More than two weeks after its upfront presentation, NBC has decided the fate of its last remaining bubble series, giving drama Hannibal a 13-episode second-season renewal for a return next midseason or later. The series, based on the characters from Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon, was developed for television by Bryan Fuller, who executive produces. “We’re so proud of Bryan’s vision for a show that is richly textured, psychologically complex, and very compelling,” NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said. “There are many great stories still to be told.”
Hannibal got off to a solid ratings start and was in serious contention for an early renewal. The numbers eventually tapered off, and NBC put the renewal decision on hold. Hannibal was well reviewed, and there overtures from at least one cable network in case NBC passed on a second season. Additionally, Amazon, which carries repeats of the show, had expressed serious interest in taking it on. Hannibal, from Gaumont International Television, is produced under a different model at a license fee that is a fraction of what dramas with similar production values cost.
Through its eight original telecasts to date, Hannibal is averaging a 2.0/6 share in adults 18-49 and 4.7 million viewers overall in “most current” Nielsen numbers. According to NBC, Hannibal is the youngest drama on ABC, CBS and NBC, with a median age of 45.7. It’s also an upscale drama, indexing at a 111 among adults 18-49 living in homes with $100K+ incomes. Additionally, Hannibal is heavily time-shifted, with its 18-49 rating growing by 75% going from next-day “live plus same day” ratings to “live plus seven day.”
Hannibal stars Hugh Dancy as expert criminal profiler Will Graham, who has a unique ability to peer into the mind of serial killers. Mads Mikkelsen stars as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist who is helping with the cases and, unbeknownst to Will, is a serial killer himself. Laurence Fishburne stars as Jack Crawford, the head of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit. Caroline Dhavernas and Hettienne Park also co-star. In addition to Fuller, Martha De Laurentiis, Katie O’Connell, Elisa Roth, Stephen Lightfoot, Sidonie Dumas and Christophe Riandee also serve as executive producers. The series is produced by Gaumont in association with Sony Pictures Television Networks as well as Dino De Laurentiis Co. and Living Dead Guy Prods. Hannibal has been a strong ratings performer for SPTN’s AXN channel throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific.