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First Kill Showrunner Opens Up About Netflix Show's Sudden Cancellation

First Kill Showrunner Opens Up About Netflix Show's Sudden Cancellation Image
  • Posted on 05th Aug, 2022 14:14 PM

First Kill showrunner Felicia D. Henderson addresses the Netflix show's sudden cancellation after season 1, saying the marketing lacked nuance.

First Kill showrunner Felicia D. Henderson speaks out about the show’s sudden cancellation. First Kill starred Sarah Catherine Hook as a teenage vampire named Juliette. Determined to establish herself in her vampire family, Juliette intends to make her first kill. She sets a new girl in town, Calliope (Imani Lewis), as her main target. When Juliette makes the shocking discovery that Calliope is a vampire slayer, however, Juliette finds that this kill may be far more complicated than she originally planned.

First Kill premiered on Netflix on June 10, 2022 with an eight-episode season 1, and it initially found ratings success, gaining over 100 million streams in its first four weeks. Earlier this week, however, the creative team received the disappointing news that First Kill was cancelled after just one season. The main reason cited was the failure to gain the viewership numbers expected of the show. Though it had an initially successful run, First Kill did not maintain the numbers it needed for Netflix to feel confident renewing the show. Thus, any plans to revive the rocky relationship between Juliette and Calliope were abruptly squashed.


Related: First Kill Has Already Doomed Calliope & Juliette's Relationship

Now, Henderson addresses her feelings about the sudden cancellation of the show. According to the Daily Beast, she blames the marketing campaign for First Kill not gaining the broad viewership it deserved. The “art for the initial marketing” for First Kill included a poster with both Calliope and Juliette as the latter bares her fangs and Calliope looks upward. While Henderson found this poster “beautiful,” she was surprised that the marketing campaign did not go on to reveal other intriguing elements in First Kill, including “monsters vs. monster hunters” and “the battle between two powerful matriarchs." Check out the full quote from Henderson below:

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I so enthusiastically signed on to this show [because] it has something for everyone. Strong women leads, supernatural intrigue, an epic, Shakespearean battle between warring families, and a prominently featured Black family in the genre space, something Black viewers crave and a general audience needs to be treated to.

The art for the initial marketing was beautiful. I think I expected that to be the beginning and that the other equally compelling and important elements of the show — monsters vs. monster hunters, the battle between two powerful matriarchs, etc. — would eventually be promoted, and that didn’t happen.

For those who have followed First Kill since the early advertisements, Henderson’s words will strike a chord. As in the sensual posters for the series, the trailer for First Kill focused on the main characters' teenage lesbian vampire romance. While this may have attracted some young queer audiences to the show, it seems that it failed to attract the broader audience, who might have been drawn in by the “supernatural intrigue” and the portrayal of “a Black family in the genre space” through Calliope and her vampire slayer family.

Unfortunately, those who had just seen the trailers for First Kill before giving it a shot were never exposed to these elements. For viewers who appreciated this nuance and complexity of First Kill, this cancellation is certainly confusing. Of course, there is always the possibility, while unlikely, that First Kill season 2 gets picked up by another platform. This has happened with other Netflix shows in the past, including the revival of One Day at a Time. With only one season under its belt, however, it’s unlikely that another platform will feel confident in distributing it. For now, fans will just have to rely on the romance, feuding families, and supernatural elements of First Kill season 1 short-lived legacy.

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More: First Kill Season 1 Ending Explained (In Detail)

Source: The Daily Beast

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