AMC Snuffs Out ‘The Killing’

Fox TV Studios in search of a new network partner for mystery series

AMC has snuffed out The Killing.

The cable network on Friday announced that “after much deliberation.” it would not go forward with a third season of the serial procedural.

The decision to end The Killing came a month after the season two finale brought closure to the show’s primary story line. Rosie Larsen’s killer was revealed to an audience of 1.45 million total viewers, down 47 percent from the 2.72 million who tuned in for the April 3, 2011, series premiere.

While AMC has closed the door on The Killing, Fox Television Studios said that it would “try to find another home for the show.”

In the second quarter of 2012, AMC averaged 1.03 million viewers in prime time, a decline of 17 percent versus the year-ago period (1.23 million). The core demo proved to be more resilient, as adults 18 to 49 dipped just 5 percent.

The Killing marks only the second time AMC has canceled an original drama series. In 2010, the network passed on a second season of the glacially-paced spy series Rubicon after the finale drew 1.03 million viewers.

Up next on the AMC development slate is the Detroit cop drama Low Winter Sun and an untitled legal thriller from screenwriter Richard LaGravenese and actor/director Tony Goldwyn. Pilots for both projects were greenlit in May.

AMC boasts the most successful original drama in cable history in The Walking Dead. The season two finale delivered a whopping 8.99 million viewers and 5.98 million adults 18 to 49 and a pair of award-winning critics’ darlings (Breaking Bad, Mad Men).

On Aug. 12, AMC will return its period drama Hell on Wheels for its sophomore run. The inaugural run of 10 episodes averaged 2.98 million total viewers, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, and time-shifted viewing boosted that delivery another 44 percent.