At this mid-year point of 2015, now shares what is emerging as an annual tradition; the Top Ten posts on the site within the last year. The time period examined is from July 1st, 2014 to July 1st, 2015 and it is always interesting to see which topics receive the most views. In addition to the ranking, a link to each original article is provided along with a brief description of the given post.

1.) STRANGE EMPIRE DEBUTS ON LIFETIME NETWORK – Rise of the Women (May 26, 2015) – Despite being just over a month old, this article was the #1 most-viewed post in the past year. It details the premiere of the celebrated one-season Western series on the Lifetime Network in the US. Cancelled by the Canadian national broadcaster CBC, it has now found a “second life” in America and is garnering strong fan support.

Cara Gee as Kat Loving in Strange EmpireLMN Image

2.) AMC’S HELL ON WHEELS – LAND & LOCATION (April 24, 2013) – This post looks at the role of geography and landscape within the AMC series Hell on Wheels, particularly as it was setting up for its third season. The fifth (and final season) of the TV series, which dramatizes the construction of North America’s first transcontinental railroad, debuts this coming July 18th.

3.) STRANGE EMPIRE ON CBC – FIRST EPISODE REVIEW (October 8, 2014) – The first in a review series by for Strange EmpireSet in the Alberta-Montana region of 1869, this Western TV show showcases strong female characters. The three lead characters are Kat Loving (Cara Gee), a Métis woman from what is now the province of Manitoba, Rebecca Blithely (Melissa Farman), a young Easterner from Toronto, and Isabelle Slotter (Tattiawna Jones), an ambitious woman seeking financial power, with or without her husband, John (played by Aaron Poole). Events in the first episode will bring these three women together. NOTE: This article is one of two on this site that has been linked to Wikipedia.

4.) LEONARDO DICAPRIO TO STAR IN MOUNTAIN MAN WESTERN (July 17, 2014) – A primer on the upcoming film The Revenant, which is currently slated for a US release in December, 2015. Filmed in Alberta and British Columbia, it dramatizes the true story of famous mountain man Hugh Glass (1780-1833), with DiCaprio in the lead role. In 1823, while in present-day South Dakota, Glass was mauled by an estimated seven-foot tall grizzly bear. Two men from his travelling party stayed with Glass, thinking he would soon die, but after two days when he didn’t, they left him. The film is based on the “revenge story” of Glass’s survival and tracking of the two men who had abandoned him.

5.) LONGMIRE SEASON 3 DEBUTS TO STRONG RATINGS (June 8, 2014) – Follow-up on the Season Three debut of Longmire, a contemporary Western mystery series set in modern-day Wyoming. A mini-review of that season’s first episode was also provided. 

6.) GRIZZLY ADAMS RETURNS – CLASSIC SERIES NOW ON DVD (November 6, 2012) – Information on the 4-disc DVD release of The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, which ran on NBC from 1977 to 1979. Starring Dan Haggerty as the title character, the series was set in the 1850s and told the story of a man accused of murder who escaped into the Western mountains to live. While becoming a mountain man, he discovers an affinity for animals and the natural world and works to protect both. NOTE: Interestingly, the #5 and #6 posts on this list also occupied those same spots the previous year. This post is the second article linked to Wikipedia.

7.) MOUNTAIN MEN ON THE HISTORY CHANNEL – THEY NEVER LEFT (October 2, 2012) – An article that provides historical background on the mountain men who were central non-Indigenous figures in the American West between the 1820s and the 1840s. These men lived in, trapped & explored the Rocky Mountains, and following the decline of the fur trade, many would serve as scouts, guides and hunters for settlers moving west. The post links this history to the Mountain Men reality show on the History Channel.

8.) LONGMIRE SEASON FINALE (& RATINGS INFO) (August 4, 2014) – A post that marks the end of Longmire on its original network, A&E. To the shock of many, despite consistently high ratings, the TV series was cancelled by the network but has since found a home on Netflix. The show is based on the popular novel series of the same name by Wyoming resident, Craig Johnson. Lead character Sheriff Walt Longmire is played by Robert Taylor and he is supported by a strong ensemble cast that includes Lou Diamond Phillips, Katee Sackhoff, Bailey Chase, Adam Bartley, and Cassidy Freeman.

Robert Taylor as Sheriff Walt Longmire – Image:

9.) WYOMING PBS DOCUMENTARY TO LOOK AT UNION PACIFIC & “HELL ON WHEELS” (March 1, 2013) – A primer on a PBS film that examines the arrival of the Union Pacific railway in Wyoming as well as the mobile “Hell on Wheels” towns that followed the workers westward (i.e. the basis for the AMC series of the same name). NOTE: This post has moved up from just outside the Top Ten last year (11th).

10.) LONGMIRE RESCUED BY NETFLIX (November 22, 2014) – Info on the move by Netflix to acquire and produce Longmire for what will be its 4th season. 10 new episodes have been ordered and the show will debut later in 2015. Followings its initial cancellation by A&E, a strong social media campaign was launched by fans to secure its renewal.

For the previous year’s list, visit Top Ten – 2013 to 2014. Finally, thank you for the visits and comments, as the time taken is much appreciated.

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)

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