NBC has made it official, opting not to pick up a fourth season of its well received drama Hannibal. Despite good reviews and devoted cult following, Hannibal could not grow into a broad network show. The writing had been on the wall, with NBC opting to hold Season 3 for the summer, where the drama has delivered soft ratings. (It most recently logged a 0.5 Live+Same Day in adults 18-49.) Likely more suited for cable, Hannibal has been solid on DVR and on-demand and has done very well on social media but that was not enough to sustain the show on a Big 4 net. The third and now final season will air in its entirety in the Thursday 10 PM slot, and the show will still present at Comic-Con as planned. (UPDATE: There is an effort to find a new home for Hannibal as part of a #SaveHannibal campaign led by executive producers Bryan Fuller and Martha De Laurentiis. Here is our story.)
Hannibal creator Fuller, who has no deal to run the show beyond Season 3, just landed his next series, American Gods at Starz, an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s contemporary fantasy novel, which Fuller adapted with Michael Green. Still, he was expected to stay involved had Hannibal continued. In light of the cancellation news, Fuller was gracious, praising NBC for its support.
“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,” Fuller said. “(Entertainment president) 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, based on Thomas Harris’ characters, stars Hugh Dancy as Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. It is produced by Gaumont International Television.
“We have been tremendously proud of Hannibal over its three seasons,” NBC said in a statement. “Bryan 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.”