There won’t be any crying lambs after all — at least not on NBC. It was announced Monday that the Peacock Network will cancel its critically-acclaimed series Hannibal after three seasons. The series has garnered a lot of fan support via DVR, On-Demand platforms, and people on social media, but it never received much in the way of terrestrial network ratings. The third season premiered earlier this month, and a summer premiere is never the best sign for a show already teetering on the edge of cancellation.
Creator Bryan Fuller‘s adaptation of the characters in Thomas Harris’ books about suave and manipulative cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter is an international production, getting funding from France, Japan, and Italy (among others), and has always felt like it was perhaps better-suited to cable television or something like Netflix, where its dark and disturbing storylines could thrive in the pay-TV landscape.
The cancellation might actually be a blessing in disguise for Fuller, though. He was only contracted to be the showrunner for three seasons and has already inked a deal to adapt and show-run an already-greenlit TV version of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods for Starz. He has, in the past, spoken about his plan for further seasons to incorporate more of Harris’ novels — such as the incredibly successful Silence of the Lambs — but without NBC support and a new show in the works, that seems extra unlikely now.
In a statement, he praised NBC for their support of Hannibal. “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.”
Now, despite Season 3 being the end for the show on NBC (and what an end, too, since the second half of the 13-episode run is to focus on Harris’ Red Dragon storyline), that doesn’t necessarily spell the end for Hannibal entirely. Since it is so internationally-produced — and so well-loved by a vocal fanbase — it might end up continuing on a cable network, or a service like Amazon Prime or Netflix. We’ll keep you posted on any developments.
Are you sad at the possible end of the disturbing food porn that is Hannibal? Where do you think the series should go, if indeed it goes anywhere? Let us know below!