temporarily halted while filming in Chicago when four cars broke through set barricades while engaged in a gunfight.[15] Sony Pictures Television increased security to the production, but three weeks later, filming was interrupted again when an incendiary device was thrown towards the set. The device did not explode, and no one was injured.[16]


Justified: City Primeval had its world premiere on the opening night of the 12th ATX Television Festival on June 1, 2023.[17] It debuted FX on July 18, 2023, with the first two episodes.[18] The series began streaming on Star on Disney+ in Australia and New Zealand beginning July 19.[19] Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the entire series on DVD and Blu-ray on November 14, 2023.[20]


Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a score of 91% based on 47 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's critics consensus is, "Timothy Olyphant's quickdraw charm shows no signs of dulling in City Primeval, an introspective and very welcome return for Raylan Givens."[21] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 79 out of 100 based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[22]

Chris Vognar of TheWrap wrote, "Its eight episodes don't drag or sag, and the skin graft procedure of attaching Raylan to a story that was just fine without him goes off without a hitch."[23] Marcus Shorter of Consequence said, "[The creative team] did the impossible — they continued their hit show without betraying its legacy and, more importantly, told a compelling story that felt necessary for the characters and the audience."[24]

Streaming viewership

According to the streaming aggregator Reelgood, Justified: City Primeval was the most watched program across all platforms during the week of July 17–23, 2023,[25][26] and the sixth during the week of July 27, 2023.[27] According to the streaming aggregator JustWatch, Justified: City Primeval was the fifth most watched streaming series across all platforms during the week of August 27, 2023.[28]


  1. ^ a b "TV Ratings for Tuesday 18th July 2023 - Network Prelims, Finals and Select Cable Numbers Posted". SpoilerTV. July 19, 2023. Retrieved August 25, 2023.
  2. ^ "TV Ratings for Tuesday 25th July 2023 - Network Prelims, Finals and Select Cable Numbers Posted". SpoilerTV. July 27, 2023. Retrieved August 25, 2023.
  3. ^ Pucci, Douglas (August 2, 2023). "Tuesday Ratings: NBC Again Tops the Night Thanks to 'America's Got Talent'". Programming Insider. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  4. ^ Pucci, Douglas (August 9, 2023). "Tuesday Ratings: 'Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets' Premieres on HBO". Programming Insider. Retrieved August 9, 2023.
  5. ^ Pucci, Douglas (August 16, 2023). "Tuesday Ratings: America's Got Talent-Fueled NBC Tops All Key Figures in Prime Time". Programming Insider. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  6. ^ Pucci, Douglas (August 23, 2023). "Tuesday Ratings: 'America's Got Talent' Once Again Helps NBC to Victory". Programming Insider. Retrieved August 23, 2023.
  7. ^ Pucci, Douglas (August 30, 2023). "Tuesday Ratings: NBC on Top with 'America's Got Talent'". Programming Insider. Retrieved August 30, 2023.
  8. ^ Otterson, Joe (March 17, 2021). "Justified Team Reunites to Develop Elmore Leonard Novel at FX, Timothy Olyphant Rumored to Return as Raylan Givens (Exclusive)". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on January 14, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  9. ^ a b Hibberd, James (January 14, 2022). "FX Reviving Justified Starring Timothy Olyphant for New Limited Series". The Hollywood Reporter. PMRC. Archived from the original on November 5, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (February 24, 2022). "Quentin Tarantino In Early Talks To Direct Timothy Olyphant In Eps Of FX's Elmore Leonard Limited Series Justified: City Primeval". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on February 25, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  11. ^ "Quentin Tarantino Will NOT Be Directing 'Justified: City Primeval,' Sources Tell SCREEN". Screen Magazine. April 28, 2022. Archived from the original on April 30, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  12. ^ Otterson, Joe (May 5, 2022). "Justified Revival at FX Adds Eight to Cast, Including Aunjanue Ellis, Boyd Holbrook, and Marin Ireland". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on August 12, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  13. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 5, 2022). "Justified Follow-Up Rounds Out Cast With Aunjanue Ellis, Boyd Holbrook, Marin Ireland and More". The Hollywood Reporter. PMRC. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  14. ^ Cordero, Rosy (June 29, 2022). "Justified: City Primeval: Ravi Patel Set To Recur In FX Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on September 25, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  15. ^ Rice, Lynette (July 22, 2022). "Justified: City Primeval Production Halted After Outsiders Engaged In Gun Battle Drive Through Barricades In Chicago; PD Releases Statement". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on October 20, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  16. ^ Porter, Rick (August 9, 2022). "Justified Sequel Faces Second Violent Incident Near Set". The Hollywood Reporter. PMRC. Archived from the original on September 22, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  17. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (April 3, 2023). "ATX TV Festival Sets Justified: City Primeval World Premiere for Opening Night". The Hollywood Reporter. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on April 3, 2023.
  18. ^ Rice, Lynette (May 15, 2023). "'Justified: City Primeval' Trailer Drops; FX Reveals Debut Dates For 'The Full Monty' & 'Rez Dogs,' End Of 'Archer'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  19. ^ Disney+ Australia (June 20, 2023). "FX's Justified: City Primeval - Official Trailer". Facebook. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  20. ^ "Justified: City Primeval - Season One Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. September 21, 2023. Retrieved February 26, 2024.
  21. ^ "Justified: City Primeval". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  22. ^ "Justified: City Primeval". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved July 21, 2023.
  23. ^ Vognar, Chris (July 4, 2023). "'Justified: City Primeval' Review: Timothy Olyphant Reclaims the Stetson Hat for Triumphant Elmore Leonard Adaptation". TheWrap. Retrieved July 7, 2023.
  24. ^ Shorter, Marcus (July 4, 2023). "Justified: City Primeval Exceeds Even the Highest Expectations: Review". Consequence. Retrieved July 7, 2023.
  25. ^ Gruenwedel, Erik (July 28, 2023). "Reelgood: Hulu's 'Justified: City Primeval' Tops Weekly Streaming". Media Play News. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  26. ^ Gruenwedel, Erik (July 25, 2023). "JustWatch: Rebooted 'Justified: City Primeval' Knocks 'The Bear' From Atop Weekly Most-Streamed Series Chart". Media Play News. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  27. ^ Gruenwedel, Erik (August 4, 2023). "Reelgood: Paramount+ Original Series 'Special Ops: Lioness' Topped Weekly Streaming Through Aug. 3". Media Play News. Retrieved August 9, 2023.
  28. ^ Gruenwedel, Erik (August 29, 2023). "JustWatch: 'Only Murders in the Building,' 'No Hard Feelings' Top Weekly Digital TV Show, Movie Through Aug. 27". Media Play News. Retrieved August 31, 2023.