AMC Cancels ‘The Killing’ (Again); Season 4 Not Happening

Published 2 years ago by

The Killing Canceled Season 4 AMC Cancels The Killing (Again); Season 4 Not Happening

The Killing is going to be one of those head-scratcher cases (no pun) in pantheon of TV series. The murder-mysery procedural was a good draw for AMC’s budding lineup of critically-acclaimed TV lineup, but it left the fanbase in a very strange place by ending things on a season 1 finale cliffhanger, after a late-game decision to extend the series into a second season. That second season turned out to be quality viewing – but the sacrifice was a considerable portion of the audience, who didn’t re-invest in the mystery of “Who killed Rosie Larsen?” (4.7 million viewers for the season 1 premiere; 2.5 million for the season 2 premiere).

AMC then promptly canceled the The Killing – that is, until a joint deal with Netflix saved the show. With season 3 offering a brand new mystery, The Killing saw a slight uptick in interest (1.8 million for the season 3 premiere – up from the 1.4 million season 2 finale numbers), but clearly it never reclaimed the clout it initially had, and is now being put out to pasture for good.

Deadline dropped the exclusive that The Killing has been killed again (these jokes are going to keep coming), pointing to the fact that, overall, season 3 held consistent with the season 2 ratings lows. Reportedly, Fox TV Studios might shop the show around to another network, but there is little leverage or incentive for anyone else to give it yet another extension on its warranty. There’s also the fact that stars Mireille Enos (World War Z) and Joel Kinnaman (Robocop) are seeing career bumps right now, so the need (or pull) for them to return to a flailing show is not strong. 

The Killing Series Finale Ending Canceled AMC Cancels The Killing (Again); Season 4 Not Happening

Fans know that The Killing was an adaptation of the Danish TV series Forbrydelsenbut while that series told its initial story in a longer (complete) seasonal arc, AMC’s version  fell into the trap of modern American TV strategy by trying to milk better home video sales by breaking up storylines across multiple seasonal sets (see also: Breaking BadEntourage, Battlestar Galactica….). The result: the loss of momentum, of viewers, and what could’ve been high-quality  procedural mystery drama for cable TV.

How do you feel about the news of The Killing’s second death? (Given the ratings, we’re not expecting a whole lot of grieving fans…)


You can currently catch The Killing streaming on Netflix.

Source: Deadline

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
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  1. I gave up on the show after the bait-and switch first season finale

    • Oh, I thought that season finale was epic! It was a “WTF” moment. I enjoyed this series so far, and am sad to see it go. At least Netflix have seasons 1 an 2, and hopefully 3 soon.

    • get rid of the producer and get a new producer and bring back the show because it is a great and a sin let it go I am wait for season 4

  2. This sucks! This news totally killed my buzz. Great slow-burn show, and the cliffhanger for Season 3 was nuts! Can’t believe they’re going to leave it like that. Well, if nothing else, Peter Sarsgaard should be a shoe-in for some nominations come award time. He killed it last season!

    • +1

      Sarsgaard was brilliant. That last one with him in it will forever be etched upon my soul.

  3. Season 3 was an improvement in every way imaginable and featured the episode “6 Minutes”, one of the best episodes I’ve seen this year.

    It’s a shame this got cancelled. AMC is running out of good shows and season 3 was starting to live up to the potential of being a great TV series.

  4. Liked season 3, sad to see it go, but not overly surprised. It was good TV. Too bad more people didn’t give it a second chance.

    Honestly, there is a glut of police procedurals right now, so I have plenty of other ways to get my fix.

    The Bridge, for one, is proving much superior so far.

    • Really, The Bridge?

      I’m genuinely curious since I stopped watching the show in its third episode since the case seemed to be going nowhere and the lead character was so unlikable. Plus I keep hearing on social media that the show has been declining in quality since the premiere so I’m wondering if I’m missing out on something.

    • Wow, The Bridge?

      I gave that show about 4 episodes and then it just wasn’t really interested. The show since the first episode has gone downhill. There is no real “likeable” characters. The storyline is too predictable as well. I tried to get back into the other episodes but it’s a show that moves too slow that missing a couple of episodes doesn’t really make an impact on the show.

      I loved The Killing. It was a show that had me guessing and right when you think you got it, they throw a wrench in and turns it another way. Yes, the first 2 seasons weren’t the best but I thought season 3 was by far the best soo far which was good because a lot of shows out there go downhill after the first season. Also Peter Sarsgaard made season 3 a success. His performance was just outstanding. I would figure with Kinnaman being in Robocop the interest in the show would increase as well. AMC after this season will be falling downhill much like how Starz is. Aside from The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Mad Men(the last 2 which are about to end) it doesn’t have a lot of other so called “Must See TV”. Low Winter Sun isn’t all that interesting(seen that, been there). Hells on Wheels is okay but not what I would call Must see TV. Hope AMC gets their act straight

      • Low Winter Sun isn’t interesting but The Killing is brilliant?

        You must be insane.

        Or just have different taste to mine. That one’s more likely.

        I could never get into The Killing, just like I could never get interested in Dexter, Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead.

