Two months ago, when A&E made the surprising decision to cancel one of its most watched shows, Longmire, I wrote a piece suggesting that saving the series would be the smartest financial decision Netflix has ever made (at least in its programming). The reason why it was canceled is the very reason why it would be valuable to the streaming service: Because the median age of its huge audience (5.6 million viewers, or more viewers than Justified, New Girl, Suits, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire) is 60.
That median age is not good for cable television, where the 18-49 demo is still the one most prized by advertisers, but on Netflix, they are not beholden to advertisers, and those 5.6 million old people are a huge, untapped market for Netflix. It’s a savvy way to attract an age group that probably doesn’t include a lot of Netflix subscribers.
Nearly three months after its cancelation, Netflix is apparently listening. According to Deadline, they are in deep negotiations to pick up the series for a fourth season, although it’s not quite a done deal yet.
Sources caution that negotiations between Netflix and Longmire producer Warner Horizon have been tricky, and there is a chance that a final agreement may not be reached, though there is a will on both sides and insiders are hopeful. If a deal closes, Season 4 of Longmire eyes a tentative March production start date.
It really would be a smart move. While Netflix has done a great job of cultivating a high-income adult audience with shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, and the young audience with the upcoming Richie Rich and Lemony Snicket series (plus their deal with Disney), this will allow them to hit another untapped market with disposable income and a lot of loyalty.
Oh, and also, it means more Katee Sackhoff. The world can never get enough Katee Sackhoff.