Take heart, Fannibals. Axed NBC shows can have long lives . . . a case in point.


thRFX1OAB8I know a lot of “Hannibal” fans are pretty unhappy right now since the news broke that this cult-favorite show has been officially axed by NBC at the end of its current, and third, season.

I can’t consider myself one of those Fannibals–I am watching the current season simply as preparation to see one of my all-time favorite actors perform for the first time on American TV screens (discounting a very brief appearance on the Cinemax version of “Strike Back”), the very same Richard Armitage for whom this blog is named. Starting with episode 8, RA will be playing the serial killer Francis Dolarhyde, aka “Tooth Fairy,” previously portrayed on screen by Ralph Fiennes (“Red Dragon”) and Tom Noonan (“Manhunter”).

Mr. A was only lined up to be in those final six eps, so none of his fans were anticipating seeing him in any future seasons of the show.  Some RA fans haven’t and won’t be watching because of the blood and gore attached to this production. Just not their cup of tea (and I am not too sure it is mine, either).

However, I know there are Armitage fans who are also Hannibal fans, who watched before and would have watched after Richard Armitage had come and gone.

For all of you Fannibals out there–take heart. Cult favs can and do have second lives, particularly when you consider all the television channels now existing, not to mention streaming services.

Many of you are probably too young to remember seeing a certain NBC production from the mid-1960s. It was different from pretty much anything else on television at the time–science fiction when westerns and crime dramas were staple fare. I wasn’t even six years old yet when it first aired, but I was captivated, as was my 12-year-old sister. We watched faithfully every week as this ground-breaking series took us “where no man has gone before.”  What it lacked in sleek and pricey production values, it made up for in a set of unforgettable characters and riveting storylines.


(courtesy of Bing images)

Who knew when “Star Trek” was cancelled by NBC after three seasons that this cult favorite would go on to spawn an animated series, books, several successful TV spin-offs, films and more?  Now, realistically I don’t anticipate Hannibal dolls, cartoons or a slew of TV spin-offs–I would say it’s even more of a niche show tailored to specific tastes (no pun intended) than “Star Trek: The Original Series” ever was.

Still, I say there is very likely life after cancellation for “Hannibal.” Show creator Bryan Fuller seems stoked on taking his show to a new home and there are a number of possibilities out there. Fans are rallying to the cause (see link below).


And Fuller tweeting photos like this probably can’t hurt his cause. 😉


Richard Armitage getting his Red Dragon tats painted on for his Dolarhyde role. What that man won’t go through for his art.

12 responses »

      • The Hannibal ones is sometimes shown as if painted with blood splatters. I don’t know if that’s a separate doll or just a good closeup of the one that exists. I looked at the suggested products on amazon and was a bit surprised how many there were.

            • That’s just what popped into my head—Star Trek, NBC, cancellation at end of third season–before I fell asleep watching TV . . . then woke up at 1:45 a.m. in need of something to do. As far as personal memories of television viewing go, mine don’t go back much more than that.

              • I don’t personally even remember that either.
                I just know my fanlore (and have ST geek friends who like Sheldon Cooper would have seasons 1-2 on thumb drives in case of apocalypse). I don’t any merch but I did have books about things as obscure as how the (non-uniform) costumes were made.
                I was thinking of stuff from movies or music, like Beatles dolls. (Anyone who thinks that twitter made celebrities too accessible needs to read some books about the 1960s and especially Beatles’ fans. Without internet or cellphones they were waiting for the Beatles at every hotel around the world, knew where they lived and where they were when not on tour).

              • I had a book on writing for Star Trek that also had lots of behind-the-scenes info on the costume design, sets, the optical effects—I remember reading it several times. Beatles fans were a determined bunch. I remember having a crush on Paul McCartney when I was four. My first celeb crush, I guess.

              • I grew up with my aunt’s music collection which was heavy on the late 1960s (even though she was a bit young to have been around it in a meaningful way) and of heavy metal and glam rock. I don’t recall much in the way of non-music related products between the era of KISS and the past decade or so but maybe I just missed noticing.

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