Why Is 'Hannibal' Likely to Be Canceled?

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NBC's "Hannibal" is a drama about fiction's most famous serial killer, Hannibal Lector. The show hasn't been on the air long, but people have taken notice. As of April 28th, TV By The Numbers has "Hannibal" listed as likely to be canceled. Can that be right? It is possible. There are several things that harm the show and several that might save it.

Harm: Ratings drop

NBC doesn't do amazingly when compared to other networks, but "Hannibal" did well against the other shows on the network. The second episode did even better than the first. Then, it all came crashing down. Ratings dropped sharply by the third episode, and after the fourth aired episode, "Hannibal" was down by 40 percent. Ouch. That is a huge, devastating drop.

Harm: Omitted episode fiasco

The United States has only aired four episodes of "Hannibal," while other countries have had five. Why? After the Boston bombing incident, NBC decided to not air the third scheduled episode because it was violent, according to Variety. The episode had nothing to do with bombings but is about children brainwashed into murder. It was after this missed episode that the ratings dropped the lowest. Was it unnecessary to omit the episode, and did people stop watching after that?

Harm: Hannibal's diet

TV has become a bit gorier over the years, but "Hannibal" takes it to a new level. Viewers watch Hannibal eat human body parts that he has prepared like a gourmet meal. That is Hannibal, but when a network like NBC needs a real winning TV show, then it might want to tone down the cannibalism in order to keep viewers from vomiting into their popcorn bowl.

Help: Excellent actors

Hugh Dancy plays Will Graham, a special investigator with Asperger's syndrome. Dancy has played a man with Asperger's before in "Adam," and he nails the performance in both. Mads Mikkelsen takes on the iconic Hannibal Lector. Filling the shoes of Anthony Hopkins is not an easy task. Yet, Mikkelsen has won the hearts and minds of critics and viewers alike. In the series, Hannibal hasn't been revealed as the crazy killer everyone else knows he is, and Mikkelsen manages to seem sane while hiding the true evil behind that grin.

Help: David Bowie

Bryan Fuller, the show's creator, told The Sun that he wanted to bring David Bowie into the cast for the second season. While it's just one man's dream, fans would love to see it happen. Just thinking of it might get viewers to give the show another chance and up the ratings in hopes of seeing Bowie in Season 2.

Help: Pre-planned second season

Fuller has already planned Season 2 of "Hannibal," and it hasn't even been renewed. In fact, he has plans for at least seven seasons. How could this help save the show? The network will like knowing that the show has a plan, as opposed to a show that just stumbles along each week with no real direction. With a goal set for Season 2 and beyond, Fuller might just persuade NBC to keep the show alive.

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