A little less than three months ago, A&E shocked Longmire fans by abruptly canceling the Wyoming-set crime drama after three seasons, despite it being the network’s most-watched show overall. What made things even worse was the fact that season three of Longmire ended on a cliffhanger that would seemingly never be resolved.
Thankfully, talks almost immediately turned to the possibility of Longmire being picked up by another outlet, with the top contenders being streaming services Amazon and Netflix.
While word has been minimal since then, we now finally have something a bit more concrete to go on, thanks to a recent report from Deadline. According to the report, Netflix is engaged in serious negotiations to stream a potential season 4 of Longmire, with a tentative plan in place to begin production on the new batch of episodes next March.
Of course, that all depends on whether a deal can be reached that satisfies both Netflix and Longmire producer Warner Horizon, which has apparently not been the easiest of tasks up to this point. There is said to be a clear desire on both sides to make Longmire’s online resurrection happen, though, and industry insiders remain hopeful that a mutually beneficial arrangement can be achieved.
One factor in Longmire’s favor is the precedent set by AMC’s The Killing, another basic cable crime drama that got the axe before its characters’ stories could be wrapped up.
While The Killing only received a short final season pick-up, it also didn’t draw the same large audience that Longmire did for A&E. Longmire could easily be a slam dunk acquisition for Netflix, as the series’ fanbase is extremely loyal, and bombarded A&E with messages expressing their displeasure over its abrupt end.
Bringing back Longmire could also serve to expand Netflix’s reach among older viewers, a demographic they’ve never really catered to. One of the main reasons A&E canceled Longmire was that while its audience was large, it also generally skewed older than the advertiser prized 18-49 demographic. This obviously wouldn’t be a problem for Netflix, as its subscription model effectively makes the age of its customers irrelevant. After all, the $7.99 a month paid by a subscriber in their fifties spends just as well as the money spent by a subscriber in their 20s.
As far as casting goes, one would assume that all (or at least most) of Longmire’s main players would be up for a return to the titular town, especially considering their publicly saddened reactions when the show was canceled. Still, nothing is confirmed on that front yet. If anyone doesn’t return, it at least probably won’t be a budgetary issue, as the jump from A&E to Netlfix is more of a lateral move financially than anything else.
For the sake of its fans – and audiences in general – here’s hoping Netflix is able to make a Longmire renewal happen. The more online services show a willingness to revive prematurely ended shows, the less viewers will have to live in constant fear of their favorite show getting canceled.
Longmire season 4 is still in negotiations, and is not official yet.