Background: Longmire was, until recently, a show on A&E. The sheriff of the least populous county in the least populous state in the country. Tall, quiet, smart, world-wise and world weary. The sheriff always got his arrest. It was a modern western. Good show, too. In fact, it was A&E’s most highly-rated scripted show. But the audience skewed older. A&E wanted more “reality TV.” (Read: less expensive to produce.) So they canceled the show after three seasons, and after a pretty incredible cliffhanger. And now Netflix picked up the show and season four will appear on the streaming service this fall.
Obviously I enjoy the show. But this quote by Executive producer John Coveny is suggestive of a great deal:
“They said, ‘Go make the same show you’re making. Just don’t make it like television,'” said executive producer John Coveny. “And we took that to heart because that’s what we’ve been trying to do since we pitched it to A&E. It’s great to finally be making the show we always wanted to make.”
That changes the very nature of their storytelling.