NBC has announced that it is cancelling the acclaimed drama series “Hannibal” after three seasons.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the network said in a statement, “We have been tremendously proud of Hannibal over its three seasons. [Showrunner Bryan Fuller] 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.”
The decision comes amid an issue concerning rights, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Developer and executive producer Bryan Fuller wanted to bring in the character of Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Forster in 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs) in season four, but the rights to the character were not available. Producers Gaumont TV are finding other networks to host the series. Executive Producer Martha DeLaurentiis confirmed the same in a post on Twitter.
In a statement, Fuller said, “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.”
Hannibal returned for season three on June 4 with 2.57 million viewers. But competing against the NBA finals, the show suffered a setback with 1.66 million viewers tuning in the following week.
Hannibal, starring Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, has been critically acclaimed. Fuller’s creativity of showing graphic deaths as part of his attempt to push the boundaries of broadcast television further has been praised highly by critics.
Despite receiving positive reviews and ratings – 8.7/10 on IMDb and 97% on Rotten Tomatoes – the show couldn’t gather a wide audience. The transformation of the show, which began as a criminal drama, has been commendable and praiseworthy.
The show’s 10 episodes of the current season will be aired by NBC, with the season finale – and, as it turns out, the series finale – slated to be aired on September 3.
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