NBC Pulls Next Thursday's Hannibal in Wake of Boston Marathon Bombings

hannibal episode pulled boston bombingsNBC has pulled next Thursday’s grislier-than-usual episode of Hannibal in the wake of this week’s Boston Marathon bombingsVariety reports.

The decision came after exec producer Bryan Fuller phoned the network to express his concern about the content of the episode, this season’s fourth, which involves children-on-children murder.

NBC will instead jump ahead to Episode 5. Viewers shouldn’t expect any continuity issues, per Variety.

As a result of the move, Hannibal‘s season finale will now air one week earlier on June 20.

ABC made a similar decision earlier this week, delaying next Monday’s installment of Castle that focuses on the team attempting to disarm a bomb that Beckett has stepped on; that episode is now slated to air on April 29.

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  1. scorpionglow says:

    Do they plan on showing the episode anywhere or are they cutting it completely, maybe just putting it on the DVD release?

    • Maybe it’ll air in international markets, where scheduling is different.

    • This was posted by THR: “And while the episode will still run overseas, there are no plans for a stateside bow.”

      • soundscene says:

        I’m sure it’ll get released on DVD or air on Netflix, Amazon streaming, etc. after the season is over.

    • They will make a clip featurette available on NBC.com for character development hole fillers. The episode will still air overseas as planned.

      • scorpionglow says:

        Because Americans are too fragile to choose whether or not to watch it and people who live overseas are suddenly the key audience!? It’s ridiculous. It’s fine to push it back, but to only show it overseas is ludicrous. This reeks of CYA.

        • John Adams says:

          I agree with you. This episode dealt with an individual adult training children to kill children.
          Sensitivity to Sandy Hook, Boston. The connection? The show is about a cunning, psychopathic killer. I believe the NBC “bigwigs” got to Bryan Fuller. He folded like a cheap suit and caved in to the PC nonsense. We aren’t allowed to see baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad things here.

          I’d like to know what the dude who plays Hannibal thinks about this. { probably thinks it’s ridiculous} He’s from Europe. They apparently are more grown up there than we are here as the show will go on for them.

    • Alan says:

      sounds like bryan fuller isnt happy with the content so he has made the call for it to be skipped entirely. he will be narrating a video package about the episode on nbc.com for those who want to know what happened in the episode.

      • soundscene says:

        Which begs the question as to why the episode got made in the first place if Bryan Fuller is not happy about its general content. I assume he knew the plot before it went to film. I get the desire to be extra sensitive after such a tragedy, but this is a show about a serial killer. Anybody who decides to watch it would already know that it’s content isn’t going to be rosy.

        • Alan says:

          it was filmed way back before the last batch of shootings which made big news, most likely fuller has been rethinking things in the wake of all the stuff that has happened in the past few months.

          • soundscene says:

            Fuller should have pulled it way before now, then. The events in Boston bear no resemblance to Episode 4, which actually bears more resemblance to previous shooting tragedies. He could have re-edited Episode 5 to account for scrapping Episode 4 (and he should just scrap it altogether rather than airing it overseas and treating American viewers like they can’t handle it).

  2. courtland says:

    okay now this is getting a tad ridiculous..the bomb centric ep of castle was kinda understandable..same with the online pulling of the family guy ep that had boston marathon stuff in it…but a random ep f a show just cause its a little more violent then usual ?? That seems unnecessary…theres not enough connections to the actual event that makes it make sense…sounds more like nbc wanting to jump on the banning something bandwagon

    • MrMank says:


    • iMember says:

      NBC isn’t jumping on any bandwagons. They started it when they pushed back Revolution a week for coverage of the news.

      • courtland says:

        good point..i forgot about the revolution pushback probably because my broadcast wasnt even nbc national news coverage it was some random cheap local broadcasting not even bombing related for the hour

    • Alan says:

      its not nbc who made the decision, it was bryan fuller

    • Danielle H. says:

      All of it is a joke. I hate this new trend of pulling TV everytime something happens. I’m sure fans of this show are very sad they will be missing an episode. IT’S A GORY HORROR SHOW. Of course it is going to raise eyebrows…..you can’t toe the line then back off of that all of a sudden.

      • Drizz says:

        Exactly. I’m tired of this over-sensitive PC bullhonkey. It’s a TV show, it’s not real life. It’s violent horror gore, the sensitive aren’t going to be watching this anyway. It’s time to drop the “nanny” culture… Stop mollycoddling people.

