First Kill is the latest Netflix series. The LGBTQ star-studded romance about vampires and monster hunters was canceled by streaming, even though it broke into the top 10 at launch. Showrunner Felicia D. Henderson has addressed the issue, explaining that it all depends on completion rates.
“When I got the call to tell me they weren’t renewing the show because the completion rate wasn’t high enough, of course, I was very disappointed,” Henderson told the daily beast (opens in new tab)“What show host wouldn’t be? Someone told me a few weeks ago that they wished the degree would be higher. I don’t think it was.”
Netflix measures completion rates as 90% of viewers watching a movie or series. Streamers aren’t releasing figures for this, but it’s thought to be a big factor in whether they’ll renew the show or commission a sequel. So, even though “First Kill” was watched nearly 50 million hours in its first week, it didn’t rank high enough to get a renewal.
Henderson also explained that there may be problems with Netflix marketing the show as a simple lesbian vampire story. While she thought “the initial marketing was beautiful,” the show’s host explained that she wanted subsequent publicity to focus on the nuances of the show.
“I think I expect this to be a start,” she said. “And other equally compelling and important elements of the show — monsters versus monster hunters, battles between two powerful matriarchs, etc. — would end up being elevated, and that didn’t happen.”
However, despite the cancellation, the show’s producers praised Netflix for giving the series an opportunity. “They licensed the IP, paid for the pilot script, and gave it a healthy production budget,” she said.
For what’s coming next, check out our guides to the best Netflix shows and the best Netflix movies.