‘Hannibal’ Officially Renewed for Season 3

Published 4 months ago by

Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in Hannibal Season 2 Episode 10 Hannibal Officially Renewed for Season 3

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.

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.

Hannibal season 2 full cast 570x294 Hannibal Officially Renewed for Season 3

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

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  1. Well earned and fantastic news. I had many doubts about this show when I first heard about it. In this case, I’m glad I was dead wrong.

  2. Gave up on this during season 1. Too dark and disturbing with absolutely no joy in it.

    • You described everything I like about the show. But there is no joy in watching just how unrestrained in its desire to play with your expectations.

      • *but there is joy in watching just how unrestrained it is with its desire to play with your expectations.

    • Yeah, dark and disturbing aren’t really thing this is definitely not the show for you lol. If you haven’t checked out Criminal Minds yet, it’s a good show, similar in that it deals with serial killers and things like that most often, but there’s fun banter between the characters, and a lot of feel good moments when they catch the bad guy. I highly recommend it.

    • The fact that it’s dark and disturbing draws me to it. I also find the show a whole lot of fun.

      Saying that, I know another horror fan who refuses to watch anything involving the Dr Lecter character because he terrifies her.

    • But I normally like dark and don’t mind disturbing. I just felt like that was all the show was going for, with nothing really likable about the show or its characters. I wanted to like it. Just didn’t work for me.

      • To be completely honest, the entire first season and half of the second season is just building up to an incredible climax. That’s all I can say without spoiling it but I can assure you that character and display are amazing in this show, throughout the entirety of it. However, you depict the show, next to all the horror, as having no depth whatsoever and that’s where you’re dead wrong. This story shows so much dynamics of the human brain, as well as what triggers those things and what supresses them. I think the reason you didn’t like it, simply is because you can’t fully comprehend the matter of events, the consequences connected to those events and the manner of behaviour resulting from these events. I found it appealing and appalling, but when that resides you get to the real meaning and that is what spoke to me. I’m happy about the fact that this is not the end yet.

      • Hey amazing point you have there…I just wish their is a next season for it..I think from all the the serial killer shows I’ve ever watched, this is definitely the best, you never hear of a serial killer doing what Hannibal did in the finale of the second season. Its true if you don’t like dark stuff, this is definitely not the show for you. my opinion is that I wished more happened in that finale of the second season because it fills like the show was just based on Hannibal lecter and killing instead of the actual story

    • “No joy”? and when would you ever expect “joy” from anything Hannibal?

    • My wife and I have been avid fans of the show, although I know more about Hannibal Lecter than her I rather enjoy the series thus far and cant wait for more. Tis true that the show does have some dark undertones but with that being said you have to look beyond that and see the story for what it really is. Not all life is a field of flowers and happiness. Without light there can exist no darkness and vice versa.

  3. Nice. Now I just have to start watching season 2 (it started on Tuesday but I figured I can’t wait and will watch the whole season online when I have time).

    Any news on Revolution, Hannah? I heard it was cancelled but can’t find actual confirmation and I imagine other fans of the show on this site may be curious of its fate too.

  4. YES! Now I can breathe easier.

    I’m hoping they can bring back Gillian Anderson to finish up the Du Maurier storyline; it should be easier to get her back now that Crisis has been canned.

  5. They have taken some big liberties with regards to following the books and canon established by the films and the show is better for it. Freddy Loundes and Chilton represent two characters with very different trajectories then previous incarnations of the characters.

    • I have a feeling that both of those points will be addressed by seasons end and next season. Since they never actually addressed the death of Chilton, I believe he is still alive (and also comments by Fuller further addressing that point). And I’m sure Loundes will meet her demise next season, which is the Red Dragon reimagining season.

      • Oops.

  6. Really enjoy this show every week. Please talk about it monday on the podcast. Would like to hear an editorial team update.

  7. I second the podcast. Listen every week, but Hannibal always seems to be missing.

  8. Hooray! I hope this will be the first among many of Fuller’s project that won’t get cancelled mid-way through. The guy did say he almost give up on tv after most of his shows got cancelled. Both Hannibal and Bryan Fuller deserve this.

  9. Thanks to NBC for doing this. Everyone involved with bringing this show to life deserves it.

  10. This show is a work of art and everyone involved in the show should be proud of it. It is very rare for me to be able to watch a show twice and enjoy it still like this and is a welcome change to the usual slack jawed efforts on TV.

  11. The only reason Hannibal will move into ”Silence of the Lambs”, still focusing on the relationship between Hannibal and Will, is because Fuller doesn’t have the rights to ”Clarice Starling”. In an interview I read, he was saying he was trying to acquire the rights, because the relationship would be a whole new dynamic as opposed to Will and Hannibal’s. Let’s hope he does get the rights, or he could create a whole new female character like he did with other characters for seasons 1 & 2.

    • I’m sure I have read a few times on The AV Club interviews that they have weekly with Fuller that if they don’t get the rights he has a similar character he’ll invent that’s akin. I think if he goes that route it’s forgivable & would give him justifiable artistic license to deviate from known canon.

  12. I pray to God they can get the rights to Clarice, given how crucial a character she is to the canon. A re-invention or new character would seem… wrong, for lack of a better word.

    I also hope for Buffalo Bill; I know the Franklin Froideveaux storyline with Budge was created because Fuller could not get the rights to the two characters, but I still see a way you could incorporate Gumb into the story in season 5, and be true to the events with Benjamin Raspail.

    This is also now the first of Fuller’s series to have three seasons. About damn time that happened.

    • I hope so as well. I don’t see why MGM can’t at least loan the rights to use ”Clarice Starling”, since they aren’t using it, and can’t see them using her in the foreseeable future unless the plan on rebooting the whole Hannibal film franchise!

