I'm completely stymied by this...Longmire, the A&E Network's original series based on the mystery novels by Craig Johnson, will not be returning for a fourth season, as Warner Horizon reportedly gears up to aggressively shop the show.
In a statement, A&E said “we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved together.” I can imagine so. After all, Longmire was the most-watched original drama series in the history of the cable network. Even with a drop to 4.9 million viewers a week in the third season, the show was the channel's second most-watched, trailing only Duck Dynasty.
There has been a recent trend with the cable networks to own their own original programming. Both Longmire (Warner Horizon), and the previously cancelled The Glades (Fox TV Studios), were both produced outside the house. These cancellations, along with a thin slate of upcoming original projects and a major reduction in the scripted division at the executive level, it appears A&E is going back to the reality show crutch.
And what a damn shame, really. While the numbers may have been dropping (admittedly, I was an avid first viewer, but got caught up with stuff and lost track), but at the same time, a lot of networks would kill for nearly 5 million viewers a week, original show or reality show nonsense. Creativity requires guts, and that seems to be a lost concept with the networks anymore. Hell, I'm waiting for the day a network announces creating a VP of Reboots/Remakes position. For every Almost Human that gets the axe, somehow we get a show based on Weezer founder Rivers Cuomo going back to freaking Harvard to finish his degree. How very.
Can't wait to see where Longmire lands, and how many shows A&E runs through before finding another that matches its numbers. As always, I'm holding out hope for a show about a gay midget couple that train pit bulls while their 19 kids run a pawn shop, a tow truck service, a tattoo parlor, and a cupcake bakery. You laugh now, but you'll shit when it happens...
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