The second season of NBC’s gripping serial killer thriller series Hannibal is well under way and getting more shocking with each new episode, especially for those who have read the books/seen the movies and think they know what is going to happen next.

Hannibal has drawn a great deal of critical acclaim and gathered a dedicated fanbase since its first season, but even with 3.4 million viewers tuning in for the season two premiere, showrunner Bryan Fuller has admitted that “the ratings are not anything to jump up and down about.” Nonetheless, he said that NBC has been very supportive of the show and considers it a “prestige project,” leaving Fuller confident about a third season renewal.

His instincts were right, it seems, as THR reports that NBC has officially renewed Hannibal for a third season, adding that the ratings have remained modest but solid throughout the second season so far with an average of 3.9 million viewers tuning in every Friday night. Given the positive effects of critical acclaim for Hannibal on NBC’s reputation, and the fact that it’s relatively inexpensive to produce, it’s understandable that the network isn’t panicked by its small audience.

Hannibal isn’t a show that will just keep wandering on until someone takes away its money. Fuller has already said that he has a clear seven-season story arc planned for the show, which will roughly configure to the timeline laid out in Thomas Harris’ novels. The showrunner has described Hannibal as a “love story” between Hannibal and Will Graham, who currently seem just as likely to try and kill one another as they are to sit down and have a nice dinner. It’s like they’re married.

According to Fuller’s plan, Hannibal won’t get into “the literature” until season 4, which will cover the events of “Red Dragon.” This means that season three, like the rest of the show so far, will be a prequel to the books and therefore have a lot of freedom to play around with. Season five, meanwhile, will move into the “Silence of the Lambs” era, but unlike the books will continue to follow Will Graham’s story, as well as Hannibal’s.

Fans of the show, are you hoping that Fuller will stick to the books as much as possible, or do you like being surprised by the unexpected turns that the plot takes?

Hannibal continues next Friday with ‘Ko No Mono’ @10pm on NBC.

Source: THR