By James Hibberd
June 22, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Brooke Palmer/NBC
  • TV Show

NBC is killing off Hannibal

The network is canceling the acclaimed drama after three seasons. 

“We have been tremendously proud of Hannibal over its three seasons,” NBC said in a statement. “[Showrunner Bryan Fuller] and his team of writers and producers, as well as our incredible actors, have brought a visual palette of storytelling that has been second to none in all of television — broadcast or cable. We thank Gaumont and everyone involved in the show for their tireless efforts that have made Hannibal an incredible experience for audiences around the world.”

Fuller also had a statement: “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. Jen Salke and her team have been fantastic partners and creatively supportive beyond measure. 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.”

Brooke Palmer/NBC

NBC will still air all 10 episodes of the current season, which is running on Thursdays at 10 p.m. Hannibal has been on the bubble for renewal since its debut season, and recently returned to dire ratings. 

Hannibal mined the content of Thomas Harris’ novels Red Dragon, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising. Yet one hugely popular Dr. Hannibal Lecter title remained out of reach, The Silence of the Lambs. Fuller had been trying to get rights to Silence since launching the show, but to no avail. 

Like the first two seasons, the current season will end with a finale that can serve as either a season ender, or a series closer. Having said that, Fuller had big plans for the show’s fourth season. “The plan for season 4 is actually much much more radical,” he recently teased. “There is a pocket in one of the novels of some really rich interesting character material that I’m inverting and twisting around.”  For more, here’s our recent interview with Fuller.

UPDATEHannibal showrunner, studio say ‘all options’ are being explored in wake of cancelation 

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