Apparently deaf to the to the increasing negative reviews from critics - and all of the audience members who have declared that they were dropping the show once we figure out who killed Rosie Larsen - AMC has decided to renew The Killing for a second season. Now, given that the show had the second highest premiere beyond the Walking Dead, and has maintained a viewership of around 2 million - higher than Breaking Bad's numbers ever were, and better than Mad Men's first three seasons - it makes sense from a entirely fiscal sense why AMC would choose to renew this show. But looking at this from a artistic decision, it makes far less sense.
Part of the reason for analyzing the pilots for this project in the order that I did – apart from making sure that I could deal with obvious issues of how one person's approach to pilots changes over time – was that by putting Buffy and Angel back-to-back, it opens the floor to speak about pitch pilots. Pitch pilots, as their name implies, are meant solely to pitch a show to various networks; they serve as a quick snapshot of what the show is about. Not all pilots are pitched to a wide swath of networks; it’s also very common for a network to work with a writer/producer to develop a series, and go straight into filming a full pilot that will often work as the first episode. These pilots are often known as “put pilots”, those that come attached with a financial penalty to the network of the pilot isn’t picked up, thus almost guaranteeing a pick up. But pitch pilots, without such financial backing, have to temper their expectations. As such, pitch pilots tend to run under ten minutes in length, and they favor tone over story, a characteristic that can get shows into trouble during the early runs if nobody’s careful.