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Cable-Size Seasons And ‘Starbucking’ Await NBC Serial Killer Series HANNIBAL!!

I am – Hercules!!

The first new scripted series NBC has greenlit for next season is “Hannibal,” which will initially follow the crimefighting team of genius psychoanalyst Hannibal Lecter and star FBI profiler Will Graham -- before Graham learns Lecter is a serial murderer.

Graham and Lecter were introduced in the 1981 Thomas Harris novel “Red Dragon,” which takes place after Graham captured Lecter

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly’s James Hibberd, creator/showrunner Bryan Fuller says the NBC show will stick to cable-style 13-episode seasons. Network seasons typically run 22 episodes per season.

This is a good thing. It should augment quality control and make it easier for Fuller to serve as showrunner on a another potential NBC series, the hourlong “Munsters” rethink “Mockingbird Lane.”

Fuller also tells Hibberd that two “Red Dragon” characters will get sex changes, just as Starbuck and Boomer did in Ronald D. Moore’s remake of “Battlestar Galactica”:

1) FBI forensic psychologist Dr. Alan Bloom (renamed Sydney Bloom and played by Paul Perri in 1986’s “Manhunter,” the first movie based on “Red Dragon”) will become Dr. Alana Bloom.

2) Tabloid reporter Freddie Lounds (played by Stephen Lang in “Manhunter” and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in 2002’s “Red Dragon”) will become blogger Fredricka Lounds.

Hugh Dancy (“Our Idiot Brother,” “The Big C”) will play the NBC version of Graham, portrayed by “CSI” icon William Petersen in “Manhunter” and Edward Norton in “Red Dragon.”

Lecter should be cast any minute now. AICN sources indicate producers are focusing on fortysomething European actors, most of them best known for their big-screen work.

Fuller, who wrote for “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Star Trek: Voyager” before he created “Dead Like Me,” “Wonderfalls” and “Pushing Daisies,” scripted the best episodes of “Heroes’” first season, including the killer Noah Bennet episode “Company Man.”

Martha De Laurentiis, a member of the filmmaking clan behind all five Lecter movies, is producing the series as well.

Find all of Hibberd’s EW exclusive here.

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Readers Talkback
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  • April 19, 2012, 6 p.m. CST

    I suppose I'll watch it...

    by J

    Seems like the people behind it are all talented enough. I think the Hannibal casting could make or break it for me though.

  • April 19, 2012, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Tom Hiddleston

    by Toe Jam

    C'mon. You know he'd be perfect as a young Lecter, though, as the article points out, he'd actually be in his 40s. I wonder if they'll stick to the era, which could be really cool.

  • April 19, 2012, 6:05 p.m. CST

    let me guess...Hannibala Lecter

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    played by Joely Richardson

  • April 19, 2012, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Tim Roth for Hannibal

    by DonLogan

    The only option i can think of that will hold my interest in this show...

  • April 19, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST

    How long until Dirk Benedict comments...

    by Bill Clay

    They've castrated all men !!!

  • April 19, 2012, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Brad Dourif would be a great Lecter

    by Mugato5150

    coincidentally he played a psycho on Voyager. Look him up, really, he's perfect. He could be too old though if they're looking for Hannibal Babies. Not that it won't be canceled in 4 weeks anyway.

  • Fuller also stated they have the show mapped out for a 7 season arc. I think if handled right this could be really great, but it would work a lot better on HBO. Then again, if the writing is good, then they should be fine regardless. Lost, Heroes and 24 all had tons of violence and were network shows.

  • April 19, 2012, 6:35 p.m. CST

    You threw me off with the 'Bryan Singer' typo.

    by Goochbag

    Bryan Singer has nothing to do with this.

  • April 19, 2012, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Ian McShane

    by KongMonkey

    you fucking cocksuckers!

  • April 19, 2012, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Lecter should be played by...

    by scors54

    Jared Harris or Sebastian Roche. Both fit the bill and are attainable, I think.

  • April 19, 2012, 7:35 p.m. CST


    by JamesT

    Exactly who thinks 13 episode seasons are good?

  • April 19, 2012, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Eddie Marsan

    by palimpsest

    That's your Lecter right there.

  • April 19, 2012, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Laughable! NBC...really?

    by obijuanmartinez

  • April 19, 2012, 8:18 p.m. CST


    by zol

    They have threatened it since 1998.

  • April 19, 2012, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Ok, I'm officially jumping on the Tim Roth bandwagon.

    by J

    He was great in Lie To Me* and was the only part I liked about the Incredible Hulk.

