Emily Yahr (c) 2014, The Washington Post. Once again, Netflix is the fairy godmother to canceled shows: “Longmire,” formerly of A&E, has officially been renewed for a fourth season and has a new home.
Netflix ordered 10 episodes of the Western drama, which was scrapped by the cable network this summer after three years. However, when one of the actors tweeted that the cast was still under contract until February, the rabid “Longmire” fanbase held its breath the show could go the “Community” route and get picked up by an online provider.
The show’s initial cancellation by A&E was a surprise to many, given that it was the most-watched scripted drama on the channel, pulling in around 5.6 million viewers a week. However, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out in a detailed story about its demise, it mostly boiled down to one fact: “Longmire” viewers were too old. With an average age of around 60 — well outside of the age that A&E covets for advertisers.
But guess who doesn’t care about advertisers and the appealing 18-to-49-year-old demographic? Netflix!
“When Warner Horizon Television came to us with the idea for a new season of ‘Longmire,’ we were intrigued because the series is so unique, and consistently great,” Cindy Holland, Netflix’s VP of original content, said in the announcement. “We are thrilled to help continue Walt Longmire’s story for his large and passionate following.”
Based on the Walt Longmire mystery novels by Craig Johnson, Aussie actor Robert Taylor stars as the title character: The “charismatic, dedicated and unflappable” Wyoming small town sheriff. The cast also includes Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips and Bailey Chase.
Spoiler alert: No word on a premiere date, but Netflix confirms that Season 4 picks up right after last season’s finale, when — seriously, spoiler alert! — Walt finally finds out who murdered his wife.