The 25 Most Anticipated TV Shows Of 2012

9. Justified

Network: FX
Stars: Timothy Olymphant, Walton Goggins, Nick Searcy, Jacob Pitts, Joelle Carter, Carla Gugino, Neal McDonough, Mykelti Williamson
Premiere Date: January 17
Why we’re excited: The folks behind Justified don’t need to worry about that old adage “the third time’s a charm”—for the excellent FX series, its second season was the biggest of doozies. Improving immensely on its solid but flawed debut run, the Timothy Olymphant-led, rural crime drama narrowed its focus on one central antagonist, Emmy winner Margo Martindale’s bossy and sympathetic Mags Bennett, abandoning Season One’s often scatterbrained approach to “good guy versus bad guy” storytelling.

So what did the producers do for the all-important third season? Bring in a trio of button-pushers (Carla Gugino, Mykelti Williamson, and Neal McDonough), a risky, potentially clutter-inducing move that would leave us worried if Justified didn’t have primary actors as superb as Olymphant and Walton Goggins. It’s sure to be a crowded, twisty season, but Justified’s previous season has given viewers more than enough confidence to watch without pessimism.

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