NBC‘s new Hannibal Lecter drama Hannibal will skip an episode of its 13-episode order. The episode, titled “Ceuf”, originally slated for next Thursday, won’t air. Instead the following episode, “Coquilles”, will run in its place, with “Ceuf” shelved indefinitely. NBC quietly sent out an alert with the scheduling change on Monday, several hours before the Boston Marathon bombing, so the decision to pull the episode had no connection to this week’s violence in Boston. In fact, the premise of the discarded episode is more closely related with the December Newtown massacre. Per NBC’s official description, In “Ceuf”, “a string of family murders takes place and Will (Hugh Dancy) determines they were conducted by each of the families’ missing children, who were abducted and brainwashed into killing their old families for their sinister “new family.”
Such storyline would be questionable in any social environment, but for what it’s worth, Hannibal writer/executive producer told Variety the episode was filmed before the Newtown tragedy. “Whenever you [write] a story and look at the sensational aspects of storytelling, you think, ‘This is interesting metaphorically, and this is interesting as social commentary,” he said, stressing that it was his idea to pull the episode out of sensitivity to recent events. Hannibal, from Gaumont International TV, has garnered mostly positive reviews. The drama dipped in the ratings last night after solid firsts two airings.