Hannibal Was Cancelled By NBC

Ambition will get you nowhere. At least that seems to be how it goes when it comes to the TV world, as the lovely and lushly horrifying drama Hannibal will apparently be coming to an end after only three seasons on NBC, which has put a fork in the low-rated fan favorite series. Why wasn’t anybody watching this amazingness?!?

Sadly, those who adore Hannibal with all their heart and soul (and rib meat) can hardly bring too harsh a judgment onNBC, which has kept the show on the air for three seasons despite some horrendously low ratings. Though it has been one of the most consistently acclaimed series on TV – especially on the broadcast spectrum – Hannibal saw its ratings take gradual downfalls each season. Its first two episodes brought in over 4 million viewers, but it never quite managed to make it there again, and most of its episodes saw less than 3 million tuning in.

Season 3 was apparently the last straw, with the June 4 premiere getting watched by just 2.5 million people, with the second and third episodes bringing in just 1.6 million viewers. No network will gladly put forth big bucks and a prime Thursday night timeslot to something without a dependable core audience, no matter how good people say it is. And man, it was great.

Here’s how creator Bryan Fuller humorously and wisely showed his appreciation in a statement, according to TVLine.

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... 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.

Fuller fans finally got to see the visionary TV vet have a self-created show get to three seasons, which sadly didn’t happen with Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies or Wonderfalls. Season 3 of Hannibal, which thankfully isn’t getting pulled from NBC’s schedule (yet), will finally delve into the Red Dragon storyline from Thomas Harris’ novels, which should be outstanding. And fans were hoping that rights issues between NBCUniversal and MGM could get worked out so that the iconic FBI agent Clarice Starling could make her small screen debut. As it stands, we may never get to see that, but apparently the production company DeLaurentiis Co. is exploring their options.

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For now, though, we’re just going to have to put all of our Bryan Fuller eggs in the glorious basket that is Starz’s upcoming adaptation of American Gods, which ain’t too shabby at all. But to have them both on their air at the same time would have been amazing. Come on, Netflix or Amazon, sink your teeth into Hannibal soon, will you?

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.