We learned back in January that NBC would be airing Season 3 of Hannibal this Summer and that Richard Armitage, who had the starring role as Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit film trilogy, was joining the show for a 6-episode arc.
Now, after only three episodes of the new season, NBC has canceled producer Bryan Fuller‘s psychological drama, which is based Thomas Harris’ literary villain Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
The network, which had renewed the series back in May 2014, confirmed the news today to Buzzfeed. The new episodes, which began airing on June 4, 2015, have drawn in less viewers than the previous two seasons, which aired mid-season.
Remember when they announced this bright idea to move the show to summer and NBC was like “Hey, we love Summer”? NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt had said: “It’s a show we love, it’s critically acclaimed, we love it, and we also love summer. We have exciting plans for summer.” Yeah, not so much. A show like this doesn’t belong there, and on a Thursday night at 10pm no less. I love this series, yet I kept forgetting to watch (that’s what DVRs are for!).
Season 3 will continue to air this Summer, with Armitage coming in for a 6-episode arc starting in Episode 8. The actor will appear as Francis Dolarhyde, another one of Harris’s literary characters — the serial killer nicknamed The Tooth Fairy who bites his victims. Former reoccurring guest star Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) is now a series regular, while Joe Anderson (The Divide) is replacing Michael Pitt as Mason Verger (the psycho with the prized pigs).
Previously, Fuller had said that if NBC didn’t pick up a third season, he’d try to shop Hannibal, which stars Hugh Dancy as Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter, around to another place such as Netflix. Executive producer Martha De Laurentiis told Buzzfeed that the show’s producers, in light of the cancellation, will try to move the show to another network.
“NBC has been a wonderful home for three seasons of Hannibal, and we still have 10 mind-blowing episodes taking Hannibal and Will into uncharted terrain,” wrote De Laurentiis. “We believe that after they air, audiences’ hunger for the fourth chapter of this saga will be incredible, and are presently exploring other distribution options with our creative team and our partners at Gaumont Television.”
If Netflix picks it up, then the series won’t have to worry about getting another death slot where no one will tune in even though they want to!
Meanwhile, Fuller is taking the cancellation in stride. Here’s the statement her released:
“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. 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.”
He also took to Twitter to ask fans to continue to watch:
WE HAVE 10 EPISODES OF #HANNIBAL TO WATCH ON NBC THURSDAYS. LET'S WATCH TOGETHER AND SHOW HOW STRONG THE #FANNIBAL COLLECTIVE CAN BE.