News that the popular Longmire cowboy detective series has been shot down by the A&E Network after the season three cliffhanger ending has not only puzzled fans but infuriated them. It is apparent to fans of the series that A&E would much rather produce reality television which costs much less to make than this popular scripted television show.
It has been reported that the network are “cleaning house” and removing shows from their roster which are not being helmed by A&E itself. The western crime drama is actually produced by Warner Horizons studios and Deadline have stated that the producers will be touting the show to other networks.
The A&E Network reps have not responded to allegations of foul play and the question remains unanswered as to why they really dropped a popular television show so abruptly from their roster. A statement released by the network says, in essence, that they thank the “phenomenal cast…” and then go on to say that they are “proud” of what their partnership “achieved together.”
Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff and Lou Diamond Phillips have not responded “officially” to the news that this Wyoming-based mystery has been axed by the network for no real discernable reason. Phillips has, however, made his feelings known via his Twitter account @LouDPhillips. On August 28, he posted the following tweet:
It seems that rather than support a superb scripted series like Longmire, the A&E Network would much rather promote reality shows Storage Wars, Wahlburgers Epic Ink, et al. To have a show that can boast ratings of 4 million plus to be shot down with no explanation is beyond shocking.
Of course the season three finale did only pull in around 3.68 million viewers versus the 4.42 million that tuned in for the last season’s finale. The drop in figures could have been significant enough for the network to toss out the show like last night’s leftovers.
It should also be pointed out that the overall viewing figures for season three have been smaller than those for previous seasons. The network could be using this to forecast a falling off trend that they are unwilling to accept. If that is the reason, it would have been nice for the fans, not to mention the cast, crew and producers of the show, for A&E to say so.
Longmire, may actually do much better on another network. Thus far, the detective show has been one of television’s best kept secrets. Based upon the book series, Walt Longmire Mysteries, penned by Craig Johnson the show has a pretty devout, if somewhat small, following. The show is set in Wyoming, filmed in New Mexico and features an Australian as the “cowboy” sheriff who solves crimes on and off the reservation. This odd mixture has produced a fantastic show.
The scripts for the mystery/drama are intelligent, insightful and pay respect to a portion of American’s often left out, ignored or patronised; the Native American. The Longmire series being shot down by the A&E Network has upset many fans of the show, but it could be a blessing in disguise. If Warner Horizons can get another network to buy the series, Longmire may get back in the saddle again to find out about that shotgun blast in the season three finale.
By Michael Smith