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Killing finale ratings

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The ratings for the first season finale of AMC’s The Killing are…

Actually, we changed our minds. We’ll tell you how the finale performed next season. How do you like that? Aren’t you surprised?

We kid. Not all of us can get away with messing with TV fans like that. Many viewers were infuriated with Sunday’s finale that refused to reveal who killed Rosie Larsen after being teased with red herrings all season. EW’s own Ken Tucker was disappointed, and AOL’s Maureen Ryan called it the worst season finale ever. As for the numbers, the episode came in above average — 2.3 million viewers, though still down aways from the show’s giant premiere.

Been thinking about the finale controversy. AMC and showrunner Veena Sud didn’t necessarily get themselves into trouble by choosing to continue the Larson storyline into season 2, but by keeping that fact so tightly under wraps that their decision became the season finale’s biggest shock. Viewers want to be surprised by what happens inside a story, not by the structure of the seasons. If what happened Sunday night was last week’s penultimate episode, nobody would complain. Or if AMC had told the media to let their readers know ahead of time the finale would not solve the case, fans would still grumble, but they probably wouldn’t be throwing around angry terms like “bait and switch.” Viewers love to be tricked by a smart story. On Sunday, they felt tricked by the network. Of course, if season two comes back at full strength next year, the network could prove that all the whining simply means fans are passionate about the show and that the strategy, though infuriating to some, was effective.

Read more:

‘The Killing’ producer defends finale, talks season 2

Did ‘The Killing’ finale satisfy or frustrate you?

Is ‘The Killing’ the new ‘Heroes’?