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Production is scheduled to start in March on A&E's new hour-long drama series based on a popular Walt Longmire mysteries series by bestselliing Ucross, Wyo., author Craig Johnson.

"Longmire" will film in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A&E ordered 10 episodes of the series from Warner Horizon Television and has set the premiere for this summer, according to a news release from the network.

Australian actor Robert Taylor, who starred in "The Matrix," will play Walt Longmire, the sheriff of fictional Absaroka County in Northern Wyoming.

The widowed Longmire is struggling after his wife's death and starts to turn his life around with encouragement from his daughter Cady, who will be played by Cassidy Freeman ("Smallville").

Longmire hits bumps along the way but finds he has an affinity for the job with the assistance of his new female deputy, Vic, portrayed by Katee Sackhoff ("Battlestar Galactica"). 

But Longmire's bid for re-election is challenged by ambitious, young deputy Branch, played by Bailey Chase ("Damages"). Longmire feels betrayed, but remains dedicated to the community.

Lou Diamond Phillips ("Numb3rs") stars as Longmire's ace friend and confidant, Henry Standing Bear, a character based on Billings resident Marcus Red Thunder.

Hunt Baldwin ("The Closer," "Trust Me") and John Coveny ("The Closer," "Trust Me") wrote "Longmire" and are executive producers along with Greer Shephard ("The Closer," "Nip/Tuck") and Michael M. Robin ("The Closer," "Nip/Tuck").

Christopher Chulack ("Southland," "ER") was director and executive producer of the pilot.

Johnson's Longmire award-winning contemporary crime thriller series includes "Hell is Empty," Junkyard Dogs," "The Cold Dish," "Death Without Company," "Kindness Goes Unpunished," "Another Man's Moccasins" and "The Dark Horse," which was named one of Publisher's Weekly's best books of the year in 2009. He won the Spur Award for best Western novel and the Prix du Roman Noir, an award for best crime novel translated into French.

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