On “The Sopranos,” Tony mourned the passing of the Gary Cooper type, the strong, silent character who got things done without calling attention to himself. Fans of Cooper’s brand of screen hero will enjoy “Longmire” (9 p.m. Sunday, A&E), based on a series of mystery novels by Craig Johnson.
A contemporary police drama set in the Big Sky country where Wyoming meets Montana, “Longmire” stars Robert Taylor as Sheriff Walt Longmire, a wounded man who frequently admits that he’s lost a step or two, but is determined to turn his life around.
Still grieving for his wife a year after her death, Walt is challenged by a younger deputy, Branch (Bailey Chase), who sets his sights on Walt’s job. Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Galactica”) stars as Vic, a talkative new deputy eager to remind Walt that Wyoming is sure different from Philadelphia. Her chatterbox personality is a perfect foil for Walt’s taciturnity. And wouldn’t you know that while she’s rattling on, he’s deep in thought with his eyes peeled, looking for the next clue.
‘‘Longmire” is a thoughtful mystery series because it allows you to watch Walt’s mind at work — even as he’s jumping to the wrong conclusion.
Featuring stunning mountain scenery, “Longmire” is spare and assured. I have a feeling viewers will want to stick around for the first season’s 10 episodes — at first for the scenery. Then they’ll want to see how Walt makes peace with an uprising in his own department, with a hostile reservation and, finally, with himself.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): private companies reach for the stars; America’s homegrown Nazis; Angelina Jolie.
• The curiously titled “Adele Live in London” (7 p.m., NBC) includes a taped interview with Matt Lauer and footage from her concert in London’s Royal Albert Hall.
• A tycoon works and walks the streets of Newark, N.J., in the season premiere of “Secret Millionaire” (7 p.m., ABC).
• Russell Brand hosts the 2012 MTV Movie Awards (8 p.m., MTV).
• Theon inspires on the second season finale of “Game of Thrones” (8 p.m., HBO).
• Sarah and Holder take flight on “The Killing” (8 p.m., AMC).
• Sally steps out on “Mad Men” (9 p.m., AMC).
• Rumors bedevil the staff on “Veep” (9:10 p.m., HBO).
• Juan misleads on “The Borgias” (9 p.m., Showtime).