ByTom Chapman, writer at
tweet: tomtomchap Warden of the North - bearded, tattooed and square eyed 'til the end
Tom Chapman

We are still hungry for more, but sadly our stomachs rumble empty as we wait for a Season 4 of NBC's [Hannibal](tag:721010). The Bryan Fuller produced walking buffet seems doomed to lie in development hell, but how come? The cast are all on board, Fuller is on board, and there is material to run for a planned seven seasons. So what happened to Hannibal Season 4?

Apparently it was YOU! That's right, you there and your laptop. American film producer and executive producer on the show Martha De Laurentiis says it was piracy that put Hannibal on the butcher's block. In an open letter on The Hill, De Laurentiis states:

When nearly one third of the audience for Hannibal is coming from pirated sites - despite the fact that a legitimate download for each episode was available the following day - you don't have to know calculus to do the math. If a show is stolen, it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to fairly compensate a crew and keep a series in production

While it is easy to lay blame at the doors of those scurvy Internet pirates, perhaps we should look elsewhere. Game Of Thrones is the most illegally downloaded show EVER and is still going strong in Season 6. While clearly piracy played a big part in Hannibal's demise, other networks' unwillingness to pick it up also speaks volumes.

Last year, De Laurentiis launched a Kickstarter campaign to secure funding for a film follow-up to the series. Even then Bryan Fuller said chances of a revival were 50/50, but who knows:

"I'm hoping that someday, whether it's a year from now — two years from now — that we will continue to get to tell that story... I feel like if Will Graham did survive that plunge, his most interesting chapter is yet to be told."

Based on Thomas Harris's books that follow cannibalistic Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal was a beautiful affair that marked the early chapters of the books. It definitely matched style with substance and the writing was some of the strongest on television. The downfall though? Perhaps its out-there design and flowing visual scenes alienated the mainstream, because Hannibal never fully caught on. Fuller certainly had the scope to keep it running, and it was a long-time dream of his to (eventually) introduce Hannibal's most well known adversary, F.B.I. Agent Clarice Starling. Due to a legal battle with MGM, we never got to see this, but Fuller had hoped that it would have been resolved before the show's end.

Sadly, Clarice was the least of Fuller's worries. When NBC pulled the plug last year, both Netflix and Amazon passed on the chance to secure the show. Seemingly a final nail in the coffin, the cast have now also been released from their contracts. It is a long game of wait and see, but the food on the table is going cold for Hannibal. In the meantime, grab a glass of Chianti and some fava beans for a binge session on the three seasons we do have.

Would you like to see a fourth season of 'Hannibal'? Sound off below.


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