November 15, 2013 3:00pm PT by Lacey Rose
'The Killing' Revived Again at Netflix
The Killing is coming back from the dead, again.
Two months after the crime drama’s second cancelation, The Killing is being resurrected for a fourth season at Netflix. The streaming service, which stepped up to make the last revival feasible, will air six episodes, which will be billed as the series’ “final season.” AMC, which developed and aired the show for its first three seasons, will have no part in the latest move for the Fox Television Studios series.
The series' stars Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos will return, with the show set to explore a new case. The series' writing staff and crew will return as well, with production set to begin in Canada in February. Though creator Veena Sud’s WME agents and the studio began exploring its options immediately following the series’ September cancelation, conversations with Netflix began in earnest about a month ago. As part of the unprecedented deal, the series’ final installment will bow simultaneously across Netflix’s global territories.
“The rich, serialized storytelling in The Killing thrives on Netflix, and we believe that it is only fitting to give Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder a proper send off,” Cindy Holland, vice president of original content for Netflix, said in a statement. “We are looking forward to offering fans - both existing and new - a series that we know is perfectly suited for on-demand viewing.”
Added Fox TV Studios president David Madden: “It’s a true testament to The Killing creator Veena Sud, and the stellar cast led so compellingly by Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman, that fans remained so passionate about the show. We’re gratified that our partners at Netflix recognized this, and are giving us the opportunity to complete the story in a way that will be satisfying to our loyal audience."
The Killing's trajectory has quickly become the stuff of TV legend. It was first canceled in July 2012 after two acclaimed seasons on AMC. The network called its decision to pull the plug a “difficult” one at the time, but the news came as little surprise given the series’ considerable ratings tumble coupled with the critical beating it took when the first season finale failed to reveal a critical plot point: who killed Rosie Larsen.
Then, nearly a year later, Fox TV Studios announced that the series, based on Danish series Forbrydelsen, would return after all, thanks to a unique deal with AMC and Netflix. The latter, which had built a sizable audience for the series’ first two seasons on its service, would stream the third season 90 days after the finale aired on the cable network. In that arrangement, the studio was able to offset AMC's reduced license fee with the premium that Netflix agreed to pay to shrink the window from about a year to three months.
Killing's most recent third season opened to a steady 1.8 million viewers and generally positive reviews in June, but it saw its ratings dip over the course of the self-contained 12 episodes. It wrapped with 1.5 million viewers, making the season relatively flat year over year. It was not enough to garner a fourth season renewal, and AMC released another statement in which it announced it would be making the "difficult decision" to end the series' run.