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.
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.
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.
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.
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 man who wrote the Longmire books, had much to say on how the show ended.
He believed A&E (Arts & Entertainment) 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:
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.