Hannibal was a beautiful, bloody look at the slow seduction of one many by another. So you know, basically ratings gold. The fact the show never found a huge audience wasn't shocking, but the reality of the three seasons produced was almost more than most fans of the show were expecting.
The show has been cancelled by NBC. The third season, airing now, will be its last.
"We have been tremendously proud of Hannibal over its three seasons," NBC said in a statement. "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. 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."
Show-runner Bryan Fuller released his own statement.
"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," he wrote. "(NBC 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."
It's possible the show may be resurrected through a streaming service or even another network, as Hannibal's fanbase is small but incredibly dedicated. Still, it's amazing that three seasons of such a lush, near X-rated look at violence and cannibalism made it onto broadcast television at all. Everyone involved with the show should be proud; they've created something magical that fans, myself included, will always remember.
The show not only reveled in its own violence and eroticism with scenes that pushed the boundaries for content in R-rated movies, it did so as a broadcast television show. It featured amazing performances from all its leads, and every episode had at least one jaw-dropping visual, most of them involving the mutilated and reconfigured corpses of Hannibal's victims.
It was a show about cannibalism shot so well it was impossible to watch without feeling hungry. You didn't have to ship the two male leads because the show did it for you. There was no one to root for, no one who to root against. It was a show about demons and angels already in hell.
If this is the end, it's nice knowing that many of us were given much more than we expected. He made a place for us. Long live Hannibal.