NBC’s Hannibal will end after three seasons.
The prequel series for the film Silence Of The Lambs from Bryan Fuller has been cancelled by the network. The full 13-episode season three will continue to air on NBC until the finale on August 27. The Hollywood Reporter has reported that there may have been a rights issue at the heart of the cancellation decision. Fuller wanted to introduce Clarice Starling in season four but the rights to that character were unavailable.
Producers Gaumont TV have announced on Twitter that they are looking for a new home for the cult hit. Executive producer Martha DeLaurentiis confirmed that they are exploring all options.
“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 Cancelation Bear Chow ratings and images that would have shredded the eyeballs of lesser Standards & Practices enforcers,” Fuller said in a statement about the cancellation. “[NBC Entertainment exec] 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.”
The drama starring Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen has been praised by critics who appreciate the show’s boundary pushing when it comes to the graphic and visually creative deaths on the show. The series has become a cult hit with a devoted base of fans. Total viewers, however, has been slipping. The season three premiere had 2.57 million viewers then slipped to 1.66 million the following week, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
NBC added in a statement: “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.”
Fans have already taken to social media in an effort to save Hannibal. Producers of the show started the hashtag #SaveHannibal to get fans to tweet their support and urging them to watch all 10 remaining episodes as they air. Fuller can rally fans at Comic-Con where the show is still planning on appearing. Hannibal fans have already started a petition on Change.org to bring the show back.
Shows getting a revival after being cancelled by a network has become common enough to give fans hope that it could be picked up elsewhere. Cult hits Community and Arrested Development are just a couple examples of recent shows that were given a second life.
Even if the show were not revived creator Bryan Fuller is not leaving television anytime soon. Fuller’s adaptation of American Gods was given a straight-to-series order at Starz. The full story regarding the adaptation can be read here.
The remaining episodes will air on NBC on Thursdays at 10 p.m. central.