First Kill fans are still confused as to why their show was canceled despite its strong placement in the top 10 on Netflix and a hundred million hours of viewing, better than many other shows out there. do renew. But in this age of streaming, binge-watching, and “retention,” it turns out there are a lot more metrics to consider. And those are the ones that may have killed First Kill, in particular.
A new report from Deadline says that while First Kill’s overall viewing hours were strong, the show struggled with other internal metrics that Netflix places a high value on, which are rarely made public. In this case, First Kill did not meet the thresholds set by Netflix for viewing and completing episodes. As in, a lot of people left the series as it went on, implying that there might not be much viewership for season 2, even if initial interest was high.
Showrunner Felicia D. Henderson said Netflix told her the completion rate specifically wasn’t high enough, the main reason for the cancellation:
“When I got the call to say they weren’t going to renew the show because the completion rate wasn’t high enough, of course I was very disappointed,” Henderson said. “What showrunner wouldn’t be? They had told me a couple of weeks ago that they expected completion to be higher. I suppose not.
I very much remember the scene earlier in Barry’s final season, where Barry’s girlfriend Sally gets her dream project, a show that debuts to high critical scores and lands on the cover of a streaming service. But by the time he can finish a conversation with an executive, it has already been canceled because the “algorithm” judged that there weren’t enough people watching.
As long as it doesn’t work exactly Well, we’re living in a very specific era of metrics. There can be some wiggle room for humans when considering whether a show has rave reviews or has an especially strong fan base, but for shows in the bubble like First Kill, it comes down to specific tracking metrics like not enough people watching. finish the series, audience scores be damned.
The showrunner, in additional comments, also blames Netflix’s marketing for focusing too much on the lesbian vampire/hunter dynamic and not enough on other elements of the show, but I’m not convinced that was the deciding factor here. One thing that worked against First Kill was also that it wasn’t…very good overall. I mean, that’s a matter of opinion, of course, but a lot of critics seemed to feel that way. That said, low critic scores have never stopped Netflix from renewing things before, especially with higher viewership numbers, but here, it’s that hidden metric, series completion, that First Kill did. Hollywood is a cutthroat business, always has been, always will be. .
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