After only three episodes have aired from the current third season, NBC has decided to cancel Hannibal.
The news wasn’t surprising, given that NBC had already banished Hannibal to the summer schedule, and because the show had only delivered soft ratings since its return. Hannibal had amazing critical reviews and a very dedicated fan following (the Fannibals), but it couldn’t reach the broader audience that the big 4 networks need to survive.
An NBC spokesperson said “We have been tremendously proud of Hannibal over its three seasons. Bryan [Fuller] 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.”
For his part, Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller said “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. [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.”
There is still a chance that Hannibal could be renewed for a fourth season. It is financed internationally by Gaumont TV, which means that a cable network or a streaming service could probably pick up Hannibal without paying to produce the entire season by itself. Hannibal already has a pre-established fanbase, which may also make it attractive to any potential new networks.
The remainder of Hannibal Season 3 will continue to run Thursday nights on NBC.
Attention Fannibals: How do you feel about the cancellation of Hannibal? Devour your thoughts and share them in the comment section below!