It was a good finish for A&E drama series Longmire and The Glades last night. The Season 2 finale of Longmire drew 4.4 million total viewers, 1.1 million adults 18-49 and 1.5 million A25-54, all season highs. Similarly, the Season 4 closer of The Glades averaged 3.4 million total viewers, 1.1 million A18-49 and 1.3 million A25-54, also season highs. But neither of the series knows its future beyond last night’s episodes. Last year, Longmire was renewed four weeks into its freshman run, while A&E pulled the trigger on a fourth season of The Glades in mid-September. There are several factors that likely play into A&E’s wait-and-see tactic on the two dramas. First, the network has a new management team as part of the recent reorganization at A&E parent A+E Networks, so they likely are re-examining the entire network portfolio. Additionally, neither of the two series is owned by A&E — Longmire comes from Warner Horizon and The Glades from Fox TV Studios — which usually gives networks extra incentive. A+E is now putting an emphasis on building its newly launched A+E Studios headed by former A&E head Bob DeBitetto. And A&E is in a very different position than the same time last year, boasting a bona fide scripted hit in Bates Motel. Still, Longmire remains A&E’s most-watched series. Yes, it skews older, but it still averaged some 5.4 million viewers (Live+7, most current) in Season 2, 19% more than Bates Motel, which rules the A&E demo roost. And Longmire‘s second season improved on Season 1 in the younger demos (up 6% in 18-49 and up 18% in 18-34) while keeping the total viewership virtually unchanged. The Glades is having a tougher time with season-to-season comparisons as its Season 4 is down double digits from Season 3 across the board. Still, it was the first A&E scripted series to stick and helped establish the network’s scripted brand. A&E is expected to make renewal decisions in the next couple of weeks.
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