With its laconic, grizzled hero and sparse but beautiful Wyoming setting, Longmire has always distinguished itself from its crime drama competitors by embracing the spirit of the American Old West. And so, when A&E announced earlier this year that it wouldn’t be picking the show up for a fourth season, Longmire did just what Gary Cooper or John Wayne would do when shot out of the saddle: It dusted off its britches, hopped back on the horse, and rode hell-for-leather toward the home of a friendly, big-hearted Internet streaming company to patch up its wounds.
And because there’s nothing America loves more than an underdog, the traditions of the West, and Lou Diamond Phillips (not necessarily in that order), the Robert Taylor-starring mystery series has indeed found a new home on Netflix. The company has ordered a 10-episode fourth season of the drama from its production company, Warner Horizon Television. The online streaming company is picking up quite the reputation for nursing battered, scarred old warhorses back from the brink of death; Netflix was responsible for a fourth season of Fox’s Arrested Development, as well as the renewal of The Killing, formerly on AMC.
A&E canceled Longmire, its highest-rated scripted program ever, over concerns about the profitability of the show’s older primary demographic. It’ll be interesting to see if those same concerns will cause problems for the show as a strictly online entity—and also if Netflix and Longmire will slowly fall in love as the company slowly nurses the wounded old show back to health.