Why Longmire Shouldn’t Have Been Canceled

I can think of many reasons why the Longmire series should not have been canceled. Because I watched the last episode of season 6 last night, and I found myself disappointed to see the characters leave us.

And so did many of the most ardent fans of this drama series.

In Why Longmire Shouldn't Have Been Canceled, Robert Taylor was the perfect Walt Longmire

There are other reasons I think they should have held onto the Longmire series and kept the story going. 

After just one season of Longmire, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to watch the new seasons. At the same time, I was sad to think of it ending.

For one thing, who better than Walt Longmire to show young boys why doing the right thing is the appropriate action to take in life?

Walt’s Character Was A Great Role Model:

His role as sheriff proved him to be a wonderful role model. And the world yearns for good role models these days.

Australian actor Robert Taylor nailed his role as sheriff of the fictional town in Wyoming.

The rest of the cast were unknowns to me, but did an excellent job in their depiction of the characters created by novelist Craig Johnson.

Walter Longmire was honorable and old-fashioned when it came to romance. He loved his late wife Martha dearly and still mourned her. The love he had for her was inspirational.

Some said it was attracting “the wrong demographic.” Oh yes, that demographic that the advertisers so covet. The beloved “younger” demographic. They strongly desire the 18-35 age group.

Advertisers must think that this age group has money to spend on whatever they are selling.

But I don’t agree with that assumption. I certainly didn’t have money to spend when I was between 18 and 35. 

And even extending that age range of demographics to between 18-49 doesn’t cut it with me either. That’s the wider age group they target with ads.

But I know people younger and older than this demographic who loved this show. So I think that’s nonsense.

By the sixth season, the last one of this show, I thought it would have been a hit for all ages with all the twists and turns of the plot.

Walt and Henry of the Longmire series

Longmire Almost Ended After Three Seasons:

The series, which ran for six seasons, debuted on A&E in 2012. But it was cancelled after just three seasons.

At the time, it was the highest-rated drama the network had ever carried, so why did they cancel it?

It was eventually saved by Netflix and given a new release date, and thus there began another season of Longmire.

And the wonderful story of Sheriff Walt Longmire and his crew in Absaroka County, Wyoming continued on a different streaming platform.

But there were other storylines that the Longmire show could have explored.

  • Walt & Vic’s budding relationship
  • Henry’s running of the casino
  • Kady, played by Cassidy Freeman, running for sheriff
  • The budding romance between Zach & Cady Longmire
  • Ferg, played by Adam Bartley, & Meg’s relationship could have blossomed
  • More about Ruby

And I could easily go on and on.

The Man Who Personified Walt Longmire:

There aren’t many contemporary westerns that have captured the hearts of so many viewers of various ages as Longmire did.

But Robert Taylor of Australia was the perfect actor to play Walt Longmire, the unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County.

His expressions spoke a thousand words. Walt’s taciturn personality was notable. But he was a man of few words. 

His respect for the Native American population was such a positive spin on how they were historically treated. I personally would have loved to learn more.

The actors who played Jacob Nighthorse and Henry Standing Bear were an integral part of the story.

In Why Longmire Shouldn't Have Been Canceled, Walt carries his rifle in this role.

Walt’s love did not come easy, because he so adored his late wife, Martha. She would always sit in an honored place in his heart. 

But Deputy Victoria could have been there for him too. Even if Martha overshadowed her a bit, there was the fact that Vic was alive and Martha was not.

The Relationship Between Kady & Zach:

The special relationship between Walt and his only child, Kady, was a joy to watch. 

The romance between Kady and Zach could have been further explored, as it was toward the end that the two got together. 

Kady could have been sheriff, but where would that have left Zach? I don’t know, but I would like to have had the chance to find out. 

As for Zach, I was thrilled when they brought him back into the story toward the end of the series. And thrilled, even more, when he and Kady ventured into a relationship.

Zachary, the new deputy on the show

Ruby’s role was minimal, but obviously, Walt respected her a great deal. I would like to have seen Ruby’s role explored more thoroughly.

The Last Of The Connallys:

The Connally’s are all gone. First Branch, then his father Barlow, and finally Lucian. (My dad’s name was Lucian, by the way.)

Lucian’s enigmatic role was a joy to watch. He was cranky but lovable in his own way. 

The actor who played him, Peter Weller, did such a wonderful job portraying him. He was just another old sheriff who was put out to pasture, but never truly left it behind.

