Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Shows Like Justified To Add To Your Watchlist

Among neo-Westerns — Wild West dramas in modern-day settings — "Justified" may well be the best of them. Receiving stellar reviews throughout the entirety of its six-season run, the series starred Timothy Olyphant, one of TV's best cowboys, as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, a complicated but dutiful officer. Tasked with tracking down fugitives, pursuing drug runners, and exposing money launderers, Givens more often than not winds up facing down ruthless killers and criminal kingpins. Sent back home to serve under an old friend in Harlan County, Kentucky after a series of suspicious shootings that he feels were justified, Givens becomes the scourge of the region's criminals big and small. 

Based on books and characters created by crime noir author Elmore Leonard, "Justified" is known not just for its charismatic, sharp-shooting lead, but also for featuring some of television's best villains. Walton Goggins gave an Emmy-nominated performance as Boyd Crowder, character actor Neal McDonough spent a season playing the psychopathic mob boss Robert Quarles, while Margo Martindale and Jeremy Davies won Emmys for their roles as Mags and Dickey Bennett. 

With the announcement of an all-new miniseries, "Justified: City Primeval," we've found some other great shows you should check out while you wait for Givens and company to return. So get ready for a whole lot of cowboy hats, renegade outlaws and tough coppers in frontier towns — this is a list of shows like "Justified" that fans of Raylan Givens need to put on their watchlist.


"Yellowstone" is a modern Western set in the mountains of Montana, where patriarch John Dutton and his family fight to hold on to their legacy and land. Owners of the Yellowstone-Dutton Ranch, John and his adult children — Jamie, Kayce, and Beth — each do their part to protect it, while everyone from big business interests to politicians to the neighboring Native American reservation try to take what they believe should be theirs. The Duttons find themselves with enemies on all sides and their list of allies shrinking as this decidedly violent series progresses. 

Not quite as fast-paced as "Justified," "Yellowstone" still has many of the same elements that make both series great, including some of the most sinister villains this side of Harlan County — and some of the most sinister heroes, too. Fans of "Justified" will feel right at home in the morally gray world of "Yellowstone," a series that includes few righteous souls.

Starring Kevin Costner in a late career resurgence, "Yellowstone" is one of today's best dramas. While it flew under the radar early in its run, it's since becoming one of the most talked and most-watched shows on television. More recently, the series yielded its first spinoff, the period piece "1883" starring Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Sam Elliott, which also comes highly recommended for fans of "Justified."


If you like Timothy Olyphant's performance as a complicated, morally ambivalent lawman willing to bend — or in some cases outright break — the rules to get the bad guy, the BBC's "Luther" starring Idris Elba (who played a Western-style hero more recently in "Concrete Cowboy") is right up your alley. Not quite a frontier sheriff, Luther is a troubled detective who works out of the big city in London, but is nevertheless a ruthless justice-seeker hunting down the worst criminals the city has to offer. Paired with a sociopathic killer who escapes his clutches on his first case, Luther forges an unlikely alliance with the woman (Ruth Wilson), while finding friendship with his embittered ex-wife and her new husband despite their tangled relationship. 

The series that made Elba a bona fide star, "Luther" aired for three seasons beginning in 2010 before the actor hit it big in Hollywood. In between appearing in big-budget movies like "Prometheus" and Marvel's "Thor" franchise, Elba would return for three further seasons over six years, including a pair of feature-length episodes in 2019. With the show popular enough to receive multiple international adaptations in Russia, Korea, France, and India, the world seems to recognize that there is nobody on the airwaves quite like Luther. If you can't get enough of the unstoppable Raylan Givens on "Justified," this one should be next up in your queue.

Hell On Wheels

If there's any gunslinger on this list who can give Raylan Givens a run for his money, it's Cullen Bohannon, the former Confederate who finds work on the Union Pacific railroad in the aftermath of the Civil War in "Hell on Wheels." After losing his family, Cullen suddenly finds himself working alongside a group of former slaves. But the former Johnny Reb quickly proves himself a capable and trustworthy ally to both Thomas Durante — the corrupt and ambitious head of the railroad — and the likes of Elam Ferguson, a freedman worker who becomes his closest confidante. Rising through the ranks, Bohannon becomes railroad foreman and eventually partner to Durante, all while trying desperately to put his past as a renegade and outlaw behind him. Meanwhile he's being hounded by the mysterious man called "The Swede" who wants to expose his criminal past — and who wants him dead — thanks to a personal grudge.

A heavily stylized account of real events, "Hell on Wheels" ties together a fictional protagonist with many real-life events and historical figures like Durante into one of television's best period dramas, and one of the best modern Westerns on television. Dark, gritty, but also fun and exciting, the story twists and turns in unexpected ways, and serves as the perfect Wild West companion series for fans of "Justified."

Hap And Leonard

A buddy cop drama that flew under most people's radar in the mid-2010s, "Hap And Leonard" is based on the long-running series of neo-Western novels by famed horror and suspense author Joe R. Lansdale. Airing on Sundance TV, the series starred Michael K. Williams ("The Wire") and James Purefoy ("Rome") as a pair of eccentric amateur investigators operating out of the fictional swamp town of LaBorde, Texas in the mid-1980s. Quirky and distinctive in all the right ways, "Hap and Leonard" had its own unique flair, but nevertheless managed to deliver the same kind of wry humor as "Justified" with a duo of offbeat characters investigating despicable crimes, from bank robberies to brutal murders. 

