The Killing just can’t die. AMC’s former one hour murder-mystery drama about Seattle based detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder (Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman) came back from the dead after a post-season 2 cancellation. But when the show didn’t receive the kind of ratings or buzz it did in season 1, the network cut the cord once more. That is, until Netflix got involved. Well, more involved.
The Killing‘s surprising season 3 came as a result of a production deal between AMC, Fox Television Studios (who owns the show), and Netflix that saw new episodes appear on the streaming service just three months after broadcast. That deal reportedly came about after talk of a full-fledged shift over to Netflix, but more than a year later, that is exactly how The Killing will get its six-episode fourth (and final) season.
Here’s Netflix rep Cindy Holland on the decision to rescue The Killing:
“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. [...] We are looking forward to offering fans – both existing and new – a series that we know is perfectly suited for on-demand viewing.”
Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing how “perfectly suited” The Killing is to the on-demand model due to Netflix’ less than revealing ways with regard to ratings, but despite the minimal six-episode commitment, the streaming giant had to have other reasons besides being fans or wanting to provide closure.
One of those reasons could be that, in this risk averse entertainment era, it may sometimes seem like a safer bet for Netflix to add an established show in a growing genre (The Bridge, FOX’s Broadchurch adaptation) to their brand than it is to develop one from scratch. Often praised as incredibly bold, Netflix is certainly not reckless in the way that they are building their lineup. Their deals with established creators like Jenji Kohan (Orange is the New Black), David Fincher (House of Cards), the Wachowskis (Sense8), Mitch Hurwitz (Arrested Development), and Marvel prove that they’re always building on solid ground.
Does that mean that fans of other canceled shows should begin to have hope that Netflix might bring their beloved shows back from the dead thanks to the surprising resurrection of The Killing? Not necessarily. But with Netflix, we really never know what makes sense to them until it makes sense to them.
The Killing will return for a six-episode fourth season on Netflix. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for further details.