TV tonight: The premiere of Intelligence and the return of Justified

Season five of Justified premieres tonight on FX. Photo: Facebook/Justified

WASHINGTON, January 7, 2014 – Tonight at 9 p.m. EST, CBS will attempt to breathe life back into the procedural cop drama format with its newest series “Intelligence.” The show stars Josh Holloway as Gabriel, an agent for a top secret government agency known as Cyber Command.

Best known for his role as the likable James “Sawyer” Ford on “Lost,” Holloway plays a war hero turned super soldier armed. He’s armed, 21st century style, with a computer chip implanted in his brain that allows him to tap into the Internet, radio and telephone signalsand satellite feeds.

“Intelligence” sounds a bit like an updated version of “The Six Million Dollar Man.” Let’s hope the writers are clever enough to avoid the cheesiness that defined that popular ‘70s TV series. If there is even one slow motion sequence of Gabriel running 60 miles an hour or throwing something a country mile during tonight’s episode, all bets are off. Note to producers: we thought it was silly when Lee Majors did it 40 years ago, so please don’t torture us with a 21st century version of the same ridiculous premise.

Also returning to TV is CSI’s Marg Helgenberger who plays Gabriel’s tightly wound boss. With two very popular TV actors enlisted for this show, there is definitely serious viewer potential for tech savvy “Intelligence.” But as always, the reception the new show receives will depend on the quality of the writers.

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“Intelligence” will premiere tonight and then replace the ill-fated and now-canceled “Hostages” in its Monday night time slot starting on January 13. “Hostages” is proof positive that no matter how gifted the cast, the fate of any show lies in the skill of its writers. Let’s hope the writers of “Intelligence” have already learned this valuable lesson.

While the fate of “Intelligence” is yet to be realized, the popular FX series “Justified” returns tonight on the heels of its most successful season to date. This critically acclaimed show is one of FX’s most popular, and with good reason.

Based on a character created by Elmore Leonard, tonight’s season five premiere of “Justified” will begin with a tribute to the recently deceased novelist. After that, look for the show to continue with its Appalachian version of “The Sopranos,” with a trigger-happy lawman who has a flair for snappy one-liners.

One of the many reasons “Justified” has succeeded is Walter Goggins’ portrayal of the eloquent villain, Boyd Crowder. In the Leonard short story upon which “Justified” is based, Boyd bought the ranch in the end. But in the first season of the show, Goggins delivered a performance that was memorable enough to keep his character alive—quite an accomplishment when you think about it.

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Recently, TV has taken the dumb hillbilly stereotype character down to new lows. It is genuinely refreshing to see a new character that bucks this tired trend. Boyd may sound like a hick, but he routinely defies the stereotype with clever dialogue and an intelligence that keeps him one step ahead of his city-slicker opponents.

Boyd Crowder is simply the most enjoyable villain to hit the small screen in years. That’s more than enough reason to put “Justified” on your must-watch list. It airs at 10 p.m. on FX.

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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