Why It Might Be a Good Thing if NBC Cancels 'Hannibal'
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Why It Might Be a Good Thing if NBC Cancels 'Hannibal'

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | May 2, 2014 | Comments ()


The ratings of NBC’s Hannibal are not particularly good for network television, even on a Friday night. Around 3.5 million people tune in each week, and its 1.1 in the 18-49 demo is not exactly inspiring. Still, as Bryan Fuller told Digital Spy, he is “very confident” that the series will be picked up for a third season, and viewers best hope so, not just because we love watching Hannibal but, as Fuller also notes, the second-season finale ends on a cliffhanger. “We end season two in such a strange way - boy, I would be pissed [if that were the end]! We don’t quite land the plane, we leave the plane in the air.”

Fuller notes that the creatives at NBC are fully behind the show, although the ad and sales teams are not so keen on it because it’s not exactly raking in money. But, and here’s the key: Fuller and the Hannibal producers are also shopping it around to other outlets as a Plan B, which is smart if only because NBC is not going to want to lose a show that ends up being popular on Netflix or Amazon, where 3.5 million, the archive of the show’s first two seasons, and the ability to binge-watch it make it a very attractive series, especially with all the critical acclaim behind it.

But honestly, if Netflix is a seriously viable option, I hope NBC does let it go, because I’d much rather watch the show over a shorter period of time, and in a format that allows the language and nudity to match the level of violence. It’s kind of silly, isn’t it, that the series can show a dead woman being pulled out of a horse’s belly — and all the innards that that entails — but it has to work to ensure that the woman’s nipple isn’t revealed.

So, I say: Go ahead and cancel it NBC. Let Amazon pick it up. Or Netflix. Or AMC. Or even Starz. It’d be a nice hit for any of those outlets, we would get the full benefit of Bryan Fuller’s vision, we could avoid the Friday night broadcasts and the commercial breaks, we could watch it in a more compressed time period, and we wouldn’t have to worry about when it would show up on the primetime schedule again.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Aleem


  • Rotem Rusak

    No, people need to stop this. TV shows get picked up LITERALLY .000000001% of the time. We have the base in place, the social media, the outreach, not to mention a budget that other places might not be able to provide. Netflix would not be able to handle all of that, it just doesn';t have the cash or the sponsors. People don't realize how much NBC DOES ACTUALLY provide for.

    Unless HBO wants to promise right now they want it and will provide for it, cancellation will spell nothing but bad.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    But the production of Hannibal is notably less than what a normal network show costs, plus it's also paid for by Gaumont. NBC is not shilling as much as you think.

  • Rotem Rusak

    I'm aware of that and that, and still think it has a bigger budget currently than it would stand to have on Netflix.

  • Enrique del Castillo

    Nipples? You do know this isn't Game of Thrones right?

    Seriously , though, I think a better network/netflix could treat this series as it should. Anyway, even with their tight budget, Fuller knows how to make a very compelling show.

  • John W

    You ain't lying about the critics loving it. It has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes new TV section.

  • Guest

    Why stop at Hannibal? A Netflix Community would be something I'd totally love to see...

  • el_mediocre

    It has been my hope early on that this show takes the same path Southland did. Not convinced that NBC knows what to do with their more unique, quality products... and yes, I'm still nursing a grudge over Life.

  • While I agree with the overall sentiment here (go ahead, cancel it - it'd be great on Netflix or Amazon), my fear is this: what if that doesn't work out? How many times has a show been cancelled and been immediately picked up by another channel/source? I guess I'm saying that if NBC does let it go, I hope Fuller already has a deal locked up with someone else.

  • A recent example was Cougar Town's leap from ABC to TBS. Has seemed to work out pretty well for all involved.

  • Pat

    But there's also Happy Endings. That cancellation still hurts.

  • Ah, good call. I've never watched Cougar Town, so I didn't even know it switched networks.

  • phase10

    Except for those of us who don't have TBS. :(

    No Penny Can for us.

  • RilesSD

    Exactly. I've got to see Fuller's full vision for the series. While I'd love for this to move to a "better place" it would break my heart if it gets cancelled and not picked up.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    Fuller does note that NBC views the show as a "prestige project," though, which is a nice way of saying "this cancels out all the shit shows we've programmed during the week before Hannibal comes on."

    My beef with NBC keeping it versus other networks or companies picking Hannibal is money. It's been noted several times that the show is very tightly budgeted, which also means no PR money either. Wonder why the show has less viewers than expected? Maybe because it's not been slathered on every bus and wall in metropolitan areas. No PR also means no awards, and awards are also a path for public recognition. A network or company willing to pony up will definitely see results, and this is a lesson NBC refuses to learn.

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