As always, fans can expect a lot more bloodshed in the upcoming episodes of “Hannibal,” but it appears the final casualty of the NBC series’ third season will be the show itself! NBC announced Monday that the gory drama would be canceled after the current run’s finale and not renewed for a fourth season. The network released a statement while assuring fans the entire 13 episode Season 3 will air as originally scheduled.
“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 [producers] Gaumont and everyone involved in the show for their tireless efforts that have made Hannibal an incredible experience for audiences around the world.”
There did not seem to be any bad blood (no pun intended) between executive producer Bryan Fuller and NBC following the decision. The series creator released a statement thanking the network for their partnership.
“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," said Fuller. "[NBC Entertainment exec] 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.”
Fuller also tweeted to thank fans for their continued support.
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) June 23, 2015
Loyal viewers will be holding out hope that another distributor will offer to continue the series elsewhere. According to Entertainment Weekly, Fuller says, “all options are being explored.”
Plus, Fuller has another show in the works, “American Gods,” an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s best selling fantasy novel. The series is expected to air on Starz in 2016. The show will tell the story of Shadow, an ex-convict who is released from prison after the deaths of his ex-wife and best friend. He takes a job as a bodyguard for a mysterious con man named Mr. Wednesday, placing himself in the middle of a war between two different sets of gods.
Fuller spoke about the new show during a panel – “To Adapt Is To Evolve: A Conversation Between Noah Hawley, Bryan Fuller And Graham Yost” – at the 2015 ATX Television Festival earlier this month.
"So much of the book is the story of Shadow and Wednesday and our approach is almost anthological," said Fuller. "Neil Gaiman has given us a lot of room [on 'American Gods'] to really dig into the characters and he's shared things with us because it's an integration story really at its heart. It feels like we can unpack that in a way that allows us to tell a signature story."
Will “Hannibal” return on another network? Or will Fuller’s fans have to follow him to Starz for “American Gods”? Only time will tell. In the meantime, Season 3 of “Hannibal” airs Thursday at 10 p.m. EDT on NBC.