There is possibly no series more responsible for creating the perception of Netflix as the savior of television's castaways than Longmire. Much to the delight of its devoted fan base, the streaming giant swooped in and picked up the ratings-starved modern-day Western after its unceremonious cancellation by A&E. Its new life as an all-at-once binge-watch began with season 4, which proved successful enough that the series would return a year later with a well received fifth season that dropped on the service in September of this year. As is so often the case with programs that are gobbled up so quickly by hungry viewers, the question of when and if Longmire would be renewed for season 6 was lobbed while season 5 was still cooling on Netflix's proverbial window sill.
News of a renewal was slow coming, and was played close to the vest for as long as possible. But unlike the recent hit Stranger Things, another season of the Wyoming-set crime series wasn't necessarily a forgone conclusion. As such, there was perhaps more hemming and hawing than usual surround the already once-canceled series. However, it seems as though the wait might have had more to do with getting the show ready to say its official goodbye than anything else, as Netflix and the series' producers are set to close out the story of Walt Longmire with its sixth and final season.
In a press release from Netflix, the service officially announced that Longmire has been renewed for a 10-epsiode season 6, and that those episodes will bring the series to an official end. In a statement released by Neftlix, executive producers Greer Shephard, Hunt Baldwin, and John Coveny shared their sentiments with the following:
"We are grateful to Netflix for the opportunity to compose a closing chapter for these beloved characters that inspires lasting memories. Most importantly, we’re committed to delivering a dynamic and satisfying conclusion to our fans that rewards their longtime loyalty.”
While news of the series coming to an end will no doubt be a disappointment to those who have stuck with it since its early days on basic cable, the chance for Longmire to end on its own terms will likely make such a bitter pill easier to swallow. Although more and more series are aiming for shorter five-to-six season runs to tell more contained stories, Longmire walks the line between being a potentially long-running procedural and a serialized drama with a clear endpoint. This past season saw the storylines of several supporting characters end on cliffhangers, the most shocking of which may have been the new threat to Walt's livelihood and his home.
As it stands, Longmire will have 10 more hours to figure out what's going to happen to the sheriff of Absaroka County, and whether or not he'll find the answers to everything he's been looking for since the series first premiered. Then again, most fans are probably just as curious to know if Walt and Vic will ever become a romantic item, as the show has suggested they might for five seasons now.
Longmire season 6 will premiere on Netflix in 2017.