‘Hannibal’ Subject Of Outside Interest While Awaiting Renewal Decision At NBC

Last month, NBC’s “Hannibal” attracted 4.6 million viewers in its debut before slipping to about 2.6 million viewers for the two most recent episodes. And while NBC was said to be considering an early renewal at one point, “Hannibal” now has the odd distinction of being the only scripted drama on a broadcast network that isn’t renewed or canceled.

But that doesn’t mean that Hannibal Lecter’s murderous ways are ending soon. Deadline is reporting that Amazon and at least one unnamed cable network are interesting in picking up “Hannibal” if NBC decides not to renew it.

For most broadcast programs, a jump to cable isn’t always feasible due to budget issues and license fees. However, “Hannibal’ is produced by Gaumont International Television; which has already sold the series in several countries around the world. Consequently, Gaumont’s asking price for “Hannibal’s” U.S. broadcasting rights is reportedly only “a fraction of what dramas with similar production values cost.” That alone would make it an attractive pick up by a cable network. “Hannibal” is also one of the few NBC dramas that has the attention of critics and a passionate following among TV fans.

“Hannibal” is a contemporary update of the characters created by Thomas Harris in his novel “Red Dragon,” with Hugh Dancy as Special Agent Will Graham, Laurence Fishburne as Special Agent-in-Charge Jack Crawford and Mads Mikkelsen as the title character, Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

New episodes of “Hannibal” will air on NBC until the first season finale on Thursday, June 20.