Ultimate Longmire Mystery: Will Network Renew Show for Fourth Season?
Tom Morton, Townsquare Media
Buffalo recently drew thousands of fans from around the world to celebrate local author Craig Johnson's "Longmire" book series and the A&E Network television show about the sheriff of the fictional Absaroka County who grapples with mysteries of the law and dark deeds of the heart.
As the third season of the show draws to a close on Monday, Buffalo itself confronts a mystery of its own whether it will host another Longmire Days next summer, said Rachel McCaughey of the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce.
Whether the actors themselves -- Robert Taylor who plays Walt Longmire, Katee Sackhoff who plays Deputy Victoria "Vic" Moretti, Adam Bartley who plays Deputy The Ferg, Bailey Chase as Deputy Branch Connally, Lou Diamond Phillips who plays Henry Standing Bear and the rest -- will be able to make it is another matter, too, McCaughey said Friday.
Both matters are out of Buffalo's control, she said.
"We won't find out whether they're going to renew the season probably until August or September," McCaughey said. "And then it may not be until the first of the year until we know exactly when they'll be able to come again next year, if they are coming."
Even after knowing the renewal of the third season last fall, she and the other organizers did not know until February when the series would stop filming and the actors would be available to travel to Wyoming, she said. "There is never a guarantee."
The town does not pay them for their celebrity services, McCaughey said.
"They do it out of the goodness of their heart and we pay for lodging and transportation and such to get them here, and then of course we take care of them while they're here," she said.
As actors, they may have other obligations that preempt their ability to travel to Buffalo, McCaughey said. "Their job comes first."
For example, Phillips could not attend Longmire Days because he was tapped to play The King in the the Princess Theater of Melbourne Australia's production of Rodgers and Hammersteins's musical "The King and I."
So Buffalo waits, as the decision-making moguls in Los Angeles cast their lots.
But that doesn't preclude the optimism that A&E will see the light and renew the show.
Some of the actors, off the record, indicated their confidence for a fourth season.
The biggest optimist and cheerleader is Johnson, who also serves as an executive creative consultant for the television series.
During a forum at Longmire Days, he said his novels have been translated into 12 languages and have become international best-sellers.
The show itself is the highest rated scripted show in A&E's history, and draws between five million and six million viewers, Johnson said.
So is he confident about "Longmire's renewal for a fourth season?
"I don't worry about it."