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THE TV COLUMN

Longing for Longmire? He’ll return this year

By Michael Storey

This article was published March 7, 2013 at 3:17 a.m.

Robert Taylor stars in A&E's "Longmire."

— It’s time for the periodic inbox cleansing on the computer before all the virtual memos spill out of the Apach eOpen Office folder and clutter up my Planar monitor’s virtual desktop.

Note: I also have an old-fashioned inbox on my actual desktop, but it’s full of Sweet ’N Low and Folgers Coffee Singles packets.

Longmire: If my e-mail is any judge, Arkansas is a hotbed of fandom for A&E’s Longmire. The series, starring Australian actor Robert Taylor as Sheriff Walt Longmire, is a modern-day Western based on the mystery novels by Craig Johnson.

Taylor portrays the laconic widowed sheriff of (fictional) Absaroka County, Wyo., which has more than its share of crime.

The series boasts the talents of Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) as Deputy Vic Moretti, and Lou Diamond Phillips as Walt’s best friend, Henry Standing Bear.

Evidently, the wide-open Wyoming spaces (it’s actually filmed in New Mexico) struck a chord with viewers and they miss the show already.

That’s understandable. Most cable series have half asmany episodes (or fewer) as network programs, and Longmire had only 10 in Season 1. The last one aired Aug. 12.

But never fear, loyal followers, A&E promises a second season “coming in 2013.” Yes, that’s rather nebulous, but since the first season kicked off June 3 last year, I wouldn’t expect Season 2 to be any earlier than June. Casting began last week.

Longmire averaged about 4 million viewers last season, which is a good number in cable land.

Warehouse 13: Syfy’s adventure is set to return for Season 4.5 with 10 episodes starting at 9 p.m. April 19. They’ll pick up from the cliffhanger where the team - and the world - has been infected with the Black Orchid Artifact’s “Sweating Sickness.”

Defiance: Syfy’s highly anticipated new series Defiance will debut at 8 p.m. April 19. It’s about life on Earth after seven alien species invade.

Y’all be haunted: Syfy’s new original series Deep South Paranormal will delve into spooky stuff way down in Dixie. Look for the six episodes starting at 9 p.m. April 10.

Ballroom drama: Starz hasteamed with dancing siblings Juliane and Derek Hough to develop Blackpool, a new drama set in the world of international competitive dancing. Huh? Oh, yes. It will explore “the darker side of the glamorous world of ballroom dance.” Who knew?

Joining series: Hill Harper (Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on CSI:NY) will be a series regular in the 16 episodes of Season 4 of USA’s Covert Affairs starring Piper Perabo. Harper will play an ambitious CIA station chief in Latin America. Look for the new season in June or July.

Looking for E.T.: Science Channel has just begun “Are We Alone?” month. Look for the specials Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Alien Encounters: The Invasion aired this week. Next Tuesday will have Alien Encounters: The Offspring, and March 19 and 26 will bring the two-part Aliens: The Definitive Guide.

Series moving : Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse will move from TBS to Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel for Season 3 in the fall.

Spicy judge: Former Spice Girl Melanie Brown (“Scary Spice”) will join Howie Mandel and Howard Stern as a judge when America’s Got Talent returns to NBC this summer. Also on board - Heidi Klum.

Gleeful choice: Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester on Glee) has been named host of a new NBC quiz show, Hollywood Game Night. The series (no debut set) will feature celebrities hanging out and playing games with contestants in acocktail party atmosphere.

Debuts set: Season 2 of Call the Midwife will come to PBS on March 31 and lead into Masterpiece Classic’s new drama, Mr. Selfridge, starring Jeremy Piven in his first role since Entourage.

E! series: At 9 p.m. April 21, E! will debut a new reality show, What Would Ryan Lochte Do? It’ll follow the hunky Olympic swimming star around as he does stuff. We’ll be fascinated.

That’ll be followed at 9:30 by a new season of Married to Jonas starring the married Jonas brother, Kevin, and his wife, Danielle. Do you care? Sure you do.

Series renewed: Animal Planet has renewed Pit Bulls and Parolees for a fifth season. Sixteen new episodes will debut in the fall.

Ten-hut: Lou Diamond Phillips has just kicked off the new season of Military Channel’s An Officer and a Movie. Next up at 7 p.m. Saturday is Gallipoli. Special guest is Rocky Bleier. Bleier is a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient and won four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. E-mail:

mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 28 on 03/07/2013

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