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'The Killing' Creator Tells FCC Open Internet Encourages Diversity

26 Feb, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos in "The Killing"

Veena Sud says the percentage of women headlining shows this season on the Web is double that of traditional television

As the Federal Communications Commission Feb. 26 met to vote on whether to reclassify the Internet as a utility, commissioners heard from proponents of such a move, including Veena Sud, creator of dark thriller “The Killing.” The series starred Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman.

Sud lauded the Internet and Netflix for helping bring the four-season series to a conclusion after AMC Networks canceled the show at the end of the second season after ratings plummeted. AMC continued broadcasting a third season when Fox Television Studios, which produced “The Killing,” shopped it to alternative channels, including subscription streaming services.

“Netflix took over the show in its entirety and we were able to end the series as it was intended, all because the Internet has opened up competition and widened the playing field,” Sud said.

It should be noted that AMC and Netflix had an existing content license agreement for “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead,” a reality that helped further a fourth and final season with the SVOD pioneer.

Sud said the final season of “The Killing” enabled the writers to create “some of our best stories” that she said would not have seen the light of day without an open Internet. Topics included the death penalty, teenage homelessness and drug addiction.

“I’m so grateful we had that opportunity,” she said.

More importantly, Sud said the Internet has led to greater content creation opportunities outside of structured Hollywood. She said shows like Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” and Amazon Prime Instant Video’s “Transparent” are giving voice to worlds, people and experiences never before seen on television.”

Sud said such shows have come about because they don’t “require” permission from an established Hollywood system that she says dictates who, where and how stores can be told.

“Because of the open Internet, we are seeing the free market ideal work as Adam Smith intended, with increasing competition, which rewards both consumers and creators,” she said.

The creator added that while little more than 20% of comedies and dramas on traditional television this season have a woman at the helm, almost 40% of series on Web platforms will be run by women.

“However, this will not continue without strong rules that help ensure that markets work properly, meaning in the public interest,” Sud said.

The FCC voted in favor of reclassifying the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

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