        • Yeah, it’s definitely a taste thing.

        • I think it’s a taste thing. Seeing that there is a dozen type of cops shows out there I just grew tired of the same old stuff.

      • Yep, The Bridge.

        I like that Sonya Cross and Marco Ruiz are both very flawed characters. I like that their behavior is informed by their personalities, rather than by plot needs. I like that even though Sonya has Asperger’s, she is not a see-all/know-all cypher who always has the missing piece of info off the top of her head. I like the cultural milieu of the show. The mixture of cultures and themes on the show are incredibly rich.

        I see The Killing as more plot-driven and unrealistic, but I definitely felt there were some improvements with Season 3. As I said already, I am sorry to see it go.

        • You pointed out something that that made me hate the show.

          As someone who lives in a border town, one of my biggest problems with the show is how unrealistic these two cultures and its “mixtures” are. They feel more like cliches than a realistic portrayal of what is actually going down a few miles of where I live.

          Also, I hated how clueless Sonya was in regards to what was going on in Mexico. It was really insulting, especially since its a few miles away from where she lives and she acted as if she was either too dumb or too ignorant to educate herself on what’s going on.

          • I agree. That is what somewhat turned me off from the show and a lot of other people that I know. I think we just couldn’t get past the many unrealistic events with many plot holes in the series thus far. I like Sonya Cross but her character is being forced and makes the series a little awkward

        • I LOVE the Bridge. It was ONE of very few shows that REALLY held my interest. Characters are a little difficult but they grow on ya. I hope It comes back.

  5. OMG this is terrible news!! I loved all seasons and was able to watch from start to finish on UK Netflix, the season three cliffhanger was crazy!!

    Hopefully Netflix will just take up full production of season 4 and finish off the story, another season would be five too many!

    House of Cards and Orange is he new Black are quality shows so in my opinion, in Netflix we trust!!

    • My husband and I loved “The Killing”. We thought it to be a quality show with excellent acting and the story line was not predictable which made it enjoyable. I too hope that Netflix continues with season 4 and 5 etc. It really kept you on the edge of your seat at all times. Just as you thought that they had solved the crime, something else happened to point a finger at someone else. EXCELLENT SHOW AND ACTING.

  6. Great show goes down with deadwood and others that ended before their time

    • What I would give to see a fourth season of Deadwood! The fire burning the town down would have had so many fascinating episodes to explore that storyline. :(

  7. I actually thought tht this last season was better than the first two…imo

    • Agreed.

  8. This show is too intelligent and too steadily paced for current TV trends. There’s too much demand for an immediate pay-off these days and this show was never designed to do that.

    • umm it’s because it WASNT steadily paced that it lost half of it’s viewers after season 1. Having to wait 2 seasons for a pay off you stopped caring about half way through season 1.

    • I agree. This series reminds me of Firefly in which the intelligence of the series might be too ahead of it’s time for some people. Some people just want a conclusion right then and there whereas with this show it has always been a show where it wants to leave people thinking(US and Danish version).

  9. Given the way the showrunners decided to end season 3, and I just caught up on my DVR when this news broke, I’m shocked that this didn’t have a green light for season 4. Bleak way to go out, man.

    Personally, I never understood the outcry of the cliffhanger of season 1. Wasn’t it like any other procedural show with a cliffhanger ending? That being said, I did not enjoy season 2, as the slow pace back through the same characters and character development was tiresome, except for Holder and Linden. But I thought season 3 was a return to form and even better than season 1, given the quality side stories and stellar acting from Sarsgaard and the girl who played Bullet. Would’ve liked to seen one more season.

  10. :(((((((((

  11. Well, as I was about to start season 2.

  12. Good, this season turned to pure s***. Terrible characters for the most part and it almost went the route of Rosie Larsen.

  13. What a mess. Glad I never got into this one.

  14. I loved the Killing, it was a well written show that always kept you wondering…. I am really upset to see it end, I am so disappointed..:(

  15. Disappointed! I really enjoyed this season. I was hoping it would be renewed.

  16. So, I guess we will have to assume that Linden ends up going to the slammer for murdering the perp? I’m sorry to hear the show will not be renewed, but have to say couldn’t think of a reasonable and convincing way she could avoid jail time — or at least permanently lose her badge — after what she did in the last fifteen seconds of this season. For that matter, I couldn’t really conceive of a way she could emotionally recover from the shock of finding out her boss/lover was the bad guy all along. She was already a basket case, can’t see her rebounding from this newest emotional trauma.

  17. One of the BEST written and ACTED shows in such a long time. I’ve DVR each one and watch them all. Some of them twice just to make sure I’M understanding every detail. I feel that the Producers & AMC ARE FOOLISH not to continue to the fourth season. AT THE VERY LEAST it should go for another season and finish w/ the characters moving on. DON’T LEAVE US “HANGING”. Thank you for considering.

  18. Best show ever. So very sad and disappointed there will be no season 4. The directors and critics don,t know how much so many of us will miss such fantastic acting. Sara and Holder were great.

