While it certainly hasn't become a ratings juggernaut in its Thursday 10pm timeslot, NBC's Hannibal has received its fair share of recognition and critical praise for its enthralling story, multidimensional characters and unique visual style. However, the show's numbers have continued to decline as season 1 has progressed, putting the network into a predicament regarding the show's renewal.
The morbidly dark and fairly graphic nature of the show seemed to suggest that it might not have belonged on network television in the first place and two weeks ago other networks announced their interest in picking up Hannibal as NBC continued to waver. However, this week NBC proved its commitment to the Bryan Fuller drama by renewing it for season 2.
According to Deadline, NBC has ordered a 13-episode second season of the darkly delicious show for a return next midseason or later. Even though the ratings have tapered off a bit, the network is confident that the show can grow in season 2.
Said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke:
“We’re so proud of Bryan’s vision for a show that is richly textured, psychologically complex, and very compelling. There are many great stories still to be told.”
Fuller is definitely breathing a sigh of relief after hearing this news. Not only has he already planned a seven-season arc for Hannibal, but he's also already had to mourn the premature passing of his series Pushing Daisies - which only lasted two seasons on ABC, despite favorable reviews.
Of course, the fans who are tuning in each week will be thrilled to see the series continue as well. Admittedly, Hannibal isn't for everyone. Its dark, psychological core, complex character relationships and graphic nightmarish recreations of grisly murder scenes will be offputting to many viewers. However, its clever writing, dramatic twists and the genuinely chilling (yet alluring) performance by Mads Mikkelsen in the title role will have some viewers wanting to consume more.
Although the show's content and its late timeslot have turned off some potential viewers, its availability on streaming services such as Hulu and Amazon have undoubtedly helped it connect with a slightly wider audience. For Hannibal fans, let's just hope the ratings improve and the show doesn't join Pushing Daisies in the television series grave after two seasons.
You can check out Hannibal every Thursday @10pm on NBC.