It surely was a surprise when A&E announced they would not renew their hit western-crime-drama, Longmire for season 4. The show was their most-viewed drama series of all time, and in overall ratings for the network, the series only ever came in second to Duck Dynasty. Even more surprising, when A&E made their announcement they declined to give any reason for their decision.
Longmire isn't the first series A&E has unexpectedly canceled. Another of their crime dramas, The Glades ended its fourth season with a cliffhanger only to later not be renewed. Yet, Longmire fans aren't entirely without hope. Warner Horizon, the studio responsible for Longmire, made it known they intended to shop the series around to other networks immediately following A&E's decision.
So far no other networks have bit, but Deadline is reporting Warner Bros. TV's cable division are preparing a presentation highlighting the series' past performance and appeal, as well as producers' plans for season 4. From there the plan is to pitch the series to both cable and digital outlets.
It's becoming all the more common for television series to find a new lease on life through the ever-growing digital streaming market. Both AMC's The Killing and NBC's Community found second homes on digital networks. The Killing's fourth season was released on Netflix and Community will continue with its coveted season 6 on Yahoo Screens next year.
Would Longmire get picked up by a streaming outlet like Amazon or Netflix there's a good chance the series could even continue beyond another season. Unlike a television network, streaming outlets earn more revenue through subscriptions than advertising, and Longmire continually performed better with older audiences - a.k.a. not the strongly sought after key demographic of viewers between 18-39 that most advertisers are interested in.
Fans are likely anxious to learn of Longmire's fate considering it ended its third season with a shocking finale, leaving some characters' fates in question. Though WB sounds confident they'll have an answer for fans very soon, all they can do now is wait.
Were you shocked when A&E axed Longmire? What digital streaming outlet or other cable network do you think would be a good fit for the drama? Let us hear from you in the comments below!
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest on Longmire.