Here is some news that we definitely did not imagine us writing at the moment. After three seasons on the air and record ratings for A&E, the network has decided to cancel “Longmire.”
Let’s start first of all (before we get into some deep analysis) by saying this: The move looks very bad from a PR point of view. One year after you cancel “The Glades,” you ship out your other most-watched scripted show? What precedent does this set? Are you going to cancel “Bates Motel” before that series airs? Sooner or later, you start to lose the trust of your viewership, which we believe has impacted some other networks like ABC Family and Syfy. If you’re on cable, it is imperative from our vantage point that you establish loyalty. Look at what FX has done, or what AMC is trying to do with bringing back “Halt and Catch Fire.”
In a statement, the network had the following to say:
“We would like to thank the phenomenal cast, crew and producers of Longmire, along with our partners at Warner Horizon, for their tireless work on three seasons of quality dramatic storytelling … We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved together.”
If we are really trying to make sense of the move, one thing that we will cite right now is the studio. As Deadline notes, the network is trying to lower licensing costs by doing more of their scripted fare in-house, and this comes from Warner Horizon. (Still, we’d think that the tax incentives filming in New Mexico would help.) Also, they smartly note that while the series did lose a chunk of its overall audience in season 3, it was still the most-watched show behind “Duck Dynasty” on the network, and did so without a lead-in at all this year.
The studio does plan on selling the show elsewhere, and while we’ll be doing a separate article on this tomorrow (most likely), the places that we’d send your campaigning to for now include AMC (the show would be a pretty good fit alongside “Hell on Wheels” Saturday nights) or Netflix, who already has the streaming rights.
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