First Kill fans remain confused as to why their show was killed, despite a solid placement in Netflix’s top 10 and a hundred million watch hours, better than many other shows that to do be renewed. But in this age of streaming and binge-watching and ‘retention’, it turns out that there are many more metrics to consider. And those are the ones who may have killed First Kill in particular.
A new TBEN report says that while overall viewing hours for First Kill were solid, the show struggled with other internal stats that Netflix values that are rarely made public. In this case, First Kill failed to meet the Netflix episode viewing and completion thresholds. As in, a lot of people dropped out of the series as it progressed, implying that there might not be much of an audience for season 2, even if initial the interest was great.
Showrunner Felicia D. Henderson said Netflix told her that the completion rate was specifically not high enough, the main reason for the cancellation:
“Obviously, when I got the call to tell me they weren’t renewing the show because the completion rate wasn’t high enough, I was very disappointed,” Henderson said. “Which showrunner wouldn’t be? A few weeks ago I was told they hoped the completion would get higher. I do not think so.”
I’m strongly reminded of the above scene in Barry’s final season, where Barry’s friend Sally lands her dream project, a show that debuts with high-profile critics and hits the front page of a streaming service. But by the time she can end a conversation with an executive, it’s already canceled because the “algorithm” found that not enough people were watching.
While it doesn’t work precisely so we live in a very specific era of statistics. There might be some wiggle room for people to consider whether a show is insanely rated or has a particularly powerful fan base, but for shows on the bubble like First Kill, it comes down to specific tracking metrics, like not enough people finishing the series, audience scores doomed to be.
The showrunner also blames Netflix marketing for focusing too much on the lesbian vampire/hunter dynamic and not enough on other elements of the show in additional comments, but I’m not convinced that would be the deciding factor here. have been. Also, one thing that worked against First Kill was that it generally wasn’t…very good. I mean, that’s a matter of opinion, of course, but a lot of critics seemed to think that way. That said, low critical scores have never stopped Netflix from revamping things before, especially with higher ratings, but here it is that hidden metric, series completion, that First Kill did. Hollywood is a ruthless company, always has been, always will be.
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