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.