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Revival of ‘The Killing’ Shows Big Shift in TV Financing

On Friday, Netflix released what is being billed as the final season of the bleak murder mystery series “The Killing.”

The show has a murky history of its own: it was cancelled after its second season on AMC, then picked up in a co-financing arrangement through Netflix and AMC, then cancelled again on AMC, only to be brought back again for a last Netflix-only hurrah. The unusual sequence of events illustrates how the rise of Internet television services is changing the way TV shows are financed and making it easier to keep even weak programs on the air.

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The strong international market and the subscription video fees mean that a co-financed show can often be taken to air with a smaller licensing fee and without the studio taking on a big deficit.