Why Silence Of The Lambs Sequel Series Clarice Can’t Mention Hannibal Lecter


Fans will never give up hope that Bryan Fuller’s acclaimed Hannibal will one day be revived for a fourth season almost six years after NBC pulled it from the airwaves, a sentiment that’s shared by both the creator of the show and the main cast members. There’s been renewed optimism about a comeback after the stylish psychological thriller proved to be massively popular with Netflix subscribers, but despite vastly expanding their lineup of original television content, the streaming service has yet to take the plunge.

However, those looking for their next fix of Thomas Harris’ most famous characters don’t have too long left to wait, with The Silence of the Lambs sequel series Clarice set to premiere on CBS in two weeks. Unfortunately, however, despite taking place after the events of Jonathan Demme’s classic movie, the episodic adventures of the FBI agent won’t even mention Hannibal Lecter by name, which instantly means that the show faces an uphill battle to distinguish itself from the countless other procedurals on TV.


As is typically the case, rights issues are to blame, with Harris’ intellectual property strewn all over Hollywood. The reason Clarice can’t use Dr. Lecter is the exact same reason why Fuller’s show couldn’t adapt The Silence of the Lambs, because two different companies are in control of various aspects of the mythology.

CBS own The Silence of the Lambs, while NBC and the Dino De Laurentiis Company control the other novels, and neither party is willing to budge. Unless of course Clarice tanks in the ratings and gets canceled after one season, in which case the balance of power might shift dramatically in favor of Fuller’s Hannibal once again.