  • April 19, 2012, 8:30 p.m. CST

    13 Episodes is what's needed for this decade

    by MGTHEDJ

    These days most shows don't sustain their audience for 22 episodes. The networks start their new eps in September, and stagger them out until the following May. This means many shows have to go dark for 4-6 weeks in March and April. When they return their ratings are down 10-20%. The ratings margins are too tight with overhead costs too high to risk a ratings dip of that magnitude. Cable shows run a straight 13 weeks, with maybe one week off if they will be otherwise going up against a major media event like The Super Bowl, The Oscars, or the NCAA Final Four. Or the ep will land during a holiday weekend. Fuller has talent, now he just needs a hit to raise his power in Hollywood.-----later-----m

  • April 19, 2012, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Tim Roth isn't menacing enough

    by Mugato5150

    but maybe that's the point. The other Hannibals did sort of chew the scenery a bit.

  • April 19, 2012, 8:33 p.m. CST

    13 episodes is 6 episodes too long for Fuller

    by Xiphos_2

    His shows get shit canned pretty fast.

  • April 19, 2012, 8:57 p.m. CST

    About time the networks embraced shorter seasons

    by Mel_Gibsons_Nazi_Dad

  • April 19, 2012, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Jared Harris?

    by Drath

    He'd be too good for it, but if they go with small season he could still be in Mad Men.

  • April 19, 2012, 9:08 p.m. CST

    cancel alcatraz and cast Sam Neill as Lector

    by Rebel Scumb

    Much better use of his talents.

  • April 19, 2012, 9:38 p.m. CST

    And Hannibal will now be Hannah Lecter.

    by v3d

  • This should really be the standard for just about every drama. To sustain the narrative it's kinda hard when they end up taking a month and a half off. Glad it's going this way just shocked that networks are taking this long (aside from Fox, but they always seem to only order 12 eps of something)

  • April 19, 2012, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Tim Roth is too pricey.

    by Hercules

    And Jared Harris is too busy. Anyway, Roth and Harris are both too old at 50. Sam Neill is 64 and not European. Ian McShane is 69. If you're going that old for "young Lecter" you might as well just hire Sir Anthony Hopkins.

  • April 19, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST

    I'd laugh my balls off at Sam Neil trying to be scary.

    by Mugato5150

  • April 19, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST


    by gaygoonie


  • they're private eyes in LA! Tune in to Graham and Dr. Death. This Fall on N... B... C!

  • April 19, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Lecters age and potential actors...

    by KonkBob

    I mean really, who gives a shit how old here actor is, it's being set in the present which fucks up the whole timeline anyway.

  • April 19, 2012, 10:37 p.m. CST

    You lost me @ 'blogger' Fredricka.

    by HelveticaConspiracy

    Will never get used to it. And, even tabloid journalists are a step above 'bloggers'. Not to mention, Fuller sucks. He may be popular in the 'blogosphere', cause he so 'quirky'. But, everyone else hates his shows (hence, the repeated rapid fire cancellations). And, seeing his use of a 'blogger' tells me I'm going to hate this show, too.

  • Seriously, 13 episodes is a good, meaty, healthy amount of episodes needed. Fuller deserved it. He's done no wrong. -Namaste-

  • April 19, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Harris is perfect.

    by DougMcKenzie

    Doesn't matter he is 50, he actually looks 40, and is playing a 43-year old Grant in Lincoln. NBC would be smart to turn Thursday 10pm into 3 blocks of 13 episode a year series. No repeats, run each show for 13 straight new episodes each, then summer off.

  • April 19, 2012, 11:35 p.m. CST


    by mojination

    aw man, couldn't they have made this a period piece and stuck with the early 80's? An expert thinker can be easily replaced these days with some tech savvy lab rats from CSI or whatever. Lector wouldn't make as much of an impact if he existed today i don't think. i dunno, just having doubts of this being anything other than a standard police procedural.

  • And while I'll absolutely watch, the gender switch on Lounds is a disappointment given the nature of the character and where Lounds ultimately ends up. I can't help but feel a major potential disconnect there, artistic liberties be damned.

  • April 20, 2012, 12:37 a.m. CST

    or you could go REALLY young for hannibal lector and go with

    by jsfithaca

    Jack Gleeson!!!(aka king joffrey) on a more serious note i think harris would be kick-ass, and i always love tim roth.

  • April 20, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST

    13 episode season a plus

    by Gislef_crow

    Look how padded hour-dramas like House, Supernatural, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, Person of Interest, and even Fringe are. Or Smallville when it was on. Tell a story, stick to the arc. You cut out a lot of padding.

