In what was a terrible turn of events for fans of the show, it was announced today that Hannibal would not be coming back for a fourth season. Confirmed by NBC, any hope of this being a hoax or something spoken too soon has been extinguished. Almost immediately, fans took to the Twitter verse to try and save their beloved show and managed to become a trending topic within an hour or so of the announcement going out. It isn’t much of a surprise, especially since Hannibal fans have been using Twitter to bump the show’s ratings for a while now. No one can say that fannibals don’t love their show.
However, the writing on the wall was pretty clear from the get-go this season. I love the show, but even I predicted that it wouldn’t live to see a fourth season. Only three episodes into the new season produced all time viewing lows that even the promise of over-seas profits couldn’t solve. With last Thursday’s episode only bringing in 1.8 million views, the situation was already dire early into the season. The style, lack of obvious forward momentum, and the complete removal of any procedural structure no doubt made the show unappealing to the majority of average viewers.
Yet, for the little show that could, this doesn’t necessarily have to mean the end to a show much loved by its fans. In this day and age, a show failing on one of the big networks doesn’t actually mean as much as it used to. Streaming is king, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see one of the many streaming platforms pick up the show. Whether it ends up going to Netflix, Amazon, or even cable network, I have hope that Hannibal will find a new home. It isn’t beyond reason, as another favorite of mine, Ripper Street was cancelled by the BBC and almost immediately was picked right back up on Amazon.
There’s hope, although I’m quite certain we won’t see NBC revise its decision to ax the show at this time.
Perhaps the best thing NBC has given the fans is a sense of temporary closure, above all else. Instead of waiting until the very end of the season to drop this news, they caught it early. Now all fans of the show can really dig in and enjoy the final ten episodes of the series knowing that there is an end in sight. It may not be what anyone wanted, but it is certainly the least painful way to go about canceling a show. At least we’ve still got some of it left, and something to look forward to.
Regardless of the news, fans can rest easy knowing that they will be able to celebrate the end of the show at San Diego Comic Con this year. Fannibals aren’t going anywhere, and I will always be grateful for all of the amazing people I’ve met through this barrier-breaking show.