By Sahil Patel
AMC’s murder-mystery series “The Killing” isn’t dead yet; it’s just coming back as a Netflix Original for its final run.
Netflix has ordered a six-episode fourth and final season of the show, which will begin production in Canada in February. A premiere date wasn’t provided by Netflix, though the company did note that the show will be made available to subscribers in all territories its streaming service is available on.
The final installment will feature the same cast as the AMC drama, headlined by Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman as two homicide detectives who try to solve a murder case throughout the course of a season.
Show creator and executive producer Veena Sud is also set to return and is expected to bring back most of “The Killing”’s writing staff and crew from previous seasons, which aired on AMC and then on an exclusive basis on Netflix.
Based on the Danish television series “Forbrydelsen,” “The Killing” has had a troubled history during its three-season run on AMC. The serialized drama was canceled by AMC after two seasons, only to be resurrected by the network for a 12-episode third season thanks to a unique partnership with Netflix. Basically, Netflix agreed to pay a premium to have earlier access to the third season after the season finale aired on AMC — this allowed AMC to pay a lower licensing for the show and give it the green light.
Unfortunately, ratings for season three were generally on par with the second season (in the neighborhood of 1.4 million viewers per episode), which meant AMC decided to cancel the drama for a second time.
It’s coming back again, though this time AMC is not involved in any respect. Apparently Fox Television Studios and Sud, through her agents at WME, packaged an idea for a six-episode final season, which they then pitched to Netflix, which obviously was interested enough to come on board.
It probably makes sense for Netflix to give “The Killing” one more shot. The program seems to be popular on the streaming service, which is more conducive to serialized dramas due to its ability to allow viewers to binge on multiple episodes in one sitting. Netflix’s VP of original content Cindy Holland said as much in the announcement. “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,” she said. “We are looking forward to offering fans — both existing and new — a series that we know is perfectly suited for on-demand viewing.”
“The Killing” is executive produced by Sud and Mikkel Bondesen of Fabrik Entertainment. Kristen Campo serves as co-executive producer for Fabrik.