The series that Vox once called "one of TV's best-kept secrets" boasted an impressive cast that also included Jimmi Simpson ("Westworld"), Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men"), and raunchy '80s comedian Andrew Dice Clay. Each of the show's three seasons served largely as a six-episode adaptation of one of the classic "Hap And Leonard" novels. With Lansdale himself acting as executive producer and even writer on some episodes, the series delivered a faithful and fun (and darkly comic) crime noir thriller. Weaving in controversial themes, it also explored America's complicated history with race, social injustice, and war. 


A modern remake of a '90s icon, "Walker" puts "Supernatural" star Jared Padalecki into the shoes of Chuck Norris for a solid reboot of the classic crime-fighting ranger. The famed Texas lawman returned in 2020 with a reinvention of the formula, where the swagger and wit of Norris was replaced with a more complex, sensitive version of the character: a troubled officer recovering from the murder of his wife. This family drama creates a rift between Cordell Walker and his daughter Stella, becoming the source of ongoing drama as the two attempt to repair their relationship while he works his cases.

While Padalecki's Walker wasn't quite the seasoned veteran that Raylan Givens was — and hasn't yet managed to capture the charm and charisma of the original "Walker, Texas Ranger" — the series showed serious improvement over its first season, and has already been renewed for its second. A police melodrama more than an adventure series this time around, "Walker" is a bold new take on the material, but with the same kind of virtuous and upstanding cop always looking to help those in need and do the right thing. We don't know yet if it will live up to the original, but as Walker clashes with drug dealers, lowlifes, and criminal miscreants, the series is certainly off to a promising start.


A more brooding take on the cowboy cop tasked with bringing justice to a frontier town, "Deputy" stars Stephen Dorff as a newly appointed sheriff overseeing the greater Los Angeles region. Dorff is Bill Hollister, whose unexpected appointment to the role of county sheriff puts him in an uneasy position, as he's a reticent leader who dislikes bureaucracy. Running just a single season of 10 episodes, "Deputy" put aside the season-long story arcs that bigger, more prestige police dramas like "True Detective" (a series Dorff also appeared on) had embraced, in favor of an episodic procedural format that makes for a welcome change.

A less rambunctious, more gritty series than "Justified," its lead defies conventions with attitudes you might not expect from a Wild West sheriff. More an urban cowboy than modern day cop, Hollister rides a horse through L.A. streets and is willing to fight for the people. While the series attempted to tackle political issues with some sensitivity, it took some criticism for a few tone-deaf takes and over-the-top machismo that bordered on parody. Still, it's a solid entry in the television library of modern-day lawmen in the style of "Justifed" and "Longmire," while its brief run makes it an easier binge watch.


A bit of a departure from the standard grim cop drama, AMC's "Preacher" is based on the supernatural crime graphic novel series from Garth Ennis, who also co-created the violent superhero series "The Boys." Unlike most of the series on this list, the show's lead isn't a cop, cowboy, or vigilante. Instead, Jesse Custer (played by Dominic Cooper) is a Southern preacher whose body becomes the vessel for a demonic presence, giving him strangely hellish powers. But "Preacher" isn't the superhero show you might expect from that premise, and is much more of a neo-Western in the style of "Justified." 

Custer is a gunslinging, chain-smoking, world-weary preacher who struggles to come to terms with what has happened to him, and sets out on a mission to find nothing less than God himself so he can find answers. Joined by his hard-edged fugitive ex-girlfriend Tulip O'Hare and a sociopathic Irish vampire named Cassidy, he'll clash with a number of bizarre and vicious criminals that seek to exploit his extraordinary power. A Western with serious religious overtones, it successfully mixes multiple genres, pulling elements from the best in horror, action, and crime fiction into a satisfying final product. Though not out for justice like most Western heroes, Jesse is the fierce renegade with an eccentric posse and a strict moral code that makes him the equal of any TV marshal or movie cowboy on screen. 

Karen Sisco

Based on the character created by Elmore Leonard (author of the original story that became "Justified"), "Karen Sisco" aired for just one brief season in 2003 on ABC, and is lamented by many as a series canceled too soon. The series stars a young Carla Gugino as another Deputy U.S. Marshal hunting down fugitives, this time in Palm Beach, Florida. The same woman once played by Jennifer Lopez in the 1998 film "Out Of Sight," Gugino's version of Sisco is a more stoic, resolute version of the character, but every bit as formidable. Robert Forster — an Elmore Leonard veteran who starred in Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" — played Sisco's father, while "Predator" cast member Bill Duke was her indomitable boss, Amos Andrews.