Acknowledging & Learning More About Native Americans:

And then there’s Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips). Much could have been delved into with Henry’s new role as casino owner. There could also have possibly been a new romance for Henry.

We could have learned more about the culture of Native Americans. Historically, they were not treated too fairly.

But on Longmire, they could have explored the Native Americans’ way of life even more thoroughly for viewers

I thought the long-term friendship between Henry and Walt was very special.

Henry Standing Bear could have led the way in teaching us more about Native American beliefs and traditions. 

The way I see it, Longmire had much, much more of a story to continue telling. 

Why Was Longmire Canceled?

Craig Johnson, the novelist
Craig Johnson, the novelist who created Longmire

Craig Johnson, the man who wrote the Longmire books, had much to say on how the show ended.

He believed A&E canceled the show because it wanted to own and produce all the shows it aired. So there’s that.

According to Johnson, network executives were trying to strong-arm Warner Brothers into selling them “Longmire.” He believes that when that didn’t work, they canceled the show.

The reasons that A&E executives gave for canceling the show were that ratings had dropped from 4.2 to 3.9 million.

And then there was that brouhaha about demographics.

More Exploration Into Demographics & Advertisers:

Demographics are the parameters that are used to point to the targeted audience.

Some commonly used demographics include gender, age, location, languages known, annual income, parental status, etc. 

Johnson said that with adjusted DVR recordings, they were maintaining steady viewership at about 6 million. And he said the show excelled in the 25-50 demographic.

Netflix picked up the show when A&E canceled it. Their executives know why they decided to cancel the show, but they aren’t telling anyone.

The Man Who Started It All, The Novelist Himself:

But with best-selling author Craig Johnson at the helm of the Walt Longmire mystery novels, the plot on TV’s Longmire would have surely grown even richer. 

We could have enjoyed watching the Longmire series for years to come if they hadn’t chosen to cancel it. 

I was sad at the end of the last season. Because I knew that Walt Longmire had so much more to say and teach us about life.

About his old-fashioned views on love and law enforcement. 

Walt & Vic:

In Why Longmire Shouldn't Have Been Canceled, we could have learned more about Walt and Vic's new relationship

Walt’s relationship with deputy Vic Moretti, played by Katee Sackhoff, had just begun. There was so much more that could have come of that. 

Vic might have had another child to help her with the grief over losing her first one.

I so wish a network would take another look at this beloved series produced by John Coveny  and Hunt Baldwin, and breathe life back into this compelling show.

The story is there, just waiting to be explored and delved into.

Do you disagree with the reason for the cancellation of the Longmire series? Did you wait for a seventh season that didn’t come to pass? 

Please tell us why you loved or didn’t love Longmire in the comments.

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43 Comments

  1. My sis & I loved this show. She now lives in AK. & I’m in Wa state we are watching them over & over. Where are the Heartland channel produces at? I loved all the characters.

  2. What a great series! So many good things about it! I was in season three when my husband and son started watching. They enjoyed it so much that we started back at the beginning!
    Finally, a series my 35 year old son enjoys watching with me! That says a lot about the series! Great cast, beautiful scenery, good music and unpredictable outcomes! We will be sad to see it end!

  3. I really enjoyed the Longmier series. a real shame it is gone. I rank it up there with Yellowstone .

  4. i forgot to say its on outdoor channel friday 4p, arizona time dont miss a minute. i think they use episodes at other times to fill in programming

  5. THEY play 6 hours of longmire on friday evening from 400p az time to 8 or 830pm. i really do watch every minute of it. its a great show. i would love to see new episodes

  6. I started watching ‘Longmire’ with no great expectations but was soon totally hooked , I’m nearing the end of series 6 and now I know there is no more I might have to ration myself. The series had so much more to offer , its such a shame that it was not continued. Please make more.

    1. We loved Longmire. I’m with you. There are so many avenues to be explored. We would love to see it picked up again! We just recently watched the series and were so disappointed to get to the last episode.

      1. I just finished watching Longmire. Best series ever! I am saddened that it has been canceled. Series like these, along with Heartland, portray old fashioned, American beliefs. Something we could use a lot more of! I sincerely hope they reconsider continuing this series!

  7. Show is one of the best out there. 2 more seasons to wrap up Irish mob, Cady running sheriff. Also, what happened to mayor and corrupt judge and other loose endings of prior story lines? Too much good stuff to walk away from….jmho.

