NBC has pulled next week’s episode of Hannibal in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings and recent acts of violence across the US.
The pull came after exec-producer Bryan Fuller contacted the network to express his concern about the content of the episode. Per Variety, Fuller explained:
“Given the cultural climate right now in the U.S., I think we shouldn’t air the episode in its entirety.”
“I didn’t want to have anyone come to the show and have a negative experience. Whenever you [write] a story and look at the sensational aspects of storytelling, you think, ‘This is interesting metaphorically, and this is interesting as social commentary.’ With this episode, it wasn’t about the graphic imagery or violence. It was the associations that came with the subject matter that I felt would inhibit the enjoyment of the overall episode. … It was my own sensitivity.”
The episode, the fourth in the series (“Ceuf“), is said to feature ‘child-on-child’ violence. The network will instead skip directly ahead to Episode 5.
Will the gods of serial be angered by the apparent forsaking of all-important continuity? Apparently not, according to Variety, though unless the episode is completely standalone that is open to question – at least until Episode 5 airs. Granted, Hannibal isn’t the most serialized serial killer show you’ll see this season, but it is serialized with a decent amount of continuation within each of the three aired-episodes to date.
Still, those hungry for the episode will be able to watch clips from Episode 4 online. NBC is making a package of highlights from the pulled episode available on NBC.com next week. The clips are said to focus on character development and not the procedural aspects of the fourth episode – which suggests the network is aware of the continuity breech. The package will also feature Fuller commentating over the clips.
As a result of the pull, the season finale will now air a week earlier on June 20.