AMC Cancels 'The Killing,' Develops New Area 51 Drama
It's a challenge to call a drama lasting two seasons a full-fledged "failure," but AMC's "The Killing" took a full two rounds facing down network predecessors' established lofty expectations for some things to sink in completely.
"After much deliberation, we've come to the difficult decision not to renew 'The Killing' for a third season," AMC representatives announced Friday through a statement, according to EW.com Friday. "AMC is incredibly proud of the show and is fortunate to have worked with such a talented team on this project, from showrunner Venna Sud and our terrific partners at Fox Television Studios to the talented, dedicated crew and exceptional cast."
Along with Frank Darabont's "The Walking Dead," the hour-long murder mystery was a part of the second wave of series following in the footsteps of "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" reshaping the network's identity as its back-to-back acclaimed, pioneering original dramas. And now, it's the only not to grow into long-term success. The series premiered in 2011 to 2.7 million viewers. That's the good news.
Here's the bad: after an entire first season spent unfolding the same case and the promise that the finale would deliver a resolution, Sud and AMC staged a bait-and-switch that didn't ultimately resolve a damn thing.
Fans sent their message this past April. The second-season premiere's audience plummeted 33 percent down to 1.8 million viewers. It then fell and fell some more to the point that the second-season finale - which did finally reveal who murdered teenaged Rosie Larsen - was watched by only 1.4 million people.
The latter days of "Lost" should've made this abundantly clear by now: bait-and-switch pisses off more people than it intrigues. Despite cancellation, the series could yet fail upward. "Fox Television Studios is extremely proud of 'The Killing,' the extraordinary writing staff and crew, and what we believe is one of the best casts on television. We will proceed to try to find another home for the show," Fox Television Studios' statement read.
There will be not much crying for AMC, to be certain. Its first original-series failure now official, the network has started early development on a series based on Annie Jacobsen's extraterrestrial book Area 51, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Compiled from interviews with 19 men who reportedly served on and were employed at the fabled U.S. military base, Jacobsen explores how the myths surrounding knowledge of and research into extraterrestrials at the facility have developed over the past half-century at a base the U.S. government has never officially acknowledged even exists.
"The Walking Dead" executive producer Gale Anne Hurd has been tapped to executive produce this endeavor as well, with "The Good Wife" writer Todd E. Kessler tackling the script.