  13. Well, this news definitely helps me get over the sting of Community being cancelled.
    I really love this show. There are times when it can be a bit overly abstract but there really isn’t anything else like it.
    Hopefully Fuller can land the rights to The Silence of the Lambs. I’d love to see his take.

  14. Amazing show! I am shocked and thrilled at its renewal! These days it seems it’s near impossible for a show like this to be allowed to continue. My hopes are that the show stays true to what it has established and continues to creat it’s own framework within the world built by Harris. This show is the best the series in any format has achieved!

  15. The purist in me wants it to stick to the books, but I know well enough that watching the exact same thing I’ve already read and/or seen in the books and films will not make for a good TV show. They’ll approach the stories in their own way as they already have and it will be awesome. The past few episodes have tormented me and left me reeling, if that is any indicator for what is to come then it will be amazing. I absolutely love everything about the books, films and now the TV series. Not sure what I’ll do with my Friday nights once season 2 ends but I am not surprised it got renewed for a 3rd season.

  16. I’m so relieved to hear that this show is going to be renewed.

    I love Fuller’s retelling of Hannibal, and that he did not hesitate to hold back on the darker tone.

  17. Well I have to say, this show has surprised me. My dad put me onto it, although I have to admit my reluctance at first; thinking it was just another spin-off or remake. They did such a fantastic job developing the characters, you really have to watch it until the end of season two to really appreciate it. Plus the intelligence of both Will and Hannibal makes them a perfect match, really playing on the cat and mouse theme. I love how incredibly meticulous the storyline is. It is so cunning it really outdoes other shows of its kind- including criminal minds, and dexter (although I loved them both). A definite must watch, if you like a little challenge. P.s, I have never rooted for a villain so much!!!

  18. I am so much looking forward to season 3!!! I think it is an amazing story and I can’t wait to see what is going to happen next!

    And as a Dane I love to see Mads Mikkelsen in the role as Hannibal Lecter. He is a fantastic actor and I could’nt imagine any one else in the role as Hannibal Lecter :D

  19. I LOVE Hannibal. Dark and disturbing, but I love it. The first few episodes I was a little lost, but I got into it quickly after that. If someone was looking for comedy when they started watching Hannibal.. they probably had no idea what they were getting into. The creators of the show have done a very good job with all the twists and turns. I can’t wait to watch season 3. :)

  20. YAY SO excited for this. When can we expect season 3? I hope the ratting pick up for it though man..I’d hate to see another show I enjoy watching get cancelled due to the ratings(Especially if it’s getting good reviews the show)

  21. But everyone we loved in the series (okay, except for Lecter) died. How can we possible go on? I’m not sure I even want a season three. This was a good ending. A very, very heartbreaking ending, but a good one.

    • They didn’t die.

    • Atleast one character will die, but not everyone. Will Graham will certainly be back next season.

      • If you’ve read the books you know NONE of them died.

        • I HAVE read the books, actually.

          And it’s clear as day that book canon is far from reliable for predicting the show. Eg:Beverly Katz .
          She was well and kicking in red dragon. And come on, the entire show is a big, wonderful AU of the books.

          And just so you know, Bryan Fuller is the one who said at least one character will die. In multiple interviews.

  22. Bryan Fuller is so brilliant that I’d like to see *his* very own vision. (With the constant references, there’s not so much left from the books to adapt anyway :D) And we have the Hopkins-films; there’s no need for a remake. Let Fuller tell the story how he sees it.

    p.s. Many thanks to Shaw-Williams for mentioning the love story arc

  23. I am absolutely in love with this show. It’s dark, depressing and so very unique. But what i really, truly love is the dynamics between Hannibal and Will. Their brand of insanity is utterly captivating. So, i really want Fuller to keep Will until the end. The show presents him in such a way that shelving him would be a crime.

    I like the books and Clarice’s character is great, but i hope Fuller will continue with his ingenious deviations from book canon. That would make it so much more fun. (I would also be really interested in seeing some interaction between Clarice and Will as well)

  24. This is by far the best series I and my fiance have seen. So disturbing, so exciting and the whole film has a special mood that I just loved. I recommend everybody to watch this. Please give me season 3

  25. I love this show so much. I’ve gotten so attached to Will Graham, though. Hope Clarice Starling doesn’t start taking over when they get to Silence of the Lambs. She was always the much less interesting of the two.

    • agreed!

    • Yes. Definitely.

  26. that is awesome news. it’s such a top drawer show. i just hate that i have to wait till spring for new eps!

    re your question, i like to be surprised by the unexpected plot turns. that’s half the fun. the other half is the amazing writing, acting, cinematography, set and costume design. it’s a home run all round in my book. and while it’s dark it’s also oddly beautiful which creates this wonderful tension. i am for sure a fannibal.

  27. I read in another article that Fuller said season 3 would be the last since he doesn’t believe that it should go beyond season 5. Which info is more accurate? Sorry forgot the link to the article. Just wanted to make sure so I asked. :)

  28. it is an overall good show/story but for the love of god can you include a better soundtrack or some sort of emotional music. i for one am sick of all the throat cutting. You yourself can tell by the low viewers that people are losing interest in the show. The suspense is losing its touch overshadowed by all the gory parts that really aren’t needed. Enough tomato juice.

    • Well, horror is one of the major elements of the show. While Hannibal’s emotional ties with people(especially Will) are an important part of it, the death and gore is important too. Murder in Hannibal isn’t just murder. Most of them are symbolic and laden with hidden meanings. And some of them do have an artistic touch that can only be justified by the magical realism elements of the show(like the tree guy for example). As for the finale bloodbath, that kinda needed to happen.

  29. I hope to god they don’t get the rights for Clarice. A new character is 1000000 times better, if they plan on distorting her original character which’s so masterfully designed.

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