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11 Rip-Roaring Facts About Justified

The Harlan County in Justified is purely fictional

Despite the fact that the real-world Harlan County is an actual locale in southeastern Kentucky. None of Justified’s episodes were actually filmed there. The pilot episode was filmed in Kittanning, Pennsylvania. The majority of the other episodes were filmed in Los Angeles. And additional outside staging being filmed in Green Valley, California. Move forward to the facts about Justified.

Southern California and Eastern Kentucky have strikingly different wildlife and terrain. It’s clear by looking at any comparative photos between the two locations that they have very little in common. A geographical or arboreal perspective, but who’s really paying attention, right?

The character of Raylan Givens was first conceived decades ago

Elmore Leonard first came up with the fictitious character back In 1993 in his book, Pronto. Raylan made another appearance in 1995 in the book Riding the Rap. Justified’s pilot was then adapted from Elmore’s 2001 short story entitled Fire in the Hole.

Following the success of the television series, Elmore wrote a third Raylan Givens book that he aptly titled Raylan.

Raylan’s always been a dad in the books

In the television series, we see Raylan become a father for the first time. It is with the help of Winona when they welcome little baby Willa into the world. Of course, he goes on to be a physically and emotionally absent parent by all accounts.

In the books, however, Raylan was always a father. Despite the fact that his thoughts rarely ever focus on his young sons. He’s a career man, and definitely not a family guy. Fatherhood is not his area of expertise by any stretch of the imagination. In any of his representations in print or on-screen.

Timothy Olyphant planned on leaving his wife at the Emmy Awards

Well only in jest, actually it was his wife’s idea in the first place.

In 2011 he was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of Raylan but he didn’t win. He told Conan O ‘Brien, that it was a shame that Kyle Chandler won the coveted award. It deprived him of the opportunity to make a speech that would have started with him saying ‘Well honey, this is it. I’m finally leaving you’.


During the show’s production, the writers would all wear blue wristbands that touted those letters. They stood for ‘What would Elmore do’. As a reminder to continue to channel the spirit that the series creator had intended. This was crucial when scripting true-to-its-source dialogue matching the tone of Raylan’s character in the book trilogy.

Elmore still wasn’t pleased with one thing

In the books, Raylan sports a head covering known as a ‘Dalla Businessman’s Hat’. It is an adornment that is much smaller than the Stetson that he wears in the TV series.

But if that’s the only complaint that Elmore had, we’re guessing that he was pretty satisfied with the direction and execution of the adaptation of his literary creation.

Speaking of his hat…

You might assume that considering how vital Raylan’s hat is to his character that they would have a whole closet fool of Stetson’s on set somewhere but that assumption would be dead wrong. In fact, there was only one back-up hat on set at any given time in the event that the piece of wardrobe sustained damage during filming.

By the way, If you’re looking to get your hand’s on a replica of Raylan’s hat you can pick one up online for $144.95.

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And you’re going to want to stick around to see just how many people have named their children after Raylan Givens. It’s going to blow your around to discover how many little Raylan’s are running around out there.

Season 1 almost ended with chainsaws

If you watch the DVD commentary for season one, the writers had originally planned on skipping the Crowder family shootout at the cabin. Instead, the original script had called for Boyd paying a visit to his white-supremacist recruiter out in rural Oklahoma. Raylan would then follow him and the clan of angry racists would have chased the two away with chainsaws. Can you imagine?

Olyphant’s Fever

During production of season 3, Timothy Olyphant was stricken with illness and developed a high-grade fever. Instead of taking a step back and focusing on his health, he continued working so as to not throw off the show’s production schedule.

His weary physical state ended up being of benefit for his show’s character. Raylan’s professional and familial life was in shambles, so Timothy’s sickly appearance only reinforced the presentation of these turbulent times on-screen. If that’s not some serious commitment to method acting, then we don’t know what is.

Walton Goggin’s really didn’t want to be Boyd

Can you blame the guy? His character is a villainous white-supremacist full of hateful vitriol. He didn’t want to play the role and then be typecast as that kind of figure for the rest of his career. He only signed on to the part because he and Olyphant had been buddies for a long time. Goggins was assured at the time that the character would be killed off during the pilot, which obviously didn’t happen as he went on to appear in 74 episodes. His fears of being typecast however didn’t manifest as he’s starred in dozens of shows and films since then.

Elmore Leonard kept Boyd Alive

Elmore thought that Goggin’s embodied his role too fantastically to be simply killed off in the pilot. It would have been a tragedy if one of the show’s leads were to have met such an untimely demise early on in production. Granted, they didn’t know how Boyd would become such a key component of the show at the time, but if it weren’t for Elmore, we would never have been able to see his story play out.

Steven Seagal is partly responsible for the series’ title

In the early days of Justified production, the series was going by the working title ‘Lawman’, then Steven Seagal: Lawman, which was Steven’s reality show premiered and the producers didn’t want to create any confusion so they swapped out the name for something else. The name Justified comes from a line from the pilot episode.

Graham Yost once wrote for Full House

Standing in stark contrast to the intensely dark subject material of Justified, Graham Yost spent 9 and half weeks writing for Full House. He had been hired on for a probationary 10 week period but quit 4 days before he was going to be fired. He came in hoping to bring the show a little bit of edginess, but obviously, that’s not what the lighthearted sitcom was all about.

James LeGros first played Raylan

The point break actor had actually gotten the chance to play Raylan before Olyphant did when he stared in the 1997 made-for-TV adaptation of Leonard’s book Pronto. He later made a cameo appearance in Justified in 2011 when he played Wade Messer, a recurring role as a small-time criminal.

The was no Arlo in the ‘Fire in the Hole’ short story

Raylan’s criminal father Arlo served as the motivation for him to stay on the right side of the law. But in the original short story that served as source material for the series, Raylan’s daddy issues were far less prominent.

In ‘Fire in the Hole’, Raylan’s dad died from the black lung. The decision was made to keep him alive to give contrast as to why Raylan chose the life he did.

Graham Yost and Timothy Olyphant decided to end the series

Six seasons is a pretty good run, but maybe you were left wanting more/ The decision to end the show after six seasons was an intentionally calculated one. Graham Yost, the series creator, and Olyphant agreed that they wanted the show to go out on a good note. They didn’t want to keep stretching out the series just to make more money. After all, there is only so much story to tell before you start running out of steam.

People named there babies after Raylan

Elmore named his character after a real-life Raylan that he met many years ago.

The name is derived from the Old Norman French name Raimund which in turn comes from the Germanic name Raginmund. It means advice, judgment, counsel, or wise – a fitting name for the show’s protagonist.

Before the show premiered in 2010, however, the name was remarkably obscure. In 2011 however, it rose to be the 698th most popular name choice for newborns. That number continued to rise for the next several years. In 2013, it had become the 512th most popular name and it peaked in 2015 as being the 472nd most popular name.

Justified may have finished up half a decade ago, but it’s still one of the better shows to come out in the 21st century so far – and one of the highest-rated series as well. An 86 on Metacritic ain’t too shabby.

Who was your favorite character on the show between Boyd and Raylan? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

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