    1. I agree. I LOVE this show. I’ve learned a great deal about reservation life as well as the Native American culture. I love how the characters are developed & their relationships with each other. PLEASE bring it back!

      1. This wonderful show should still be goin
        PLZ BRING IT BACK
        I’ve watched ALL the reruns 8 times and I still love it , love ALL the actors was sad when Bailey Chase went off , but I’m still a Longmire die hard ‼️

    2. My heartfelt thanks to Craig Johnson , excellent praises in the Longmire series , I haven’t seen a better series in a long time
      PLZ BRING IT BACK
      there’s SO MUCH MORE he can do with this series

    3. My husband and I loved the show. We were sad when they canceled the show. we loved all the characters. So much we could learn from it. A true family show.

  8. Loved the show, crisp look at not everyday actors, the back to olden days look on life. Love it, bring it back.

  9. I loved Longmire. I felt like I was losing my best friend when it ended. Just goes to show they don’t think boomers count when it comes to TV audiences when they are the biggest demographic now. Also shows that TV excutives aren’t too bright. They could have made a lot of money on this show.

  10. Loved the books and have streamed the series twice. None better!
    My best friend and his wife drove from LA to Buffalo just for Longmire days. He set me a Red Pony Bar & Grill hat that I wear proudly.
    Paul Dale
    New Bern NC

  11. I just added Longmire to my “watch” list. It sounds like something I’d like. Having been in the TV business for 30+ years, yes, the coveted demographic is 18-49, but the baby boomers demo is also key, because as you say, they have money to spend. The drop-off in ratings didn’t seem significant enough to be a reason to cancel the series, so the likely reason was contract disputes, with WB as you mentioned, or maybe the actors may have wanted big increases which the network couldn’t afford. Production itself could have become too expensive. Sometimes the actors want to move on to other roles. Pure speculation on my part. But, when we, the audience, love a series, we don’t care what the reasons are – we just want more!

  12. We have watched all the episodes at least four times. I actually grieve the loss of this show. All the character development was great. I was happy to hear that another person felt the same way I did!

  13. Hi Brenda –
    Both my husband and I were so sad when we watched the final episode of Longmire. We felt we were losing a good friend. It kept us so entertained. Nothing since has been as good as this series. My husband had read the books, so he knew the storyline going in. I didn’t, and actually didn’t think it would be a show I would like. I was wrong. It was soooooo good!!! I just wish more shows could be made to this caliper.

    1. I’m on season 4 and I’m trying to slow down to make it last longer. I love the strong relationship between Walt and Henry. Also the developing relationship between Walt and Vic. I don’t want it to end.

  14. You’ve written about this show several times and I’m very intrigued. I need to start “streaming” so I can start enjoying the shows you’ve discussed in the past.

  15. My husband and I are rewatching Longmire on Peacock. We also watch each evening on Circle network. Last night they aired the last episode. I’m always so sad to see it end. If it had to end, I’m happy with the way they tied up the ends of the storylines. I’m in total agreement with you Brenda, on how they could continue.

  16. I absolutely LOVED it! Have watched the entire seasons, all of them, 3 times now! I so want more! I tried reading the first book, but the characters didn’t seem the same at all. The actors are what made the show so good!

  17. We loved Longmire & agree 100% with your thoughts. Wish another network would continue the show.

  18. We watched every season of Longmire and enjoyed it, too. I was sad it ended.

    Another sappier Cowboy-ish Netflix series is Heartland. There are 14 seasons. We have that in our watch list for whenever I just need something that is mostly light and breezy. I don’t like to watch scary shows right before I go to bed!

    1. I don’t know what I’m going to watch next. I watched a movie this afternoon. My hands are still buzzing from putting those chairs together, so I watch TV so I can rest them.

  19. I am watching the final season. Such depth to this show. I’m re-listening to all the audio tapes. You are right about everything. Great series.

  20. Brenda, I have never heard of this show, you have me intrigued . I think I might read the books instead because more often than not the books are better.
    I hope that you are feeling better! And enjoying the cooler weather!

  21. I think the ending would have been stronger if Walt had begun his treasure hunt before someone else found it. It was the greatest thing happening at that time in the area. The story line was what else is happening in this area that we can tell.

  22. I’ve never watched Longmire, but you’ve convinced me I should! So I’ll start on it tonight.

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