NBC's 'Hannibal' canceled: Will it be brought back on another platform?

NBC recently canceled the acclaimed series, with low ratings reportedly contributing to the decision to axe the show. Could 'Hannibal' return on another network or streaming service?

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
'Hannibal' stars Mads Mikkelsen.

The NBC drama “Hannibal” has reportedly been canceled by NBC. 

The show is based on the book series by Thomas Harris which was also the basis for the Oscar-winning 1991 film “The Silence of the Lambs” as well as various follow-up movies, including the 2001 movie “Hannibal” and 2002’s “Red Dragon.” 

“Hannibal” is currently airing its third season and stars Mads Mikkelsen of “Casino Royale” as Dr. Hannibal Lecter as well as Hugh Dancy of “Martha Marcy May Marlene” as Will Graham, who works for the FBI. 

According to the Associated Press, low ratings contributed to the cancelation. “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,” Fuller said in a statement.

So here’s what fans likely want to know: is the show really canceled? In an era when acclaimed shows are frequently brought back by online streaming services – the recently canceled “The Mindy Project” was brought back by Hulu after Fox axed it and NBC’s comedy “Community” resurfaced on Yahoo Screen, among other resurrected shows – fans are increasingly hoping that cancelation isn’t the end. “Hannibal” executive producer Martha DeLaurentiis tweeted,

Possible obstacles to “Hannibal” reappearing somewhere else? As Aymar Jean Christian, assistant professor in the department of communication studies at Northwestern University, pointed out in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor, most of the shows that have been revived are comedies. “Comedies are just a little bit cheaper to make [and] have dedicated fan bases,” he said.

In addition, Hollywood Reporter writer Lesley Goldberg cited unnamed sources in stating that rights could have been a factor behind the decision to cancel “Hannibal.” The sources said Fuller suggested bringing in the iconic character Clarice Starling, portrayed by Jodie Foster in “Silence of the Lambs,” for the show’s new season, but that the rights may not have been secured.

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