Longmire's Cancellation Makes No Sense


longmire roberttaylor3
I know we've written about television and films a lot lately—but they’ve all had an interest for our readers.

But this essay hurts—after three successful seasons A&E is cancelling Longmire, the television series based on Craig Johnson’s bestselling series about Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire.


Yes, and this cancellation makes no sense.

Now, I don’t use the word successful causally when mentioning Longmire the TV series.

A&E network admits that Longmire is its “most-watched original drama series of all time.”

Despite that, A&E will not renew Longmire for a fourth season.

In a lame statement, A&E announced: “We would like to thank the phenomenal cast, crew and producers of Longmire, along with our partners at Warner Horizon, for their tireless work on three seasons of quality dramatic storytelling. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved together.”

I say poppycock. If A&E was so proud of what they have achieved together, the network would be signing up Longmire for at least three more seasons.

What makes Longmire, the television series—as well as Johnson’s novels—so compelling is the insightful look at a modern-day sheriff dealing with the contemporary crimes that have infiltrated the Old West. And while these crimes are contemporary, many of the atrocities could have occurred when Wyoming was first being settled.

Robert Taylor nailed the character of Longmire, settling into this role as the Australian actor would in an old pair of comfortable jeans.

And who didn’t love to see Lou Diamond Phillips as Henry Standing Bear? He is one of those actors I love to see in anything. Katee Sackhoff brought emotional strength to the role of Vic Moretti.

longmire Lou Diamond Phillips2
According to several reports, including from Deadline Hollywood, the second season of Longmire averaged nearly 6 million viewers, up 9 percent from the first season.

While the third season dropped to 4.6 million viewers, it still is stronger than many of the series A&E airs, coming in only behind Duck Dynasty in terms of viewership.

I still haven’t gotten over the cancellation of The Glades that ended on a cliff-hanger. Likewise, let’s not forget that Longmire’s third season, which aired a few weeks ago, also ended on a cliff-hanger.

The adage “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t even apply here. Instead A&E is taking a successful product, breaking it in many pieces and then shrugging away. And this from a network that once had a reputation of quality programing.

Apparently, Longmire’s studio Warner Horizons is looking for another network to air the series.

It would be great if Longmire were to be picked up by another network. TNT has had much success with Rizzoli & Isles and Major CrimesLongmire would easily fit into TNT’s grid.

Meanwhile, readers and viewers should take comfort that Johnson’s novels continue with more involving plots.

By Any Other Name, the 11th novel in this series, was released a couple of months ago. Buying his books is the best revenge—and protest—for this cancellation.

Photos: From top, Robert Taylor as Longmire; Lou Diamond Phillips as Henry Standing Bear. A&E photos.

Oline Cogdill
2014-08-30 15:32:51