Another Television Extinction?

First, it seems kind of contradictory for me to write an article suggesting you binge on a television series so soon after writing about how binge watching TV is something we do just to keep ourselves busy. To that I say… deal with it. 🙂 Whether I think television is the best use of time or not, doesn’t change the fact that it is going to happen.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about Longmire. When it first came out on A&E, I didn’t catch it because I really wasn’t watching much TV. I also ignored it when I increase my tube-time, but there were so many other things to catch my interest. Now that I am down to just Netflix and Amazon, the picking has gotten a lot slimmer. As luck would have it, Netflix picked up the series after it struggled on A&E.

I recently started watching Longmire and I have to say I really like it. I am just a few episodes in and I am enjoying the lead character Walt Longmire (played by Robert Taylor.)  He is a real throwback that I can definitely relate to. He is a man of character that does the right things, says the right things, doesn’t put up with nonsense and can be trusted.  It is so rare to find characters like this anywhere in media these days so he is quite refreshing.

And of course, having Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica – right) in a show is a win for me anytime.

Netflix has six seasons available and the buzz seems to be that the series has been cancelled.  Longmire is just the latest victim in the fracturing of the entertainment sector. As the outlets for content continue to grow, the audiences are shrinking. The days of 200 million people tuning into three TV networks are long gone.  Now, viewership per show is a fraction of what it was during “Must See Thursday” or the “Movie of the Week” era.

The big question is “How can companies continue to get enough return off a well produced television series?” Well, like everything else, they are going to have to tighten their belts. Initially, you see cancellations as the production companies refuse a series that cannot produce the returns they expect. Eventually though, as the profit margins shrink, there will be industry disruptors that will find ways to do the job under a model that works with smaller margins.

And can I just say that Robert Taylor (Longmire) should be a bigger star than he is? If I was casting for Western, he would be tops on my list.

What are your thoughts? Have you seen it? Did you like it?

by Chris Doelle

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