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A&E: Why was 'Longmire' canceled?

A&E announced on Thursday that 'Longmire' will not return for Season 4
A&E announced on Thursday that 'Longmire' will not return for Season 4Video screenshot by YouTube user xxtheweaknessinmexx

"Longmire" was canceled on Thursday, and now fans are asking why. A&E Network announced on August 28 that they will not renew the crime drama series for a fourth season. However, according to The Christian Science Monitor on Friday, "Longmire" may still return on a new network.

"Longmire," based on the "Walt Longmire Mysteries" novels by Craig Johnson, premiered on A&E in June 2012, and after three seasons has become A&E's most popular "hit series of all-time," reports TVRuckus.com. The second season averaged 6 million viewers. Loyal fans of "Longmire" were shocked on Thursday to find out the show had been canceled after the third season finale.

Season 3 ended in a huge cliffhanger, and now fans are in a panic not knowing if they will ever find out if Barlow shot his son Branch. Fans are wondering why A&E would choose to end a show with such a large fanbase and are begging the network to bring "Longmire" back. A&E won't budge, even though "Longmire" is the networks highest rated program ever.

The reason for "Longmire's" cancellation, according to A&E, is the network's desire to own all of its original programming. "Longmire" is currently owned and produced by an independent production company called The Shephard/Robin Company. This company owns the rights to "Longmire" and the show's syndication.

This isn't the first time A&E has canceled a popular series due to ownership issues. In 2013, A&E canceled "The Glades" after four seasons, leaving fans with another unanswered cliffhanger: Who shot Jim Longworth? At that time, "The Glades" was A&E's most-watched original drama series with nearly 4 million viewers.

"Longmire's" cancellation leaves A&E with mostly "unscripted" reality TV shows, such as "Storage Wars" and "Duck Dynasty." "Longmire" fans are pleading with A&E on their Facebook page to renew the show, saying "Please bring back 'Longmire.' Such a great show." One angry "Longmire" fan called A&E's reality shows "idiotic."

If canceling 'Longmire' and replacing it with idiotic reality shows for the young crowd is a sign of the future, we are in trouble. It is a sad day!

Warner Horizon Television is reportedly actively seeking another interested network to renew the show for a fourth season. One "Longmire" fan has even set up a petition at Change.org asking the Turner Broadcasting Network to acquire the show. As of Friday, the petition had reached 1000 signatures. According to the petition organizer Katarina Flynn, once the petition reaches 3000 signatures, she will forward it to the Turner Broadcasting CEO.