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Could Netflix swoop in to save Hannibal after NBC lost its appetite?

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Netflix is quickly gaining a reputation as a TV show’s knight in shining armour, so to speak, stepping in to save shows like Arrested Development that were cancelled by network stations. And now, some are speculating that, following the cancellation of NBC’s Hannibal, Netflix may swoop in once again.

NBC has confirmed that, after three seasons, it’s pulling the plug on the creepy, cannibal drama show, inspired by the novel Red Dragon and serial killer character Hannibal Lector. However, The De Laurentiis Company, which produces the show, posted a Tweet that indicated this might not be the end, noting that they were “exploring other options” and that others have expressed interest.

Naturally, given what happened with Arrested Development and, most recently, with Hulu picking up future seasons of Fox-cancelled show The Mindy Project, observers are thinking Hannibal will go the streaming TV route. And Netflix seems like it would be a logical partner, having previously proven with Arrested Development that while a show with a loyal fan base might not have a home on network TV because of the dreaded ratings race, it can still thrive via over-the-top (OTT) services.

Related: Resurrected Development: Hulu saves The Mindy Project from Cancellation (Update)

The third season of the show, which stars Mads Mikkelsen as the title character, along with Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas, and Gillian Anderson, premiered earlier this month. The full 13-episode season will continue to air on Thursdays through to August 27.

While giving no specific reason for the cancellation (read: ratings and/or ad dollars), NBC said in a statement that it was “tremendously proud” of the show.

Hannibal was created by Bryan Fuller, and he’s already moved on to his next project: adapting the American Gods novel into a series for Starz. He had nothing but nice words to say about NBC, applauding the network’s bravery for allowing them to air scenes that would have “shredded the eyeballs of lesser Standards & Practices enforcers.”

Fuller also made it clear that the door remains open between he and NBC. “A hungry cannibal can always dine again,” he said, “and personally, I look forward to my next meal with NBC.” But if viewers have anything to say about it, Netflix will be eating NBC for lunch on this one.

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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