  3. Michelle says:

    So are we just not getting the episode at all? I mean, I’m glad there won’t be any continuity issues, but I’d still like to see it eventually!

  4. bob says:

    Bryan Fuller asked for the episode to be pulled

  5. Oh, for Christ’s sake! Why not pull the whole show then? EVERY episode is violent, bloody, creepy and grisly! That’s the POINT OF THE SHOW! And also why they use the “Viewers discretion is advised” warning. People who are sensitive to gruesome violence on-screen shouldn’t be watching it in the first place. Hopefully, our AXN will air it as planned.

  6. Chicago Dan says:

    Um. Hannibal is a disturbing series to begin with. So the children on children murder was OK prior to Monday, but not OK now? I don’t believe children were responsible for the terrorism in Boston. People who are not interested in the series (and based on the ratings – lots of them – it was only watched by 3.5 MM last night), are going to continue to avoid it.

    • beckstle says:

      Gee, sorry you’re not getting your bloodbath of little kids, but one of Boston Marathon bombing victims was an eight year old boy who was running for the victims of Sandy Hook. So while I don’t see much value in the whole showing gruesome murders of children to begin with, with this child’s death and the fact of Sandy Hook once again being front and center, NBC pulling this makes a lot of sense. Being that the episode was likely filmed before Sandy Hook, I can see why the producers wanted it pulled entirely. Violent depraved acts become far less entertaining when the reality of it is front page news. The recent failure of the gun registration law only has made the memory more current in the public eye. Also, why give some lunatic out there ideas? It’s perhaps occurring to people to be a bit more careful about what ideas media fills our heads with.

      • Drizz says:

        You may be the perfect government-approved sheep.

        • beckstle says:

          Sheep know to run from wolves. So, yeah. There is a proven correlation between exposure to media violence and children, teens and young adults. Being that a generation of people grew up with this stuff, it’s no wonder people are more concerned about a missing TV episode than respecting the seriousness of recent events. Some of these posts sound like addicts upset that they’ve being deprived of a fix. Go rent “Saw” – you’ll feel better.

          • Huskygrl says:

            You know there is a really simple solution to this dilemma – if your are going to be upset by the contents of a show–DON’T WATCH IT! It’s as simple as turning off the Telly. There is no reason to for networks or producers, writers, etc. to have to insulate every American from a possible owwie. People should be self sufficient enough to make those calls for themselves. If they aren’t then call it a learning experience for them, clearly they need it!

          • KevyB says:

            That’s a completely ignorant understanding of the facts. Being exposed to violence can affect SOME people, but it certainly doesn’t make the vast majority of people turn into violent goons. And don’t say “this generation”. That’s also an ignorant understanding of when violence hit the mainstream media. The 70s brought us greatly violent films. I grew up with those violent films, reading Stephen King and every other horror novel I could get my hands on, then crime fiction. HBO existed in my youth also and I watched every violent movie I could get my eyes on. As did millions of other kids. Yet, somehow 99% of us aren’t out bombing or shooting other people.

            I find it pathetic that people who I would assume would normally rail against censorship, hear of a few horrific events and then suddenly start clamoring for censorship. Last time I checked, this isn’t Communist China. Censorship is bad, regardless of your uneducated reasons for wanting it. Every time we alter our lives because of a terrorist act, then they’ve gotten exactly what they want. So go on and let them control your life. I refuse to let that happen.

      • KB says:

        The 8 year old boy that was killed was not running the marathon. He was there cheering on his father. Thatstory about a boy being killed that was running for Sandy Hook was not accurate.

  7. Chel says:

    I worry that pulling shows has become an obligation to networks. Now I’m not saying something horrible hasn’t happened, it has, but pulling shows is just a network trying to show their humanity by inconveniencing everyone. It’s not like these shows are making light of the tragedy (except Family guy, I understand pulling that) they are looking at something and saying, yes, this bad thing is bad. If we pull shows and don’t talk about tragedy every time one happens….how is this helping? Recently Glee aired an episode about a school shooting that if, god forbid, had coincided with an actual shooting would surely have been pulled from the air. But I think that in those times, the Glee episode (which was all about how scary such an event is to everyone involved) could actually be helpful to air at that time. I’m not trying to be insensitive, people view television as merely entertainment, but it’s more than that; It’s a shared experience that everyone can relate to. Maybe by showing how terrifying such an experience is, in the wake of such an event, would help more people to understand what others are going through, and perhaps, stop future events.
    Our world is violent, it is a truth that we cannot change, but closing our eyes to reality every time something bad happens we are condoning bad behaviour. And if every crime drama runs the risk of not airing because crime might happen, crime drama’s are going to be in big trouble.

