WASHINGTON, November 1, 2015 – Hector Lives! And so does Walt Longmire, the sheriff of Wyoming’s remote Absaroka County and hero of the aptly named TV series “Longmire,” based on the contemporary Wild West detective novels by Craig Johnson.
With Netflix’ new 10-episode Season 4 already available in its entirety for binge-viewing, the nation’s premiere streaming-video source announced Friday, October 30, 2015 that it will indeed be producing a new 10-episode Season 5 of this unique detective-adventure series. If this year’s production schedule offers any clue, the new episodes will likely be available in the September 2016 timeframe.
Netflix announced the new season via its series Facebook page:
“We’ve never been one to back down from a fight. Longmire will return to Netflix for Season 5.”
As rabid fans of the once-beleaguered “Longmire” already know, Netflix stepped in to save the day late last year after A&E—the show’s original network home—shockingly announced it was canceling that network’s most popular drama series. An insane A&E decision? Yes, but so it is TV Land these days.
For those not familiar with “Longmire’s” recent history, A&E blamed its late-summer 2014 cancellation of its hit show on two factors.
First, with its cast consisting mostly of actual adults with some experience on them, A&E judged that “Longmire” wasn’t reaching that Holy Grail viewing demographic that all broadcasters and cable networks blindly seek: primarily male viewers aged somewhere between the late teens and late 40s. That’s the demographic that advertisers will pay top dollar for, and apparently the rest of us either don’t exist or no longer buy anything.
Second, and perhaps even more important, “Longmire” was the product of the Warner Studios, not A&E, and all networks seem to be doing a mad dash away from using outside producers for series and shows, the better to capture all those rich, hoped-for profits for themselves without having to share.
In other words, the legendary greed of the entertainment industry in general was also a strong factor.
A&E’s decision didn’t go down well with “Longmire’s” legion of devoted fans, however. Individually, and then via the initially ad hoc “Longmire Posse” Facebook page, fans began lobbying someone, anyone to pick up their favorite series.
Fans were aided and abetted by some of the show’s cast members themselves, perhaps most notably Lou Diamond Phillips, the former brat-packer who plays Walt Longmire’s longtime friend, the loyal but occasionally enigmatic Henry Standing Bear, a member not always in good-standing of the local Indian “Rez” which gives this series its unique flavor and interest. The participation of the cast in the effort was somewhat unusual, in that series are launched and canned more quickly than ever these days and most actors are used to this kind of career Russian roulette.
However, the “Longmire” cast seemed as dedicated to their characters and the story as fans were to both. Ultimately, their efforts bore fruit when late in 2014, Netflix announced that it would fund a new Season 4 of “Longmire,” bringing joy to the members of the Posse and the show’s many loyal fans who hoped, at least, for some closure on Season 3’s tricky cliffhanger ending.
Fortunately, fans didn’t have to wait long for the positive answer that came Friday. Avid followers of Season 4 already know that “Hector Lives!” (More on Hector in our upcoming review of Series 4.) Now they know that Walt Longmire lives, too, and is gearing up to ride into an action- and mystery-filled Season 5.