  • April 20, 2012, 12:53 a.m. CST

    Why haven't you fixed the bryan singer typo?

    by biberkopf5

    It's been hours!

  • April 20, 2012, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Sebastian Roché would be my bet.

    by AshMcQ

  • April 20, 2012, 2:54 a.m. CST

    Hey Herc

    by BlueLando

    I guess you think Fuller wrote Five Years Gone, then? Amazing what bollocks the mind can come up with when you irrationally hate a TV show that, in the first season, kicked Lost's ass!

  • April 20, 2012, 2:55 a.m. CST

    Tim Roth is too pricey?

    by BlueLando

    Yep. He sure didn't just come off a regular role on a network procedural...

  • April 20, 2012, 3:12 a.m. CST

    Dr. Alana Bloom and Fredricka Lounds?

    by buggerbugger

    Stupid bollocks. I mean, womb! No, ova! Vagina! Female bits!

  • April 20, 2012, 3:25 a.m. CST

    British, 40s? I'd go with Paul Bettany.

    by Executor

    However unintentional, he's got that creepy Hannibal stare down.

  • April 20, 2012, 3:31 a.m. CST


    by Hercules

    It's NBC, not Fox. The guys they're looking at for Lecter are cheaper than Tim Roth.

  • April 20, 2012, 3:56 a.m. CST


    by DonLogan

    any idea who they are looking at then? I wouldn't be surprised at someone like Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. He's surely cheap, done TV. Can't act for shit though. Likes cider for breakfast.

  • April 20, 2012, 5:04 a.m. CST

    So Peter Stormare or Robert Knepper?

    by tangcameo

    This being NBC, the producers looking for creepy Euro, and Herc saying cheaper than Tim Roth, those are my bets.

  • April 20, 2012, 5:18 a.m. CST


    by DonLogan

    Storemare is 58, Knepper is American.

  • April 20, 2012, 5:34 a.m. CST

    Will Lecter now be Hannibella Lecter too?

    by mdk

  • April 20, 2012, 6:42 a.m. CST

    Dexter has pretty much carried the ifea of a serial killer crimefighter

    by Pete Michaelson

    as far as it can go, I think. It's still a good show but it's not the GREAT show that it once was. Trying to recapture that with this new show is going to be nigh impossible, in my opinion.

  • April 20, 2012, 6:42 a.m. CST


    by Pete Michaelson

    I've been up since 0430

  • April 20, 2012, 6:59 a.m. CST


    by fxmulder35

    I think the idea of 13 episode seasons is great. It would be interesting if they could figure out a way to do it more. I wonder IF the networks could emulate the business model of cable? Is that even possible for them? It seems to me that the quality of everything would do nothing but go UP for the networks if they could figure out a way to do this. Knowing you are getting a solid 13 episodes to get behind a series is refreshing.

  • April 20, 2012, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Herc - Hannibal's Age

    by J

    Herc- I guess I'm confused about the time period. Is this going to take place in the 70s when Lecter and Graham teamed up or are they jumping it to modern day? A period show would most likely be more expensive to shoot. According to Harris' novel Hannibal Rising he was born in 1933 which would make him near or at 40 in the 70s which mean's he was no young pup at that time. Anyone 35-55 could essentially play him. I still see Roth in the role on the age card but you're probably right on the price tag.

  • April 20, 2012, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Michael Fassbender

    by rev_skarekroe

    He's a movie star now, so he'd never do it. But that's who I'd choose.

  • April 20, 2012, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Duh Doy!

    by J

    I just re-read the post where it says Lounds will be a blogger so that answers my time period question. So if keeping with the 1933 birthday then I would say Christopher Plummer, Christopher Lee or Ian Holm would all make great Hannibals in his 80's. :P

  • April 20, 2012, 7:39 a.m. CST

    how many seasons until Lecter is revealed?

    by Titus05

    sounds like it's going to take at least 3 seasons for the reveal which might be too long...buddy cop show won't hold people's interests unless they are trying to be Fringe

  • April 20, 2012, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Yeah, I'll pass....

    by Coughlins Laws

    That is all

  • April 20, 2012, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Gwyneth Paltrow as Hannah Lector

    by hhharry

  • April 20, 2012, 7:59 a.m. CST

    John Lithgow

    by Joseph Green

    gideonthedane mentioning Dexter made me think of Lithgow's performance as the Trinity killer. I think he'd be fantastic as Lecter, though the age and money argument enters into it again.

  • April 20, 2012, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Christoph Waltz

    by filmfanman

    Is Hannibal Lector. Would be amazing

  • April 20, 2012, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Brian Cox would be awesome.

    by Cletus Van Damme

    Oh, wait...

  • April 20, 2012, 9:10 a.m. CST

    I'm with the Jared Harris camp

    by SenatorJeffersonSmith

    Especially after watching him go a roun of fisticuffs with Vincent Kartheiser on Mad Men this week

  • April 20, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST


    by Himbo

    Amazing use of Joely Richardson in a joke.

  • Is Hugh Laurie looking for a new gig, or does he want to relax for a bit after HOUSE ends?

  • April 20, 2012, 10:07 a.m. CST

    How about Cillian Murphy? He's 36.

    by Royston Lodge

  • April 20, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST

    How about David Tennant? He's 41.

    by Royston Lodge

  • April 20, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    jesus wept

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Let's all just watch Manhunter instead.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    How about Ewan Bremner? He's 40.

    by Royston Lodge

  • April 20, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    How about Jean Dujardin? He's 40.

    by Royston Lodge

    I dunno if he could get his English up to par in time though. His speech at the Oscars was pretty rough.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:18 a.m. CST

    How about Karl Urban? He's 40.

    by Royston Lodge

  • April 20, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    How about Michael Fassbender as Lector?

    by jawsfan

  • April 20, 2012, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Stephen Graham

    by thinboyslim.

    has the right level of menace and subtlety, is the right age (39) alongside Dancy (36). Not sure how busy he is but he'll be a lot cheaper than Roth.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST

    How about me? I'm 40!

    by Scott

  • April 20, 2012, 10:33 a.m. CST

    After Graham discovers Lecter is a killer *spoilers*

    by Flippadippa

    Be interesting to see what they do. In the book Lecter tries to slice him. Hopefully they don't find some contrived reason for them to not kill each other.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    lindsey lohan is in talks to play the lead.

    by vulturess

    hannah bella lecter. i ate his wallet with a nice line of blow. th-th-th-th-th

  • April 20, 2012, 11 a.m. CST

    Bill Hader

    by RumpleWho

    imagine where he could take the character.

  • April 20, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST

    How can there be a "blogger"...

    by jake rodgers

    In the 70's??

  • April 20, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    5 lecter movies?

    by comicsniper

    I remember Manhunter, Silence of The Lambs, Hannibal, and Red Dragon. What am I missing? And, yes, I am well aware of imdb, but feeling lazy this morning.

  • April 20, 2012, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Paul Bettany

    by D_T

    (per somebody else) is a great choice. He definitely has that vibe of clever + looking through you. Right age, “european”, etc., just not sure he’d do TV[?] I don’t dig on making it current. We’ve seen the movies, we know when they take place blogger? *sigh*

  • April 20, 2012, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Hooray for 13 Episode Seasons

    by The Pelti

    Seriously, shorter seasons are a big part of why Cable/Pay/BBC shows are better. It lets the shows focus on the overall story, and not have to waste time with monster of the week filler episodes to stretch it to 22. It lets better actors, writers, and directors do TV, without compromising their ability to also do movies or stage work. Of course, the whole idea of TV networks needs to be killed by streaming/ondemand, but for the time being, I'd rather see shorter seasons.

  • April 20, 2012, 11:48 a.m. CST


    by hairlesspet

    There is a cinematic abortion named "Hannibal Rising" that charts our would-be-anti-hero's early life...If you enjoyed those other movies and books remotely, avoid it like the plague.

  • April 20, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST

    I'll give it a chance

    by alan_poon

    The man did create one of the best series of all time in dead Like Me.

  • April 20, 2012, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Perfect for crossovers with the Munsters!

    by Lesbianna_Winterlude

    Hannibal vs. Herman. You know you want to see it.

  • April 20, 2012, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Comic sniper

    by Toby Wan

    They made that shitty one about young Lector. You know the one that no one saw? Including me.

  • April 20, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Roylston Lodge has the right idea.

    by Pat

    Tennant, Murphy...excellent choices. A subdued Tennent with all that manic energy pent up behind the eyes? That's a liver, fava beans and chianti dinner right there!

  • April 20, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Is Thomas Harris involved in any way?

    by Somerichs

    Or has he given this his blessing? Just curious. They really seem to be bastardizing the history of these two. Unless I'm not remembering correctly, which is quite possible, I didn't think they had a long-term relationship. I thought he went and saw Lecter because he was the therapist of one of the people killed, and while he was there he noticed a book that made things click in his head. Anyway, while part of me thinks this idea sucks balls (assuming the above to be true), I will nevertheless probably still tune in to see if they can convincingly pull it off. One things that doesn't bode well is changing Lounds to a woman and making her a GD blogger, which means this is set in present time instead of 70s...

