An article I came across recently, really made me sit down and take a moment to think about Hannibal, and the reasons it was cancelled. Something that seems so bizarre under the circumstances, and really took me by surprise when it happened, was hearing that NBC was cancelling Hannibal due to the low ratings it was receiving.
The article that inspired this post, was bluntly titled “Hannibal Cancelled By NBC After Ratings Slump“. The article states that although the show was critically acclaimed, and rated very highly, viewer ratings were low, and continued to decrease as the show went on. At first, I thought to myself “how could it get such low viewer ratings when it has such a large cult following, and as a show, it was rated so high?” and then I realised that it wasn’t the overall views that were the problem, it was the recorded views.
When NBC aired Hannibal, they placed it in a very odd and inconvenient time slot of 10:00pm on a Thursday night. This meant that a lot of people who would normally watch the show on t.v. when the episodes initially aired, couldn’t because it was too late for them, or it was just an inconvenient time. In addition to this, people living in countries that didn’t air the show, weren’t able to watch it at all. This meant that a great deal of people would either record Hannibal when it aired on television and watch it another time later down the track, or they would download episodes from the internet, illegally. The problem with this was that although people were still watching the show, these views didn’t count towards the overall ratings.
To sum up what I’ve just said, and relate it back to the article; NBC aired Hannibal in an inconvenient and unpopular time slot which led to lots of viewers downloading episodes rather than watching them when they aired, which meant that the view counts looked very low, which inevitably ended in NBC cancelling the show.
Without putting the blame on anyone per se, I would love to know how differently this would’ve played out if NBC had aired Hannibal in a more viewer-friendly time-slot. I guess that’s something we’ll all have to keep wondering.