First Stalker and The Following got the ax, now Hannibal — it’s pretty clear that audiences have little interest in shows that glorify psychopathic killers. And yet the networks keep cranking them out. What gives?
In announcing the cancellation, The Hollywood Reporter quotes showrunner Bryan Fuller, “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.”
NBC kept Hannibal on the air despite the graphic violence that would have given other networks pause and despite consistently low ratings. But why? If, as we so often hear, Hollywood is only motivated by profit, why would they keep a low-rated show going for so long when surely they are losing out on potential ad revenue by keeping it around?
THR goes on to report, “The series has been a hit with critics, who praised Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls) for pushing the boundaries of broadcast television with the show’s graphic and visually creative deaths.”
There’s your answer.
With Hannibal, as with so many other programs, Hollywood is creating content not for audiences at home, but for themselves and their peers in the Entertainment Industry.
It’s well and good to say, “If you don’t like it, change the channel,” but the reality is that millions of Americans are changing the channel — out of 115.9 million TV households, less than 2 million watched the last episode of Hannibal – but Hollywood is still churning out this graphically violent content as if it were in high demand.
It’s long past time for NBC to pull the plug on Hannibal. It’s time for Hollywood to stop glorifying psychopaths — period.