Vampire Academy and One of Us Is Lying were instances of good shows, bad timing, the head of Peacock content has explained in the wake of the YA series’ recent cancellations.
Late last month, Peacock cancelled the teen mystery drama One of Us Is Lying — which was based on Karen M. McManus’ book of the same name — after two seasons, and on the same day decided that Vampire Academy, which Vampire Diaries Universe vet Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre adapted from Richelle Mead’s book series, would get no Season 2. (Days later, Peacock also decided that Dead Day, a comic book adaptation which would have reunited Plec and TVD‘s Kevin Williamson, was not moving forward.)
As a guest this week on our sister site THR’s TV’s Top 5 podcast, Susan Rovner, Chairman of Entertainment Content for all of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, was asked about spiking Vampire Academy, as well as One of Us Is Lying.
“Both One of Us Is Lying and Vampire Academy I hold up as excellent, quality shows,” Rovner said. “I think Julie Plec is really, truly one of the best showrunners and she did a phenomenal, phenomenal job on [the latter]. I’m really, really proud of it.
“The takeaway is it was too soon to put those shows up on the platform,” Rovner shared. “I think what we realized is we have to get the parents [watching Peacock] before we get the teens. And I’m really hoping that once we get the parents with shows like Poker Face and shows like [the newly renewed] Traitors, that we will be able to do a show like Vampire Academy a few years from now. Unfortunately, the timing really wasn’t right and we didn’t have the scale yet to support bringing in a young adult audience for that show.”
Dead Day was a different circumstance, however. Rovner said that while it was “a dream” to reunite Plec and Williamson, “looking at what we thought would work on the platform, we ultimately didn’t think that Dead Day fit it.”