In its contemporary review of the series, The Sun Sentinel praised Gugino's Sisco as "smart and sexy, fiercely independent and great at her job, yet vulnerable and flawed in her personal life. She works hard and plays harder." She's every bit Raylan Givens' equal, not just in skill but in charm, and Gugino held her own opposite the Kentucky marshal when she guest-starred in "Justified" as the same character in the third season episode "Cut Ties." Though for contractual reasons her name was given as "Karen Goodall," she notes it's a recent surname change; if you liked that episode, you'll love "Karen Sisco."

The Mandalorian

Perhaps a surprising entry on this list, the hit Disney+ adventure series "The Mandalorian" may not seem like it has much in common with "Justified." But it's very much a Western in all the ways that matter, complete with dusty, desolate landscapes and a law-bending hero with a complicated past. Armed with blasters instead of six-shooters, and a starship in lieu of a horse, Pedro Pascal's title character gives a sci-fi twist to the mysterious cowboy cliché and makes it something entirely fresh and new. Pascal plays a Mandalorian warrior named Din Djarin who is hired as a bounty hunter, but when his target turns out to be an innocent child, he betrays his bosses and sets out to find a safe haven for his new ward.

Set in the criminal underworld of the "Star Wars" universe, "The Mandalorian" also features a memorable appearance from Timothy Olyphant as an outer space version of Raylan Givens, a mysterious marshal who seeks Djarin's help in slaying a nearby beast that threatens his town. The series is worth a watch for its impressive cast alone, which includes Ming Na-Wen, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, and Katee Sackhoff, with appearances from Bill Burr, Werner Herzog, Nick Nolte, and Rosario Dawson. It may be set in a galaxy far, far away, but "The Mandalorian" is as close as you'll get to "Justified" in space.

Mystery Road

The Australian series "Mystery Road" might just be the underdog pick on this list as the best, least-watched series that deserves a watch. A spin-off of the 2013 Hugo Weaving film of the same name — and set before its 2016 sequel "Goldstone" — it brings back actor Aaron Pedersen from the film as Jay Swan, a tough-as-nails Indigenous Australian detective who investigates a number of grisly crimes across the country's outback. Like "Justified," the series' deeply flawed central character tracks down killers, drug traffickers, and assorted criminal thugs, all while dealing with a turbulent personal life. As a less than ideal man, Swan struggles to be a father and his rightfully bitter ex-wife doesn't make his life any easier for him.

"Mystery Road" is a gritty, beautifully shot series with a unique setting, even if the stories are nothing groundbreaking. Swan struts about doling out his own brand of justice in the land down under, and while he may not be the most trailblazing of western cowboys — in some ways he embodies the stereotype of silent, haunted hero — he is layered and complex in a way that many series' stars are often lacking. Full of contemporary themes that touch on topics like oppression and the class divide, "Mystery Road" is a bit more topical than "Justified" but will satisfy anyone looking for a hard-boiled Western with an edgy, sharpshooting lawman.


Based on the "Walt Longmire" mystery novels by best-selling author Craig Johnson, the A&E series was a modern crime noir drama set in the West, starring relatively unknown actor Robert Taylor as the title character. Taking place in the dusty, backwater hills of the fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming, Longmire and his deputies watch over the region and work to keep the rising criminal elements at bay. The cowboy hat-wearing tortured cop Walt Longmire is a more grizzled, somber cowboy than the brash, cocksure Raylan Givens, but the series has a very "Justified" feel and similar tone as Longmire and his officers clash with local drug dealers and criminal kingpins.

Walt is often seen dealing with his haunted past and his strained relationship with his adult daughter, who loses her mother — and Longmire's wife — shortly before the series begins. "Battlestar Galactica" star Katee Sackhoff rides shotgun as "Vic" Moretti, the sheriff's lead deputy who's hiding her own dark past. Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, Cassidy Freeman, and Adam Bartley round out the impressive cast of characters. A neo-Western police procedural centered on a macho but troubled lead, it ran for just three seasons on A&E before being abruptly canceled, despite its strong acclaim. Thanks to a passionate fan base, the series was saved by Netflix in 2014, which happily picked up the drama and gave it three more seasons. 


The Wild West series that altered actor Timothy Olyphant's Hollywood trajectory, it may very well be the reason he was picked to play the role of Raylan Givens. In HBO's "Deadwood," Olyphant plays the upstanding, do-gooding U.S. Marshal Seth Bullock, a real-life lawman from the history books, as he tries to bring order to the chaotic town of Deadwood, South Dakota. The landmark cable series ran for three years, and its high quality production set a new standard for prestige period pieces. Also starring Ian McShane as criminal hustler Al Swearengen, and incorporating a number of historical figures, it was a vehicle to showcase the dirty, lawless world of the new frontier in a way audiences had never seen it before. 

Olyphant's smooth, swaggering Marshal Bullock comes to town not in search of a criminal, or even the gold that brought so many to its proverbial shores, but to open his own hardware store. It's a humble beginning, as he just wants to be left alone to build a new life, but like the gamblers, schemers, and fortune-seekers, he finds more than he bargained for. Bullock quickly becomes involved in the manhunt for Wild Bill Hickock's killer, and from there he is forced to reluctantly work alongside more despicable types to protect the town of Deadwood. Like Raylan Givens years later, it seems that trouble always finds him.