Beverly Hills, Calif. — The theme of the fourth season of Longmire is second chances.
It’s ironic, Longmire executive producer Greer Shephard said, because they came up with the idea before the show itself needed a second chance. A&E canceled the show last summer after a three-year run and Netflix swooped in last November to revive the series. The 10-episode fourth season of Longmire — based on the novels by Craig Johnson about a Wyoming sheriff with a jurisdiction adjacent to a Native American reservation — will debut on the streaming service on Sept. 10.
“We were never told anything,” Shephard said Tuesday at the show’s TCA summer press tour panel at the Beverly Hilton. The explanation for cancellation, she said, was that the series had an old-skewing audience and A&E did not have an ownership stake in the show. "We are now at a wonderful company that values the viewers over demos," she said.
Executive producer John Coveny said that Netflix told them to “go make the same show you’ve been making, just don’t make it on television.”
Now, executive producer Hunt Baldwin noted, they have more freedom as they are no longer subject to the time constraints and commercial breaks of linear television. Storylines won’t have to be edited down or cut altogether to fit TV’s 42-minute time window.
“You write to the highest common denominator at Netflix, not the lowest,” star Gerald McRaney said.