Longmire fans’ dedication to saving the show has paid off. Netflix, following several weeks of negotiations, has closed a deal for a 10-episode fourth season of the drama series to premiere in 2015 in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The news comes less than three months after Longmire‘s surprise cancellation by A&E after three seasons. It triggered one of the biggest outpourings of fan support ever for an axed TV series. The cast members, led by Robert Taylor and Katee Sackhoff, have all made their deals for season four.
Following the cancellation by A&E, Longmire producer Warner Horizon launched efforts to find a new home for the series. It put together a detailed pitch highlighting the show’s performance and fan following, as well as a road map for season four. The company cast a wide net, though Netflix and Amazon were identified as primary targets from the get-go, with Netflix considered the most logical destination for the series; the service already has the rights to the previous seasons as part of its multi-series streaming deal with Warner Bros.
Taylor stars as Walt Longmire, the gruffly charismatic sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, along with Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, Cassidy Freeman and Adam Bartley. Hunt Baldwin, John Coveny, Greer Shephard, and Michael M. Robin serve as executive producers. The series, from Shephard/Robin Co. in association with Warner Horizon, eyes a tentative March production start date.
“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,” said Cindy Holland, Netflix VP of Original Content. “We are thrilled to help continue Walt Longmire’s story for his large and passionate following.”
Longmire season four picks up moments after season three’s explosive finale. Walt Longmire (Taylor), having found out who was behind the murder of his wife, succumbs to his darker impulses and takes off in pursuit of the killer. Meanwhile, Branch Connally (Bailey Chase), the deputy whom Walt fired for erratic, violent behavior, believes he has already figured out who the real culprit is. During his confrontation with this suspected killer, a gun goes off. Fans will find out what happened and whether Walt can be stopped before he makes a fatal choice.
Longmire was A&E’s most-watched original scripted series, averaging nearly six million weekly viewers through its first three seasons. Despite its large audience, A&E insiders argued that the show was not profitable because advertisers, who pay a premium to reach younger audiences, undervalue older-skewing shows like Longmire. This assertion was later disputed by many critics, who asserted that A&E Networks in fact just wanted to own its scripted programming and was tired of paying Warner Horizon the licensing fees for the show. Fortunately, that’s not an issue for a subscription-based service like Netflix.
Based on the mystery novels by bestselling author Craig Johnson, Longmire is a contemporary crime thriller set in Big Sky country. Walt Longmire is the dedicated sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming. Widowed only a year, he is a man undergoing psychic repair, but he buries his pain behind his brave face, unassuming grin, and dry wit. There are 11 books in the Longmire series, plus an original short and a story collection:
Book 1: The Cold Dish
Book 2: Death Without Company
Book 3: Kindness Goes Unpunished
Book 4: Another Man’s Moccasins
Book 5: The Dark Horse
Book 6: Junkyard Dogs
Book 7: Hell Is Empty
Book 8: As the Crow Flies
Book 9: A Serpent’s Tooth
Spirit of Steamboat: A Short Story
Book 10: Any Other Name
Wait for Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories
Book 11: Dry Bones
The series is narrated by George Guidall, who is widely recognized as the world’s most acclaimed and most prolific narrator of audiobooks. Listen to the first chapter of Dry Bones: