Hannibal Moves: NBC Still Struggles with Shows Outside the Box

Mads Mikkelsen in Hannibal
If ever there was proof that NBC cannot handle television that falls outside the box Hannibal being moved by the network shows that they struggle with “abnormal” plots and storyline. That they even decided to run with a series about an iconic serial killer is pretty amazing and, had they kept the strength of their initial convictions, would have continued to be impressive.

The network also dropped the ball with Constantine, the supernatural thriller based upon the graphic novel Hellblazer, when they announced that the show would not be coming back for a second season before the fist season was even a few episodes old.

This same lack of imagination is what has prompted them to move Hannibal from its previous Thursday night slot to Saturday. A night normally referred to as a “rating’s wasteland.” The only real competition for audience members will be from the AMC Hell on Wheels western, with Colm Meaney and Anson Mount, their last season actually premieres on July 18. This final insult to the Mads Mikkelsen crime/horror series also appears to be the final nail in the show’s network coffin.

At SDCC the news for Hannibal fans was that neither Hulu nor Netflix are interested into taking the series into another season and the show’s creator is holding out hope for a feature length film for some fan closure. Ironically, despite a pretty loyal fanbase, the viewing figures for Hannibal are not high enough to elicit much excitement from any other networks.

More puzzling is the news that the David Duchovny vehicle Aquarius, which has been airing weekly even though the entire season could be viewed in one go over at Hulu at the start of its run, has also been moved by NBC. This “search for Manson” has been shoved over to Saturday as well.

Unlike Hannibal, however, Aquarius has been approved for another season making this shuffle even more questionable. Since viewer numbers are obviously more promising for this quasi “based upon real events” tale the move to a veritable desert is inexplicable and confusing. Again showing just how little NBC are able to deal with shows that are less “mainstream.”

While Hannibal seems to be left out in the cold in terms of TV land, Constantine is still casting about for another network. In May there was talk of the character showing up on one of the CW shows, Green Arrow and/or The Flash since all three are part of the DC comic verse.

This would be exciting news for fans of Hellblazer and Constantine but it does raise questions as to why CW are not rushing to put the NBC cancelled program on their line up. Brit star Matt Ryan, who fills his part as perfectly as Mikkelsen fills the shoes of Hannibal Lector, must be grinding his teeth in frustration at the delay in finding a new home.

In the meantime, fans of Mads Mikkelsen can see his continued portrayal of Lector on NBC but on Saturday vs its old time slot.

American Horror Story: SDCC News Jessica Lange Tease

Kathy Bates at SDCC AHS Panel
San Diego Comic Con, aka SDCC annually mades headlines when the creators, cast and other various members of the entertainment industry give out early information about iconic games, TV shows and movies. American Horror Story gave fans a bit of news about the next season and Ryan Murphy decided to tease fans of the series about past star Jessica Lange. While Lady Gaga fans are overly excited about the face that their Mommy Monster will be in the show, acting only – sorry kids – the news that award winning actress Lange will not be in this newest ensemble was more than disappointing to say the least.

Granted fans of the show have known for sometime now that Lange would not be in Hotel, but the tease that she could return in a later season was a bittersweet treat for fans. It does feel a little like a bad joke, replacing Lange with Gaga? Really?

In a joint panel, stars from both AHS and the new horror comedy series Scream Queens, starring American Horror Story alumnus Emma Roberts and horror icon Jamie Lee Curtis, revealed certain noteworthy items from both shows. Curtis teased fans of her Laurie Strode character from Halloween that there would be a “wordless” nod to the role that helped to make her one of the original scream queens. Roberts is reportedly going to show up at the end of the latest version of Murphy’s brilliantly macabre creation, at least that is what the show’s creator told the panel audience at the SDCC.

The 24 year-old actress will apparently reunite with her one-time real life boyfriend and costar Evan Peters. It is interesting to note that the Scream 4 star had been arrested in 2012 for allegedly beating Peters up, he refused to press charges and the relationship limped along till June 2015 when they called the whole thing off.

Roberts will not be the only other AHS alumni member to reappear in the hotel setting of season five of the series. Ryan Murphy, the same man who brought the world Glee and “gleeks,” stated that other characters would be appearing in this newest season. Murphy has always insisted that the each season’s characters are interconnected, he proved that in season four by showing how Pepper, who was first spotted in Season three; Asylum, was placed into Briarcliff.

While this is welcome news to fans of the long running series, it is still a major disappointment that the one constant in all of the previous four seasons, Jessica Lange, will be missing. The two time Oscar winner stated after Freakshow had finished that she would not be in the next one. Her reason was that she needed a rest from the verse. Considering the different types of characters she played along with the intensity of her performances, it is no wonder that the 66 year-old performer took a break.

This absence may just be the missing ingredient from Murphy’s crowd pleasing cult favorite that spells disaster for its long running success. Lange was not necessarily the glue that bound each episode of every season together, but she was the steely spine of each and every story. The thread that held together through each twist and turn and bloody gruesome event.

Lange’s Elsa Mars, Sister Jude Martin, Fiona Good and Constance Langdon were all disparate creatures, and as much as Elsa was heart rending yet despicable, her Sister Jude will be the epitome of character arcs for the entire season; a journey that started with the viewer hating her overbearing nun and then crying real tears for her and that fall from grace.

SDCC saw fans of American Horror Story getting the latest news about the latest verse in Ryan Murphy’s creation and his teasing that perhaps other performers who will not show up might do so in another season, “aka Jessica Lange,” is a little exciting, if not bittersweet. Sadly Lange will not be back this time around and maybe that is the way it should be.

After all, how can she top Elsa Mars’ rendition of Bowie’s “Life on Mars.” Not to mention her sad success at the end of the season. Have a look at the video below of Elsa belting out this show stopper and think of the Comic Con and just what the latest season of AHS will be like without Lange.

Do not be afraid to shed a little tear…

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