Rogerebert.com recently said that “on every level, Bryan Fuller and the team behind [the Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen-starring] Hannibal are elevating what we should expect from network television.” And so, inevitably, Hannibal was cancelled by NBC.
In the midst of its third season with terrible ratings (the second episode in Season 3 got a mere 1.66 million views) but glowing reviews, NBC announced today that the season’s September 3 conclusion would also be the series’ conclusion. According to The Hollywood Reporter, there’s a possibility that the cancellation could also be rights related; one of their sources alleged that Fuller wanted to bring Jodie Foster’s (and less memorably, Julianne Moore’s) Clarice Starling character into Season 4, but that the show was Clarice-policed by unavailable rights.
Fuller issued a statement, confirming that this is really the end:
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 Cancelation Bear Chow ratings and images that would have shredded the eyeballs of lesser Standards & Practices enforcers. Jen Salke [the entertainment exec at NBC] 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.
And of course the euthanizing forces at NBC likewise issued a kind statement, saying:
We have been tremendously proud of Hannibal over its three seasons. Bryan 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.
For Fuller, this loss comes with some recent good news: the greenlighting of his TV series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods on Starz, on which he’ll be a co-showrunner.
Update: Bryan Fuller is currently asking people to #SaveHannibal, suggesting he may be hopeful it’ll be picked up elsewhere.