The Western mystery series Longmire makes it Netflix debut today, September 10th. In one promo trailer for the series is a line uttered by lead character Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) that seems apropos to the show’s arrival on the streaming service – “it’s not that you come back, it’s how you come back…that matters.”

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Longmire, based on the original novels of Craig Johnson, is set in present-day Wyoming and features episodic mysteries set within the larger story-lines of main characters. The talented ensemble cast, led by Taylor, features Lou Diamond Phillips, Katee Sackhoff, Bailey Chase, Adam Bartley, and Cassidy Freeman. As a contemporary Western, the show is able to connect to a number of current issues such as fracking, Indigenous rights, and survivalist culture, while simultaneously depicting life in the rural American West today.

After three years with strong ratings on its original host network, A&E, the series was abruptly cancelled in the summer of 2014. At that point the show began its process of “coming back”. Legions of fans (the 3rd season of the series had averaged 5.6 million viewers per episode) began a social media campaign led by the Twitter hashtag #LongLiveLongmire, negotiations took place behind-the-scenes, and in November 2014 Netflix announced it would produce the show’s 4th season

What does Longmire’s come-back currently look like? Expanded. Episodes in the 10-installment fourth season will average some 60 minutes, compared to the current average of 39-42 minutes for a network TV show, which must make time for sponsors – for example, Episode 4.1 of Longmire runs 64 minutes.  An hour of time now gives the writers, directors, and actors more space for story-telling and detail.

The new 4th season of Longmire will be available in its entirety to Netflix subscribers all at once. In addition to watching the show on a conventional television set, the Netflix app also allows viewing on tablets and smartphones.

Here is a trailer for the new season:

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)

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