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In the wake of the tragic Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent chase to catch the terrorists that has been unfolding this morning, some networks have decided to pull particularly violent and grisly episodes of dramas on television. One of the newest programs to opt to hold off on airing or pull an episode of television from the schedule entirely is NBC’s Hannibal.
Hannibal was expected to air its fourth episode next Thursday, but on Friday Variety noted the new episode will no longer air. Since the fourth episode was supposed to feature Molly Shannon’s character teaching children how to kill other children, NBC’s decision to pull the grisly episode is not particularly a surprise. Instead, NBC says Hannibal will continue directly into episode 5 next week.
Since the drama is serialized, continuity questions have obviously arisen, but the network says the missing episode should not affect the storyline at all. In fact, critics so far have only been privy to episodes 3 and 5 and not episode 4, anyway. Series creator Bryan Fuller was directly involved with the decision to jump directly into episode 5, finding airing episode 4 to be distasteful, considering the “cultural climate.” This means Hannibal’s Season 1 finale has been pushed up to June 20.
Other than Hannibal, several other programs have pushed back new episodes of dramas. ABC’s Castle has pushed back an episode that was supposed to cover Beckett and a bomb and will air a different episode in its place next week. Additionally, another episode of NBC program Revolution has been rescheduled and the finale of that series has been pushed back. We’ll let you know if any other networks make scheduling changes in the wake of the tragedy.