NBC has finally taken the long expected plunge and cancelled the beautifully twisted, smart, and atmospheric Hannibal. While the move is a tragedy, viewers have likely been counting their lucky stars that NBC allowed Hannibal to get away with both its disturbing content and such a niche viewership for as long as three seasons. Low ratings was the main reason for cancellation, with numbers dipping down to 1.66 million last week during the NBA finals. We should probably count ourselves lucky. If Hannibal had been on any other network – say FOX for example – we probably would only have gotten fourteen glorious episodes before it was viciously torn from us.
As it is, NBC plans on running the remaining episodes of season three before the show comes to a close in August. Where the show might go from there is another question entirely. Its clear that showrunner Bryan Fuller has plans for a fourth season mapped out and that should another network or streaming service want to pick the show up Fuller would be more than happy to continue. The question is, who comes in to pick it up? In the lead of likely candidates is Amazon, considering they already hold the streaming rights to the show, but other likely suspects include Netflix and various cable networks.
While unlikely to save the show on NBC, a fan petition for a fourth season was started immediately following news of the cancellation and currently has over 11,000 signatures. It is, however, excellent proof of a dedicated following that might persuade other sources to pick up the show. In the meantime, Fuller will have his hands full as the co-showrunner with Michael Green of Showtime’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”. Until further news, all we can do is pray for the television gods to be kind and that Hannibal gets a second life somewhere soon.