NBC has announced that they are cancelling the critically acclaimed psychological crime drama Hannibal. The show is currently airing its third season and apparently the network is not interested in bringing it back for a fourth. The show was shifted to a Summer run for its third year and bowed at a series low 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic based on the overnights. It then dropped further in subsequent weeks apparently leading the network to their decision to part ways with it. Hannibal has had low ratings since it first debuted in 2013, but it also has international financing backing it that had previously kept it viable for NBC. But apparently the network decided that the further erosion to its numbers this year was too much. However, the show’s production company De Lautentiis Co. has indicated that it could move to another venue. They sent out the following tweet today after the cancellation announcement: “#Hannibal was always in danger of cancellation due to subject matter, and others have expressed interest in partnering with us”. And the show has been trending worldwide on Twitter since today’s announcement which makes sense seeing as it has always had an active fanbase online. Showrunner and executive producer Bryan Fuller made the following statement after the cancellation:
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.
It would appear that there are no hard feelings over the cancellation, especially considering its perennially low ratings and the fact that it pushed the boundaries of broadcast network television. But Hannibal would make a better fit on one of the cable channels or streaming services and its international backers (should they stay onboard) would likely make it an economical acquisition. The show has also been a critical darling, so that could help draw further interest to keep the show going.
De Lautentiis Co. assured fans that “the remaining 10 episodes of S3 will air”, and after that it will be wait and see on a fourth season.