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NBC Cancels Hannibal After Three Seasons

This is not good news to wake up to; the best show on television will not be returning to NBC for a fourth season.

Despite being almost universally critically acclaimed, the ratings have been pretty abysmal for the Red Dragon prequel series centred on Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham. In a way, audiences are lucky we got to year three; most shows with similar ratings would not have made in past the debut season, demonstrating that NBC had enough faith in executive producer Bryan Fuller's vision to see it this far.

But ultimately it is a money game and location shooting in the glorious Florence for much of season three couldn't have helped. On the cancellation, NBC made the following statement. “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. 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.

Fuller remained gracious over the whole affair, stating "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.

Despite his next project, executive producing an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods for television, Fuller's statement suggested that he wasn't quite done with Hannibal yet. Announcing on Twitter with the hashtag #SaveHannibal, Fuller urged fans to watch the 10 remaining episodes on NBC.

Hannibal executive producer Martha De Laurentiis also confirmed that “we are exploring options with other potential partners” and invited viewers to “join us in sending a message to other potential partners.

Hopefully another network / online streaming will look past the ratings to resurrect the show for a fourth season in order to give us a dark, delicious (pun intended) retelling of Thomas Harris's Silence Of The Lambs. Given that Hannibal will be at this year's Comic-con, fans shouldn't give up just yet.

In the meantime, embrace the brilliance of the show's third season and check out our weekly reviews here at The Digital Fix.

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