Spoiler: a lot of people were angry with the way the first season of AMC’s The Killing ended. I’m not singling out anyone at this point because through all of the ways I wind up accessing the popular culture from the TV blogs to Tony Kornheiser, I heard the kvetching about how mad people were and how it damaged AMC’s brand. I wrote at the time of the finale that I didn’t buy the brand damage to AMC angle. Brand damage to The Killing? Perhaps. Time (and the ratings for the season two premiere) will tell.
Mostly people care about shows and not the networks they are on. I’m sure there are a lot of people who watch The Walking Dead on AMC and don’t watch anything else. Obviously from a ratings perspective The Killing didn’t damage AMC’s brand. More people watched the season four premiere of Breaking Bad than ever. Nobody who likes Breaking Bad and Mad Men is going to stop watching them because The Killing offended their sensibilities.
Complaining about The Killing made a comeback this morning at AMC’s panel at the summer TCA press tour. AMC’s head of original programming Joel Stillerman reiterated that he felt like AMC could’ve done a better job managing expectations and that it was never the network’s goal to mislead viewers. He also promised that viewers definitely would find out who killed Rosie Larsen in season two of The Killing.
My guess is there will be at least one more bout of complaining before the second season of The Killing actually begins, and probably two. The winter TCA press tour is in early January and The Killing probably won’t return until spring. I’m sure it will come up yet again during the winter press tour, and there will probably be at least a few day revival of it in the days before the second season premieres. The noise might not do anything for the actual ratings, but it should increase interest in the ratings for The Killing’s premiere, which is of course just fine with us!