Earlier this year when Hannibal was bumped from the schedules and delayed until the summer, many of us assumed it was a network decision to try and improve ratings. However, speaking to Digital Spy showrunner Bryan Fuller has explained the real reasons for the delay.
"We barely, by the skin of our teeth, were able to produce the first two seasons with a lot of hard work, and a lot of people bending over backwards and contorting, because it's so hard to do a crafted television show in eight days [per episode].
It was eight-day episodes, and then an additional day or two of second unit, and massive overtime. But coming into the third season, which is our most ambitious yet, it was essentially trying to squeeze all of that into seven days, with no second unit, and it blew up in everybody's faces.
It was one of those where I was saying, 'This isn't gonna work, this isn't gonna work', and then on day three of production I was like, 'This really does not work', because we were not completing episodes. Scenes were getting dropped, shots were dropped, so in the editing room I was like, 'I can't even put this together because there's not enough material’. And I'd been squawking about that for four months, saying we're in trouble, and then finally after four months we realised where we were and had to push back, because the show wasn't done.”
You have to admire Fuller’s honesty and his commitment to the show, the breakneck pace of the television industry is demanding and the shooting schedule for Hannibal sounds punishing. I am a big fan of the series despite not usually being one for TV shows based on movies, but Hannibal is a potent mixture of ingredients that makes for compelling television while adding to the mythology. For a network show, Hannibal pushes the envelope with its evocative style and a powerhouse performance from Mads Mikkelsen as the infamous Dr Lecter.
Hannibal returns on June 5th.