'Hannibal' finally gets premiere date

HANNIBAL

Ready to make a reservation for NBC’s Hannibal?

The serial killer thriller will premiere Thursday, April 4 at 10 p.m.

The time slot is a bit of a surprise. One would expect given NBC’s recent drama struggles that the Bryan Fuller series would at least have its premiere stunted behind The Voice this spring, a strategy that’s really helped another freshman drama, Revolution. This particular time slot just saw the short-lived Do No Harm do a ratings face-plant. Then again, a dark crime drama about a killer cannibal and the family friendly reality series aren’t exactly hugely compatible anyway.

Typically one would expect a midseason drama’s premiere date to get announced sooner. There was some industry speculation NBC was holding off on revealing the show’s date until some of the media furor about violence on TV in the wake of the Newtown shooting had eased (actually, this date wasn’t announced by the network — Fuller tweeted the date and NBC confirmed it). Also, Fox’s dark serial killer thriller The Following seemingly wasn’t adversely impacted by any of the violence headlines and has been so far the only freshman midseason launch to deliver respectable numbers.

Hannibal explores the relationship between FBI agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and brilliant psychiatrist and killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). The show also features Laurence Fishburne as Graham’s boss Jack Crawford and X-Files star Gillian Anderson making her TV return as Dr. Lecter’s therapist.

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