In a move that surprises no one who has been following TV’s trials and tribulations, NBC has renewed the popular drama Hannibal for a second season.
Why no surprise? Hannibal got off to a solid start in the ratings then dropped off slightly, but has garnered critical praise and an already growing fandom around the internet. What’s more – and probably what prompted NBC to hang onto it – other cable networks as well as Amazon expressed interest in taking on the show if NBC dropped it.
Hannibal is based on characters from Thomas Harris’s novel Red Dragon – though many of us of course know Dr. Hannibal Lecter first from Silence of the Lambs. But this is before the good doctor became known as the cannibalistic gentleman we all know and love.
In the series, Hannibal (played by Mads Mikkelsen), is everyone’s favorite cannibal serial killer and psychiatrist, who assists criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) in tracking down serial killers. So, it’s kind of like Dexter, only with more Chianti. It has already come under fire for the level of violence, which includes plenty of scenes of, well, cannibalism. An NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City dropped the series due to its graphic nature.
But Hannibal has also been praised for its production values. It has got a great cast in Mikkelsen, Dancy and Laurence Fishburne as the head of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit. Can we really complain about violence when television routinely features series like Dexter, The Walking Dead, Law and Order: SVU and The Killing? Are we really going to object to a series that features cannibals, serial killers and some pretty gruesome murders? Probably not.
NBC will give Hannibal a 13-episode second season renewal. It will likely premiere sometime mid-season or later. I know at least a few people that will rejoice in this.