‘Longmire’ Was Saved by the Fans, Says Zahn McClarnon

‘Longmire’ Was Saved by the Fans, Says Zahn McClarnon

The TV series Longmire, which was canceled last summer by A&E but saved by Netflix, begins filming its fourth season this month, according to earlier reports. (A contributor to the show’s official Facebook fan page cites a start date of March 23, but we don’t know her source.)

Longmire has a large following of Native American viewers, and it’s not hard to see why: It’s set in (fictional) Absaroke County, Wyoming, and the intrigue sometimes involves the Cheyenne people, who are based on a nearby reservation. Some of today’s most prominent Native actors have appeared on the show, including Graham Greene, Irene Bedard, and Kimberly Norris Guerrero. Zahn McClarnon, Standing Rock Sioux, is an audience favorite as Tribal Officer Mathias.

According to McClarnon, fans of Longmire are going to have a lot to be excited about—for one thing, longer episodes without commercials. The new season will hit Netflix this summer, although no specific date has yet been given. McClarnon shared his thoughts about the show’s exciting revival with ICTMN.

It was quite a roller-coaster ride there, particularly with so much happening in social media and fans trying to rescue the show with the #LongLiveLongmire campaign. Why is it important for Longmire to continue?

I am very happy the show got picked up again; I think it is a great show, the people are wonderful to work with and I think this TV show has gone places and taken Native storylines where no other show has taken them.

How did you first find out?

A buddy of mine texted me because he had read it on the Hollywood Reporter online. The day after the information was officially released I spoke with the producers because they called us all in on a conference call.

What was the mood of that call?

The producers were definitely excited. And I am definitely looking forward to a fourth season. They wanted to call and say thank you for coming and being part of the show again. They also thanked me for being part of the social media push to revive the show. And of course they said they were looking forward to another season.

Is there anything specific you can discuss? Minus any spoilers of course.

I don’t really know where the storyline’s going. I do know that Longmire episodes will actually be longer. There will be more storyline involved now because they will have more time to shoot. They don’t have to worry about commercial time on Netflix. I’m not sure how much time, maybe 10 or 15 minutes.

Does Longmire going to Netflix say something about the changing industry?

Yes, it goes to show that people are now demanding more ways to view programming. This also opens up a lot of doors for other shows to be made which have different content, and not a formulaic television equation. Producers can go to these streaming networks now and get a different following and a different audience.

Obviously Longmire has been a popular show—but even popular shows get canceled. Why do you think Netflix decided to step in and to pick it up?

I think the reason Netflix picked it up was due in part to the fans. I was told that the producers brought folders full of social media documents showing the support for the show. It’s kind of strange; I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal, but a lot of the decision-making was because the fans were so supportive.

That says a lot about the world of social media affecting the movie and television industry.

Yes, the fans want to be heard. Social media is a way for them to be heard.

Have you been corresponding with any other members of the cast?

I have been staying in touch a little bit with A Martinez and Lou Diamond Phillips, I have also seen what’s on the other actors have been saying on social media. I am sure they are also excited to get back to work on this.

Do you have any idea now about the longevity of Longmire or potential seasons to come?

No, but I am looking forward to seeing how things go with the fourth season on Netflix. But hopefully it will go on for a long time, that’s for sure. We will see what happens.

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