There have been rumblings about it for the past week, but AMC has officially announced that it has picked up a new drama series called The Killing for a full season, based on the pilot episode. The pilot is actually titled "The Killing", though that will apparently not be the title of the series when it premieres next year.
Based on the Danish series Forbrydelsen (which translates simply as "Crime"), the plot centers on the murder of a young girl and the police investigation that follows, telling the story from the perspective of the police officers, the suspects and the family of the girl.
It sounds like a TV series version of films like Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone (not bad comparisons, I think you'll agree), only they'll have at least 13 episodes to tell the story, as opposed to two hours (one of the advantages TV has over the movies). The talent involved with it is also pretty exciting:
The pilot was written and exec produced by Veena Sud (Cold Case), and she'll be the showrunner for the full series; the pilot was directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster), although it's unclear if she will direct any of the other episode; and it is exec produced by Mikkel Bondeson (Burn Notice).
This may only be AMC's fifth series, but so far they've got an amazing track record. I've yet to see Breaking Bad but I've heard nothing but amazing things about it (awards and critical praise galore); Rubicon only just premiered a couple of weeks ago so time will tell on that one. I am most familiar with Mad Men and if that exquisite show is anything to go by, The Killing will be one to watch out for. And as for The Walking Dead, we'll just have to wait until October to see if it lives up to how awesome it looks.
In case you need a few more specifics about the plot to get you interested in watching The Killing, the official press release has you covered:
The series ties together three distinct stories around a single murder including the detectives assigned to the case, the victims grieving family and the suspects. The story also explores local politics as it follows politicians connected to the case. As it unfolds, it becomes clear that there are no accidents; everyone has a secret, and while the characters think they've moved on, their past isn't done with them.
As Sarah, Mireille Enos (Big Love) portrays the lead homicide detective that investigates the death of Rosie Larsen. Other previously announced castings include: Billy Campbell (Once and Again, Enough) as Darren Richmond, Seattles City Council President, running for Mayor; Michelle Forbes (True Blood) as Mitch Larsen, the victims mother; Joel Kinnaman (Snabba Cash) as Stephen Holder, an ex-narc cop who joins the homicide division in the investigation to find Rosie Larsens killer; and Brent Sexton (W., In the Valley of Elah) as Stan Larsen, the victims father.
Here's what AMC's senior Vice President, Joel Stillerman, had to say about the network picking up the series:
"We are thrilled to be moving forward with this stunning piece of television. It is a crime drama, but it is also a gripping character based story that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. The storytelling is completely compelling, and the show is visually breathtaking. Veena, Patty, Fuse, FTVS and the cast did a phenomenal job of bringing it to life."
I tend to really dig movies and TV shows that deal with police investigations. Yes, they can often be so uninspired and clichéd that they blend into one another, but when done right (as was the case with the aforementioned Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone) there is rarely another type of story that can so effectively marry emotion with excitement.
It's unknown exactly when The Killing will start showing on AMC but we do know it will be sometime in 2011 (if I had to guess I'd say in late Summer/Fall). However, it's scheduled to start shooting in Vancouver this Fall.