NBC Calls Time On Hannibal


Ahead of the broadcast of the fourth episode of its third season, NBC has taken the rather unusual stratagem of cancelling Hannibal much to the dismay of its loyal fans.

The prequel (of sorts) to Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs stars Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, taking on the roles of Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter respectively. The third season only recently kicked off on NBC, this abrupt cancellation appears somewhat foolhardy as the move from spring to summer broadcast is not a direct comparison.

The ratings were never strong for Hannibal in the traditional sense, a huge hit on VOD and a massive international following was what got the show two renewals in the first place. Plans are already afoot to find Hannibal a new network or possibly venture into that world wide web thingy we’re all so fond of.

Being cancelled by NBC didn’t do Community any harm, the recent sixth season was a return to form thanks to Yahoo! On the plus side, the third season will still be aired on NBC and the producers have at least three months to set Hannibal up at another table.

Series creator Bryan Fuller thanked his creative team and NBC in a recently released statement.

“NBC has allowed us to craft a television series that no other broadcast network would have dared, and kept us on the air for three seasons despite Cancellation Bear Chow ratings and images that would have shredded the eyeballs of lesser Standards & Practices enforcers. Jen Salke and her team have been fantastic partners and creatively supportive beyond measure. Hannibal is finishing his last course at NBC’s table this summer, but a hungry cannibal can always dine again. And personally, I look forward to my next meal with NBC.”

NBC added;

“We have been tremendously proud of Hannibal over its three seasons. Bryan and his team of writers and producers, as well as our incredible actors, have brought a visual palette of storytelling that has been second to none in all of television—broadcast or cable. We thank Gaumont and everyone involved in the show for their tireless efforts that have made Hannibal an incredible experience for audiences around the world.”

I was surprised Hannibal landed at a Network as its subject matter begged for a cable channel to pick it up. That said, the end results of the first and second season speak for itself with the show delivering a dangerous cocktail of ingredients. Elegant, harrowing, twisted, decadent, insane, nightmarish and fucked up, all this and more is what makes Hannibal compelling TV.

Even though there are grotesque horrors aplenty, Hannibal is a network show and is unable to have bad language or nudity to match its visceral tone. I’m not advocating that you need swearing or bare flesh to enjoy a TV show, but when you can see a man feeding his own face to a dog and all Will can say is fiddlesticks. There’s something wrong with that. I know he didn’t really say fiddlesticks in the episode, but you get what I mean.

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