Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Networks Resurrect Their Own Canceled Series

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Networks Resurrect Their Own Canceled Series

Article excerpt

The death notice was grim and unequivocal.

"After much deliberation, we've come to the difficult decision not to renew 'The Killing' for a third season," AMC executives said in a statement released July 27, 2012.

"The Killing" was as dead as murder victim Rosie Larsen.

And yet, 10 months later, "The Killing" is about to return with a two-hour episode -- on AMC.

The "Walking Dead" network gives new meaning to "undead."

"Canceled doesn't necessarily mean canceled anymore," the Hollywood Reporter said in a "Killing" story from last week.

While it's fairly common for a series dropped by one network to be picked up by a different network -- examples include "Cougar Town" (which went from ABC to TBS), "Futurama" (Fox to Comedy Central) and "Arrested Development" (Fox to Netflix, after a seven- year hiatus) -- it's rare for a network to uncancel its own show. But we have two prime examples of that this summer.

In addition to AMC's "The Killing," there is CBS' "Unforgettable." On July 28, CBS will relaunch the drama -- about a New York City police detective (Poppy Montgomery) who remembers small, crucial details from crime scenes -- that it had canceled in May 2012, only to uncancel three months later.

"We really thought this was dead," Ed Redlich, the show's co- creator, said last week, noting that television is a business where producers learn to be philosophical about finding new life for their axed shows. "If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. But a bunch of time had passed -- several months -- and so, this is a fantastic shock.

"We were thankful that the studio and the network were able to come to some kind of financial arrangement and bring us back. ... It so rarely happens."

But it may start happening more.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, "The Killing" owes its resurrection to "a unique deal among producer Fox Television Studios, AMC and Netflix, which will stream the third season 90 days after the finale airs on the cable network." With so many outlets now needing content, there is an "evolving business model" that could save shows with small but loyal audiences.

AMC President Charlie Collier told The Los Angeles Times that canceling "The Killing" was a "very difficult" decision "based on different inputs and competing needs. But when it came down to it, we just couldn't shake these characters. We were passionate about the storytelling, passionate about the show and we kept hearing from the core passionate audience. Now we have a new case. ... With a new case brings new opportunity."

The old case -- Rosie Larsen's murder -- played out over two seasons, which outraged viewers who expected resolution in one season. Many did not return for Season 2.

Season 3 opens one year after the close of the Larsen case. …

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