Modesto-raised actor Timothy Olyphant returns to TV; reprises acclaimed lawman role

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Modesto-raised actor Timothy Olyphant is dusting off his Stetson to return to one of his signature roles.

The star is reprising to his role as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens in the revival series “Justified: City Primeval” coming to FX. The limited series is based on the FX series “Justified,” which starred Olyphant as a cowboy hat-wearing federal lawman who returns to the crime-infested Kentucky Appalachian mountains where he was born.

The series ran for six seasons on the cable channel, before ending in 2015. Along the way, it earned eight Emmy nominations, including a nod for Olyphant in 2011 for outstanding lead actor in a drama series.

After filming the final season of “Justified,” Olyphant spoke with The Modesto Bee about what he liked about playing Raylan Givens.

“He is much cooler than I am, but I imagine he’s much cooler than most. It’s fun that for six years, not a day went by where I didn’t show up to work and do something cool. On the contrary, in my life, I feel like not a day goes by where I don’t show up and do something stupid,” he said in a phone interview in 2015.

Modesto-raised Timothy Olyphant is returning to his role on “Justified” in a new revival.
Modesto-raised Timothy Olyphant is returning to his role on “Justified” in a new revival.

In the new revival, based on the Elmore Leonard novel by the same name, Givens has returned to his work with the U.S. Marshals Service from Kentucky to Miami eight years ago. But a new threat sends him to Detroit.

An FX network summary of the storyline reads: “(Raylan Givens), a walking anachronism balancing his life as a U.S. Marshal and part-time father of a 14-year-old girl. His hair is grayer, his hat is dirtier, and the road in front of him is suddenly a lot shorter than the road behind.

“A chance encounter on a desolate Florida highway sends him to Detroit. There he crosses paths with Clement Mansell, aka The Oklahoma Wildman, a violent, sociopathic desperado who’s already slipped through the fingers of Detroit’s finest once and aims to do so again.

“Mansell’s lawyer, formidable Motor City native Carolyn Wilder, has every intention of representing her client, even as she finds herself caught in between cop and criminal, with her own game afoot as well. These three characters set out on a collision course in classic Elmore Leonard fashion, to see who makes it out of the City Primeval alive.”

Modesto-raised actor Timothy Olyphant reprises his role as Seth Bullock in the movie “Deadwood,” which will air May 31, 2019 on HBO.
Modesto-raised actor Timothy Olyphant reprises his role as Seth Bullock in the movie “Deadwood,” which will air May 31, 2019 on HBO.

This will be the Beyer High School graduate’s second return to an acclaimed series after it has finished its initial run. In 2019, the “Deadwood” movie was released, which saw the actor reprise the role of real-life lawman Seth Bullock. Olyphant had played the character in the gritty Western HBO seasons for three seasons from 2004 to 2006 before reprising the role for a final film more than a decade later.

Joel (Timothy Olyphant), right, and Sheila (Drew Barrymore) are husband and wife Realtors living in the L.A. suburbs in the new Netlfix comedy “Santa Clarita Diet,” premiering Friday, Feb. 3., 2017.
Joel (Timothy Olyphant), right, and Sheila (Drew Barrymore) are husband and wife Realtors living in the L.A. suburbs in the new Netlfix comedy “Santa Clarita Diet,” premiering Friday, Feb. 3., 2017.

Since “Justified” ended, the actor also has kept busy on a number of other high-profile projects. He was co-lead in the darkly comedic Netflix series “Santa Clarita Diet” alongside Drew Barrymore for three seasons from 2017 to 2019, and then joined the FX anthology series “Fargo” in 2020.

Olyphant also appeared in the second season of the hit Disney+ space Western “The Mandalorian,” based on the universe created by fellow Modestan George Lucas.