Following the premiere of the third season of Hannibal, NBC decided to ax the hit show.
Hannibal is a psychological thriller series based on characters appearing in Thomas Harris' quartet novel series. Hannibal Lecter is the titular character, the infamous cannibalistic serial killer portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen. The story focuses on the relationship between forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal and FBI special investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy).
The show was developed by Bryan Fuller for NBC and first premiered on April 4, 2013. It was followed by two more seasons in 2014 and 2015. The show was a hit and was praised for its style of storytelling as well as the actors' performance. It has been a while since the last season was released and this is what the future of the show has in store:
In 2015, following the premiere of the third season of Hannibal, NBC decided to ax the hit show. “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,” Fuller said at the time. “[NBC president] Jen Salke and her team have been fantastic partners and creatively supportive beyond measure." He added, “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.”
Fans of the show were not pleased when the cancelation was announced. Fuller then mentioned that there was a chance that the show could be picked by a streaming site like Amazon or Netflix. Amazon held the rights to the first three shows at the time. "I believe our deal with Amazon precludes a Netflix component so I think Netflix, who has expressed interest and has expressed great enthusiasm for the show… I don’t think contractually with our Amazon contract, they can pick up the show," Fuller had stated. But the fourth season did not get made. That is not to say that it will not be made at all.
In 2016, Dancy reassured fans that the show was definitely not done. He shared with Collider Fuller's vision for the much-awaited fourth season. "Bryan pitched it to me … well, he, described to me in an overview with what he wanted to do with the 4th season, had there been an interest, and it was really fantastic," he said. "It was a complete restart, without describing it—because who knows, God knows, maybe some way we may be able to do it in the future—but it took us back to the first season in a very unexpected way, and made total sense of that cliffhanger ending; it seemed justified. It was born out of a part of one of the books so it was still coming out of that universe, but it wasn’t the Clarice / Silence of the Lambs storyline.”
Seven years down the line, nothing has materialized yet. But Hannibal himself (well, the actor who plays him) has hope that the show will be coming back. “Yeah, I think there’s always new hope,” Mikkelsen told Bloody Disgusting. “I don’t know where they looked. That is above my paycheck, but I know they’ve been talking to different studios.” This was as recent as 2019. So we may just be able to see the next season come to life in the coming years or even months.