‘First Kill’ Showrunner Blames Netflix’s Marketing Strategy For Supernatural Drama’s Cancellation

Although you may not have seen it, if you are a social media user, you have probably at least heard of First murder now. Netflix’s supernatural drama launched on the streaming service in June and quickly created a vocal following online, but those fans became particularly vocal earlier this week when the series was canceled after just eight episodes. Now, First murderThe showrunner of expresses his disappointment.

In an interview with The Daily Beast this week, Felicia D. Henderson – whose other genre credits include Fringe and those of Netflix The Punisher series – cited Netflix’s marketing efforts as one of the reasons the show may not have found a large enough audience for the streamer to keep it for a second season.

“The initial marketing art was beautiful,” Henderson said. “I think I expected this to be the start and for the other equally compelling and important elements of the series – monsters versus monster hunters, the battle between two powerful matriarchs, etc. – would eventually be promoted, and that didn’t happen. .”

Created by best-selling genre author VE Schwab, based on his short story of the same name, the series follows Juliet (Sarah Catherine Hook), a member of a powerful vampire dynasty who has reached adulthood and must undertake do “first kill”. and take her rightful place in her family. Things get complicated when she falls in love with Calliope (Imani Lewis), a new girl in town who happens to be a member of a powerful family of monster hunters. their origins pit them against each other, Juliet and Calliope can’t deny their feelings, even though their connection could spark a conflict far bigger than the two of them.

The show debuted two months ago to strong early viewership numbers, cracking the Top 10 and, according to Deadline, peaking at number three in its first week, behind Netflix’s only perennial hits. stranger things and Peaky Blinders, both of which had just released new sets of episodes. According to Henderson, however, the big test for Netflix brass wasn’t how many people watched the show, but how many people chose to finish it.

“When I got the call to say they weren’t renewing the show because the completion rate wasn’t high enough, of course I was very disappointed,” Henderson said. “What showrunner wouldn’t be?” I was told a few weeks ago that they were hoping for completion to get higher. I suppose not.

Fans have spent the past few days trying to rally support for the show on social media under hashtags like #RenewFirstKill, and a Change.org petition for a second season has garnered several thousand signatures so far. That might not be enough to change the streamer’s mind, but for now, Henderson is more focused on praising her cast and celebrating the time she spent working on the show, and on acknowledgment of the work Netflix did initially to get the series made.

“They licensed the IP, paid for a pilot script, and gave it a healthy production budget,” she said. “The creative team was very supportive of us when we were shooting the show in difficult conditions, before there was ‘vaccines for all’ in Atlanta, a very crowded production facility.”

Henderson added, “I think this cast is some of the most talented I’ve ever worked with. And their chemistry? Fire, sure. The show is awesome and we were in the top five globally and nationally for three of the first four weeks. I had a lot of hope.

If you want to see for yourself what the buzz is about, the eight episodes of First murderThe first season of is now streaming on Netflix.

Looking for more supernatural drama? Peacock’s Vampire Academy premieres Thursday, September 15 on Peacock.

William L. Hart