EXCLUSIVE: It looks like The Killing will be coming back for a third season after all. Two and a half months after AMC opted not to renew the mystery drama for a third season, I hear the cable network is close to a deal to bring the show back, this time in tandem with streaming giant Netflix. I hear AMC would get first window.
A deal, which is still being hammered out, would be the culmination of a relentless effort by The Killing producer Fox TV Studios to keep the series alive. When The Killing‘s cancellation was announced, the studio vowed to “try to find another home for the show” and talked with a number of potential buyers before zeroing in on Netflix. The talks, which were touch and go for awhile, subsequently brought AMC back into the equation. I hear a strong third-season pitch by series’ developer/executive producer Veena Sud helped get the modestly-rated drama back on the cable network which will now share its The Killing-associated costs with Netflix. Fox TV Studios already had the cast, including breakout stars Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman, locked in for Season 3, which also made a renewal an easier proposition. I hear feelers are now being sent out to key behind-the-scene auspices to return, and Season 3 is eying a February production start. AMC, Netflix and FtvS declined comment.
The split window deal for The Killing resembles that for NBC’s critically praised drama Friday Night Lights, which was on the verge of cancellation after Season 2 before the broadcast network partnered with DirecTV. In that case, the satcaster got the premiere run of the show, with NBC airing the seasons a few months later.
A renewal of an established series like The Killing would give AMC more breathing room as it faces the departure of Breaking Bad and has likely two seasons left in Mad Men. (Additionally, the future of Western drama Hell On Wheels is in limbo following the exit of showrunner John Shiban.)
The Killing, an adaptation of a Danish format, launched strong in 2011. Its first-season finale was one of the most talked about episodes of television in the past few years, triggering controversy with the decision not to reveal the killer. The show returned lower in Season 2 and never quite regained its ratings momentum but remained an OK performer.
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