A&E Gives Longmire the Boot

Posted by at 3:04 pm on August 28, 2014

LongmireLongmire, A&E Network’s most-watched original drama series of all time, will be ending its run on the cable network after three seasons. In a surprising move, the network has opted not to renew the series for a fourth season. Apparently, Warner Horizon, the studio behind Longmire, will be shopping it immediately.

“We would like to thank the phenomenal cast, crew and producers of Longmire, along with our partners at Warner Horizon, for their tireless work on three seasons of quality dramatic storytelling,” A&E said in a statement. “We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved together.”

In its second season, Longmire averaged nearly 6 million viewers, up 9% from Season 1. Longmire‘s viewership has dipped so far in Season 3 to 4.6 million viewers, but its lead-in,Criminal Minds repeats, is a lot weaker (-72%) than the series’ lead-in last year, original drama The Glades. The cancellation of that series got a strong reaction from fans; the axing of Longmire, which has a wide fan base, will likely not go well with them either. Longmire’s audience skews older than some other A&E dramas likeBates Motel, but it brings more eyeballs than any other scripted show on the network. Even with the decline, Longmire logged A&E’s largest viewership for any series this year behind only flagship Duck Dynasty.

There has been a drive at A+E Networks (as well as other cable network groups) to own a large portion of their scripted programming, which was also the impetus behind the launch of A+E Studios. Both Longmire and The Glades came from outside suppliers, Warner Horizon and Fox TV Studios, respectively.

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