Monday, September 01, 2014

Long Live Longmire!


In case you've been under a rock this past week, A&E (from now on referred to as The Network That Must Not Be Named or TNTMNBN) decided to cancel their hit show Longmire. That's right. I said "Hit show." Longmire was TNTMNBN's top-rated scripted show, second overall only to Duck Dynasty.

After the season finale, which TNTMNBN stretched for an extra ten minutes by adding about a gazillion commercials, I was sure they would renew Longmire. But there were a couple of problems. First of all, Longmire is produced by an outside production company. In other words, they had to pay for the right to broadcast the series. Obviously, paying for something of value has fallen out of fashion in America.

The second reason was that Longmire did not rank highly enough with the coveted 18-49 year old demographic. This really ticked me off. The Longmire demographic skewed older, was popular with the people who actually prefer story to stupid.

I'm in that demographic. I don't watch reality shows. (Okay, for those of you who have read my blog before, I was a fan of Ice Road Truckers, but even that show got stupid this season.) I don't care what celebrities or faux-celebrities do on a daily basis, especially since those shows are as made up as any scripted show. I don't watch Dating Naked. (Seriously? This is the message you want to send young people? This is how you think people should meet and choose a mate? What happens when they start sagging, like we all do?)

Oh, and we older folks buy stuff. We don't just sit on the porch in our rocking chairs. We go on vacations. We play golf and hike and eat out. We drive cars. We baby boomers have caused a population bubble all through our lifetimes, affecting the economy and trends and society. I think it's a big mistake for television to ignore us.

It was because of the television series that I discovered Craig Johnson's marvelous books. I read lots of mysteries, but there are so many, it's hard to keep up with them all. As soon as I knew there was a mystery series that the television series was based on, I wanted to read the books. I met Craig Johnson at the Tucson Festival of Books two years ago. He's an engaging speaker and a generous and warm person. I bought "The Cold Dish" then and had him autograph it for me. I console myself with the fact that there are plenty of Longmire books I haven't read yet.

The producers are trying to find another network for the series. The fans are working hard to create grass roots support. In particular, the Longmire Posse, with a Facebook page here and tweeting as @LongmirePosse, has been tireless in attempting to show popular support for the show using the hashtag #LongLiveLongmire.

The odds of a canceled television show being picked up by another network are slim. It's been done in the past, but not often, so while I hope there will be more Longmire on TV in the future, I'm not optimistic. At least it got two more seasons than Firefly did. And, like Firefly, I have the DVDs of Longmire and will probably watch them often in the future on those long nights when there's absolutely nothing on commercial television worthy of my time.
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