Today, Henderson went public about her thoughts regarding why the show wasn’t renewed for a second season. First Kill is executively produced by Emma Roberts and follows the short story written by Victoria “V. E.” Schwab.
First Kill follows vampires and vampire slayers. Teen vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook) goes on the mission to make her first kill so she can take her place among her powerful vampire family. She targets the new girl in town named Calliope (Imani Lewis), but much to Juliette’s surprise, Calliope is a vampire hunter, from a family of celebrated slayers. They quickly realize this won’t be an easy kill for either of them.
The series description details:
Falling in love is tricky for teens Juliette and Calliope because one’s a vampire and the other’s a vampire hunter — and both are ready to make their first kill.
In the series, teenage vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook) sets out to make her first kill so she can take her place among a powerful vampire family. She sets her sights on a new girl in town named Calliope (Imani Lewis). But much to Juliette’s surprise, Calliope is a vampire hunter, from a family of celebrated slayers. Both find that the other won’t be so easy to kill and, unfortunately, way too easy to fall for.
“I so enthusiastically signed on to this show [because] it has something for everyone,” Henderson said in an interview today with the Daily Beast, “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.”
Henderson shares that while the promotion for the show appeared compelling, it was a bit reductive.
“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.”
The series debuted on June 10 and it made the streamer’s weekly Top 10 for English-language TV series in its first three days. It ranked No. 7 with 30.3M hours viewed. It peaked at No. 3 in its first full week of release with 48.8M hours viewed, trailing Stranger Things Season 4 and Peaky Blinders Season 6. The series effortlessly garnered 100M hours viewed in its first 4 weeks on the platform.
“The show is kick-ass and we were in the top five globally,” Henderson shared. “And domestically for three of the first four weeks. I was very hopeful [of a second season].”
Henderson also credited Netflix for giving the show a shot in the first place.
“They licensed the IP, paid for a pilot script, and gave it a healthy production budget,” she acknowledged.
Henderson executive produced First Kill with Schwab, Roberts and Karah Preiss through Belletrist Productions.