It’s the end of an era over at A&E.
After broadcasting such programming as The Glades, the first three seasons of Longmire before its move to Netflix, and also Bates Motel leading up to its series finale on Monday, the network has formally decided to kiss scripted programming goodbye. Now, they will be moving forward with a newfound emphasis on unscripted fare and reality shows presumably.
Speaking to Deadline, the network general manager Rob Sharenow (really the perfect name for a guy who wants new programming out there) had the following to say:
“I think Bates Motel was one of the best shows on television, but to be candid, it was a bit of an outlier on the schedule. There wasn’t an ecosystem of scripted [programming] to support it… I think it was a good time to say, ‘We are going to double down on nonfiction content where we are having a lot of success. The market’s really hungry for it.”
We can’t say that we are surprised by this, given that A&E hasn’t had a new scripted hit in years and they have many shows that they canceled after just a season or two. They also failed to really give shows like Longmire or The Glades the support that they needed at the time in which they were a part of their roster. Unscripted stuff is just easier for them, given that they can air these shows all across the schedule, and the majority of them are standalone by nature and require zero understanding in order to dive in and enjoy some of the content that is included in them.
One other thing that may benefit the network here in this strategy is an impending writer’s strike. If this happens, they will be well equipped with new programming and won’t have to worry nearly as much about having to find some plug-in shows to add to the lineup.
New episodes of Longmire will start airing on Netflix this September. With that, you can at least know that there is one part of A&E’s scripted legacy that is out there for some other people to enjoy.
What do you think about A&E deciding to kick most of their scripted programming to the curb? Did you have a show with them that you enjoyed the most? Be sure to share one way or another below!