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'Justified' locks down 'very solid' numbers for FX in Season 2 rollout

February 10, 2011 |  4:58 pm

Justified FX's lawman drama "Justified" returned for its second season Wednesday with what the network characterized as "very solid" numbers. A total of 3.5 million total viewers tuned in, according to the Nielsen Co.

The data actually contained both good and not-so-good news for the cable network, which is desperately seeking a new hit after some recent efforts (hello, "Terriers"!) misfired. On the one hand, the season premiere was up 42% in total viewers compared with the Season 1 average, which is an encouraging sign of continued fan interest in the show. And "Justified" -- starring Timothy Olyphant as tough lawman Raylan Givens -- was roughly in line with the performance of some other popular FX series, such as "Nip/Tuck," whose Season 2 premiere back in 2004 netted 3.8 million.

On the less promising side? The second season rollout slipped 17% compared with last year's series premiere.

One interesting nugget buried amid the data: "Justified's" audience is nearly two-thirds male. That's important in the world of episodic drama, where females typically rule.

What do you think of "Justified" and its season premiere?

-- Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Timothy Olyphant stars in "Justified." Credit: Prashant Gupta / FX