After two seasons, AMC have pulled the plug on murder-mystery drama The Killing—the US remake of the internationally successful Danish drama Forbryldsen. The show launched to high ratings (2.72m) and critical acclaim two years ago, but viewers dropped away and critical opinion shifted over the course of its first season. The second season, which concluded the central "Who Killed Rosie Larsen?" mystery, and which many thought had been unwisely dragged out too far, aired to 1.45m subscribers.
In a statement, AMC said that "after much deliberation, we've come to the difficult decision not to renew The Killing for a third season. AMC is incredibly proud of the show and is fortunate to have worked with such a talented team on this project, from showrunner Veena Sud and our terrific partners at Fox Television Studios to the talented, dedicated crew and exceptional cast."
Fox Television Studios, who made the show for AMC, have also release a statement saying they're "... extremely proud of The Killing, the extraordinary writing staff and crew, and what we believe is one of the best casts on television. We will proceed to try to find another home for the show."
It's not yet known if another broadcaster will pick up the show, but it means The Killing isn't dead and buried yet. It may make sense for a lesser channel to buy the show, if they think inheriting the show's average audience of 1.5m audience is possible and acceptable. We could be looking at a Damages-style situation, where FX axed the show but it was bought by DirecTV—who had to cut the budget, but managed to prevent the show losing its marquee actors and distinct look.
I personally don't care what happens. I adored The Killing's pilot and was invested in the show's first five episodes, but the story started to lose me when a red herring undermined the bulk of season 1's plot. I watched the first few episodes of season 2, still curious about who Rosie Larsen's killer is, but then realised I don't actually care enough to sit through so many plodding episodes. I read a recap of the finale, where the mystery was explained and... yeah, it sounded very underwhelming, so I saved myself some hours there.
What about you? Did you like The Killing? Did you stick with it to the bitter end? Would you watch a third season on a different channel? Or should the show just leave the airwaves, because it clearly didn't translate to America—beyond importing the original's style and soundtrack so accurately.