AMC Announces Season Premiere Dates for MAD MEN and THE KILLING; Extends THE WALKING DEAD Season Three Order to 16 Episodes

     January 15, 2012

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The Television Critics Association press tour is winding down to a close, and AMC recently held their panel and revealed tidbits on three of its original series. During the cable channel’s press panel, the network announced that its critically lauded flagship series Mad Men will finally return on March 25th. The series will have been off the air for almost a year and a half, but season five will kick off with a two-hour premiere that creator Matthew Weiner describes as a “Mad Men movie.” Hit the jump for more, including the premiere date of The Killing, when audiences will finally find out who killed Rosie Larson, and an episode extension for the third season of The Walking Dead.

the-killing-tv-show-image-10The return of Mad Men is indeed fantastic news for fans of the series, but the network also announced that the polarizing crime drama The Killing will begin its second season on April 1st (the same return-date as HBO’s Game of Thrones). Many fans of the AMC series were disgruntled by the revolving door of red herring subplots and the fact that Rosie Larson’s killer was not exposed in the first season finale. AMC senior VP of programming, production, and digital content revealed that, after considering a number of options, the resolution of Rosie Larson’s killing will be unearthed in the finale of season two.

I wanted to love The Killing – and I quite enjoyed the first few episodes – but it’s not fun to be jerked around multiple times throughout one season. The creators seemed to be relying on the red herring aspect to carry the show, and I’m curious as to how they plan on stretching out the investigation over another season. I’m hopeful that they’ve taken into account some fans’ angry reactions and have some satisfying twists and turns planned, but I remain cautiously optimistic.

While shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad regularly show up on year-end lists and are big winners at awards shows, the drama series aren’t exactly ginormous ratings hits. AMC finally scored their first big commercial win with The Walking Dead, and following a stellar start (ratings-wise) to the second season, the network has decided to extend the season three episode order from 13 to 16 episodes. The show’s second season premiere broke the record for the most watched episode of a dramatic cable series in the coveted 18-49 demographic, and the audience’s hunger for the undead doesn’t seem to be waning. Despite a nasty firing of showrunner Frank Darabont in the midst of production on season two, ratings for the series continue to be up and the episode extension for season three shows that the AMC execs are very, very happy. Season two of The Walking Dead resumes on February 12th.

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