So long, “Longmire” … for real this time.
After a fan-prompted reprieve that has seen the series last twice as long as originally expected, the modern Western based on Craig Johnson’s novels streams its sixth and final season starting Friday, Nov. 17, on Netflix. Robert Taylor returns as Sheriff Walt Longmire, the ever-stoic Wyoming lawman who marks the concluding round by trying to save his kidnapped friend Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) – and possibly by dealing with the pregnancy of his deputy and potential love Vic Moretti (Katee Sackhoff).
“It’s been the show that won’t die, I guess,” title star Taylor reflects, “but we’re pretty happy with six seasons. No complaints. I’ve loved playing that character and being in that world, and to have all those episodes and all those great scripts, it’s just been a blessing.”
Also back for the last 10 “Longmire” episodes are Cassidy Freeman as Walt’s attorney daughter Cady, Adam Bartley as Deputy Jim “Ferg” Ferguson and A Martinez as businessman and activist Jacob Nighthorse.
Through its Netflix tenure, “Longmire” has been a trailblazer as one of the first series acquired and continued by the streaming service after its original network (in this case, A&E) canceled it … making the notion that a studio might go there with a show that’s ended elsewhere, but still is supported by a loyal fan base, fairly common now.
“There’s no question that the fans had a huge hand in resurrecting the show,” Australia native Taylor acknowledges. “They’re responsible, really. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have happened.” Still, Taylor wasn’t totally surprised when Netflix gave the green light, noting that the first cancellation “just didn’t make any sense, because the numbers were really good. We felt we had a really good shot (at coming back somewhere else).”
Taylor appreciates what the Netflix pattern of releasing a show’s full season at once means. He explains that there, the “Longmire” episodes “have been longer. You still had seven days to shoot one, but the scripts got longer, so the workload increased a lot. I didn’t mind that. We were forever cutting stuff before (on A&E), because an hour of TV with commercials is really only 42 or 44 minutes of a show, so it was great to have more time to tell the story.”