Stay of Execution for The Killing

Season one of SoHo’s The Killing has been quietly withdrawn from sale after TV3 objected to its March 14 release on Blu-ray and DVD.

The network owns the murder mystery through its output deal with 20th Television, which distributes Fox Television Studios productions.

But under the terms of the contract, Sky TV can opt to buy one series a year to screen first on a premium channel.

However, that caveat does not extend to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment being able to release The Killing on Blu-ray and DVD after its SoHo season but ahead of its network TV broadcast.

Both MediaWorks, which owns TV3, and TVNZ are jumpy about TV shows being released ahead of broadcast on DVD — even if they’ve been sitting on the shelf for years (as with MediaWorks and Breaking Bad) or are belatedly scheduled late-night (as with TVNZ and Emma and The Tudors).

TV3 has yet to confirm when it will air The Killing but obviously still regards it as a prime property despite its exposure on Soho, where it rated satisfactorily for pay-TV but on numbers that an ad-driven, free-to-air channel couldn’t sustain.

Given TV3 has been modestly rewarded for sticking with another edgy cable-TV drama, Homeland, on Monday nights, as a thinking viewer’s alternative to pulp (TV One’s Criminal Minds) and soap (TV2’s Desperate Housewives), chances are The Killing will be its natural successor.

If so, that means The Killing Blu-ray wouldn’t go on sale until July or August at the earliest.

However, the Blu-ray is out in the UK and Australia for those who don’t subscribe to SoHo (where season two starts next month) or can’t wait until TV3 drip-feeds it over winter; it’s not clear if the US release is region-locked.

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2 Responses to “Stay of Execution for The Killing”

  1. Very poor from TV3. Looks like many people will import from the UK now. Most Blu-rays are cheaper to buy from the UK than in New Zealand, anyway.

  2. This is a perfect example of why we will never see another company setting up a Internet TV system in NZ. The locals will not allow them to show the programmes that they may have playing rights for.

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