  • April 20, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    sorry...royston lodge

    by Pat

  • April 20, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    James Purefoy for Lektor - You know it to be true.

    by Cameron1

    Game, set and match, bitches.

  • April 20, 2012, 2:25 p.m. CST

    There are some good ideas in here

    by Brian888

    Murphy, Purefoy, Bettany...I can see all of them do great Lecters. If they want to stay at all close to the books, it should be someone who isn't physically imposing, but who is nevertheless very physically capable (Hopkins was actually perfect physical casting for the role). It should also be someone who can turn charming on like a faucet, because Lecter ideally shouldn't seem creepy when he's interacting with most people. I think somerichs is right, though. IIRC, in the book there was no indication that Graham and Lecter knew each other at all before Graham went to Lecter for help on a case and got cut up when he realized that Lecter was the killer. I'm OK with the change, though, assuming that they don't make Graham carry the idiot ball for too many seasons; Lecter is a genius, but Graham was no slouch either.

  • April 20, 2012, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Christoph Waltz

    by jambone

  • But it's not Purefoy, who would be amazing but is already playing a serial killer in a Fox pilot that looks likely to go to series.

  • April 20, 2012, 4:35 p.m. CST

    HOW can you do this?

    by Winston Smith

    You know where it's leading. Then we know the story from there. It just... desperate. This is a terrible idea. That dead horse is nothing but crushed meat.

  • April 20, 2012, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Best episodes of HEROES? Haha! Is there such a thing?

    by ZodNotGod

    That's like saying, he took a good knifing.

  • April 20, 2012, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Jared Harris is my hunch for one of the contenders

    by alan_poon

  • April 20, 2012, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Come on Herc!

    by filmfanman

    Give us some hints. Fingers crossed for Christoph

  • I'm just imagining in my head if this show had a solid run how you'd end it. All of that implied history in Red Dragon would really pay off if they did it that way.

  • April 20, 2012, 7:02 p.m. CST

    menstruatingheart: I've been called much worse. ;-)

    by Royston Lodge

  • April 20, 2012, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Why hold out on us Herc?

    by J

    Give us 3 names... we'll go from there.

  • April 20, 2012, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Just saw it says he pitched a 7 season arc...

    by J

    At least they have a plan... it seems.

  • April 20, 2012, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Cast Rufus Sewell as Lector...

    by dogrobber

    ... not really (not that he would be a bad choice) I just always thought that he could pass as being related to Ian McShane (similar eyes), plus he is European, the right age (I think), and the producers could probably afford him.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    How about Joseph Fiennes as Lector?

    by paulrichard

    He's done some tv recently.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:38 p.m. CST


    by DonLogan

  • April 20, 2012, 10:40 p.m. CST

    oh's jonathan rhys meyers

    by DonLogan

    he likes cider for breakfast

  • April 21, 2012, 6:24 a.m. CST

    Michael Sheen as lector

    by rakesh patel

    I like Fullers work, but in all honesty i'm kinda bored with Lector. I remember watching silence of the lambs in the cinema It was scary. Now i can see more scary shit on the internet at a click of a button. Not only today's global 24 news is scarier. I've become desensitised to it. Is lector scary anymore? Anyways.. Micheal Sheen, good actor, has unfortunately not been given the opportunity to shine. fantastic in unthinkable. Right age range.

  • Well he's not as cautious as Day Lewis, but still... Jared Harris to old for the casting profile. I would like to see more of Tennants work. Murphy is an interesting suggestion.

  • April 21, 2012, 7:10 a.m. CST

    ooooo and Bettany

    by alexander

  • April 21, 2012, 7:21 p.m. CST

    if its on nbc how intense can it get.?.

    by chainsaw autotune

    and charlie sheen as charlie sheen. #winning. lol. remember all that shit? what happened to it?

  • April 23, 2012, 3:42 a.m. CST

    I would go with David Hyde Pierce for Lecter

    by American Mythos

    And Kelsey Grammer as his brother Frasier Lecter. No, but, seriously, David Hyde Pierce... Kelsey has Boss on STARZ, give the other Crane boy something to do.

  • April 23, 2012, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Last talkback I suggested John Hannah

    by JonJonB9

    but another TBer trumped that with Jason Isaacs. I'd tune in for either but, without someone in that talent range I'm not giving this show my viewership.