A statement from the network read: "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 quickly sent out a statement saying the studio plans to shop the drama series to other networks: "Fox Television Studios is 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."
"The Killing" has been one of AMC's few missteps in an otherwise remarkable plunge into scripted television during the last several years. The show premiered last year to 2.7 million viewers and plenty of fan and critic excitement. But in a move that will likely be used as a real-time lesson in serialized series management for years to come, AMC and Sud managed to infuriate fans by declining to solve a mystery that viewers felt they had been led to believe would be cleared up by the end of the first season.
When season 2 debuted in April, ratings dropped 33% to 1.8 million viewers. The audience continued to ebb until the finale, which garnered 1.4 million viewers and finally revealed who killed teen murder victim Rosie Larsen. With the ratings showing a clear downward trajectory, and having established across two seasons that the Larsen murder is the driving force of the show, cancellation seemed very likely. The lesson? Don't take viewers for granted.
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