  19. I think that it sucks tat they cancelled The Killing. It is one of the best shows that has been on in a really long time. I couldn’t wait for the second season to start in hopes of a resolution for Rosie Larson. I do understand that Americans have a short attention span and that that was obviously not an effective approach, but the third season was awesome and I think that they should keep it going with better advertising.

  20. Why cancelled?! Season 3 was perfect , we still waiting season 4!! Wake up AMC!!

  21. I enjoyed lot of it and kept watching to the end but it seems like The Killing is a show that needs to just put itself out of its own misery (I think the cow scenario early on in season 3 is a perfect metaphor of the entire tone of the show).


    The writing is often just bad (The killer extracts the victim’s teeth and burns her body but leaves the tell tale fingerless hand? The same supposedly meticulous killer gives a victim’s ring to his daughter?). And, though subtle, the whole things is predictably dire (Does the cop have to treat his friend in a cruel manner just before she is inevitably killed? Does the cute lesbian girl need to be brutally raped so that she doesn’t appear too cute? Does a priest have to be attacked and another seemingly religious man have to turn out to be ****ing with a desperate guy’s head just to drive home how hopeless and godless everything is? And does the hanging of the innocent man have to end with his dreaded strangulation? Really!? This one almost made me laugh in spite of a powerful build up).

    But the atmosphere and acting are definitely well crafted.

    Season 2 effectively surprised me but I pretty much knew how season 3 was going to end from the first episode because it is so similar in plot to the first season of the original series. I still watched it up until its unfortunately Seven-esque final note which really hits home (possibly unintentionally?) just how utterly selfish the female cop is; how many families is she potentially denying closure to by killing her deranged and impossibly centered lover/boss?

    But who cares? This is a show about broken people in a broken world, I get it. I’m just not sure anyone really needs this depressing stuff to be so utterly relentless when life is already dark enough for our kind. Masochism as style? Luxury seems to breed a desire for disease as voyeuristic fun.

    Sorry for the psychobabble but, man, these questions just seem so damn relevant to me.

    Cheers and Godspeed.

  22. This is one of my favorite shows. I am disappointed that its canceled. The filming, the actors the plots are unbeatable. Glad to know the two main characters will be in upcoming movies. The entire cast (especially the street kids in Season 3) are remarkable actors. What a bummer!

  23. there will be a fourth season, after all, everyone, Netflix has agreed to make a six episode fourth season, to end the show.
    actually glad to hear that, really liked The Killing, and also hope The Bridge comes back for more seasons. both shows have what most series lack these days, believable characters, they are real people, solving real crimes, it feels like, they are not perfect, there are twists, unexpected things come out about the people in the shows, and that is what makes them good, makes them real. there should be more shows like these two, and more of these two shows.

  24. I am very disappointed in American TV audiences in general (for the record i am American as well) they make it possible for great television shows like the killing to get cancelled just because the don’t have the attention span of a small rodent. I love the fact that the plot stretched from season 1 to season 2. Personally I love a good progressively built story line but American audiences are too caught up in the instant gratification of reality tv to stay with anything deeper than that. On the other hand how does a production company decided to cancel a show that has won multiple Emmys? this was a fantastic show and I look forward to Netflix 6 episode 4th season wrap up.

  25. I loved the show, especially the dreary, rainy atmosphere. Season 1 was disappointing, I did expect a new murder each season. By Season 3, I thought they finally HAD it & was anticipating the 4th Season. I’m disappointed the writing couldn’t keep up with what the series was supposed to do.

  26. My take on Sonya wss that she was SO guilt ridden & involved with her sister’s death, she was almost oblivious to things. As far as not knowing Mexican border town, some of MY neighbors don’t know about areas 10 miles away in the SAME state.

  27. The Bridge is awful, nowhere near what The Killing had to offer! I couldn’t make it past 3 or 4 episodes of that extremely awkward/badly acted snoozefest known as The Bridge. I can’t believe it’s back for a 2nd season, but it won’t surprise me at all if it gets axed halfway thru season 2. The Sonya character is the most awkward, badly acted, and/or unrealistic portrayal i’ve seen in quite some time. It’s painfully awkward to watch her acting the way she acts from my couch, not to mention extremely insulting to me as a viewer to actually think it’s in any way believable. It really is that bad!

  28. Yes it’s a mistake to cancel this show, this is such a great show always kept me at the edge of my seat and I couldn’t wait to see the next episode. The actors are awesome I hope they consider.

  29. Omg I was hooked on season 1 even though the quality of the sound is not very good ….seems very jumbled vocally……however…….went on. Netflix say season 2 watched the entire season in 1 and half days…….LOVED it!

    Question…….why do they make Lindin such an ugly chic? She’s a pretty lady……why make her so bad and boring? Love love love Holder!
    I could watch 10 more seasons!

    • @Elizabeth

      Linden’s appearance is like that to help sell the character. Think about it, she’s so consumed with her job that she doesn’t have time for anything else, not even her son. She sent him away to live with his father because she knows she can’t provide a stable home as long as she remains a detective. She’s doesn’t live a healthy life… she doesn’t eat or sleep right because the case consumes her for as long as it takes her to solve it. That’s why she doesn’t look pretty… it just wouldn’t fit her characters personality.