    • Caitlin says:

      This is one of those instances where I wish there was a like button. I completely agree with everything you said. I understand wanting to be sympathetic to the situation but I really don’t the people directly affected by it are gonna be crashing in front of the tv. They’ve got bigger things to worry about. And the networks pull things that most of the time don’t need to be pulled.

  8. kavyn says:

    “This just in: Every network pulls every episode of every show for every reason!”

  9. Scott Parker says:

    In this politically correct time, it is really sad to see that these terrorists are truly changing our country from the worst. Now we cannot air programs because they might offend someone. Well, change the channel. I don’t even bother watching the news because all they do is over hype things. I’d rather just go to work, take care of my family, and enjoy some television. At this point, I’m even considering cutting all cable and just switching to Nextflix and HuluPlus. It seems less of a hassle and expense. Sure I’ll have to wait for first run shows, but at least I won’t have to deal with network idiocy.

  10. Jane says:

    OK, I agreed with the Revolution and Castle pull. The Family Guy pull is a no-brainer. This I don’t understand. Could it really be that much worse than this week’s episode? At least put it on-line so those of us who want to watch it can.

  11. CA says:

    Here is my questions and it is similar to others already posted — if the content is that disturbing then why show it to begin with? Does waiting one whole week really lessen the grief of those who lost a love one? And how does the conversation go:
    Person 1: Whew….boy am I glad that *network A* preempted that episode of Castle by one week after we lost our family member to terrorist.
    Person 2: I know. I mean we were almost already over our grief but now we are reminded of it all over again!
    Common sense folks — use it.

  12. Alan says:

    some of the people commenting on here are ridiculous. “boo hoo, i wont get to see an episode of a show i watch.” people have died, this is about respecting them and their families. try putting yourselves in the position of a family member dealing with something like this then seeing something similar play out in a tv show for someones entertainment and then see if you can still whine and moan.

    • Steve says:

      The family member trying to deal with a tragedy of senseless violence most likely won’t be watching Hannibal. The other 99.9% of the show’s viewers should still be allowed to see the episode.

      • Huskygrl says:

        I agree, tragic things happen to people every day, and the loved ones of those involved have to find ways to cope with all sorts of situations. Unless an episode of a tv show is dealing with that specific event, then all the canceling and rearranging is just a futile exercise of politically correct mania. I would imagine all the constant rehashing and “in depth reporting” of a given tragic event is far more disturbing than an unrelated fictional story.

        • Drizz says:

          Agreed entirely. If I had suffered such a horrible tragedy, I probably wouldn’t be watching any TV, and I certainly wouldn’t want my pain to infringe on others’ right to do so.

    • soundscene says:

      The episode of Hannibal is nothing like the Boston bombings. Nothing. It’s being pulled simply because it’s being deemed too gruesome. It’s a show about a serial killer. All the episodes are too gruesome. That’s kind of the point.

  13. I have mixed feelings on this. I understand being sensitive, but I feel like a show like Hannibal would be disturbing to any trauma victim, regardless on the specific subject matter. We can debate all day if networks should allow their shows to be as dark and twisted as Hannibal has been thus far, but if you pick up a show like this, it is what it is and you should simply air the episodes. There’s always ugliness in the world and an excuse not to air a show of this nature each week.

  14. john says:

    Bryan Fuller is an idiot for pulling this episode. The fans should have the say so not him. I guess I will download it from a torrent site or something then if I can. People are too sensitive nowadays. People need to quit whining and pulling tv shows.

  15. Mikael says:

    The show airs at 10pm too. They’d probably pull The Walking Dead if it was still on because people shooting zombies would be too insensitive. I just hope the show comes out on blu-ray with the episode intact. It was annoying when WB pulled the graduation episode of Buffy because a group of students fighting a giant demon snake was too insensitive to a school shooting that had happened.

  16. Zorkel567 says:

    Unless this episodes is put up on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video, I’m done with the show. I get a tragedy has happened, but we need to move forward, and show these terrorists they can’t ruin things for people.

  17. Evan says:

    For all the people who are arguing, remember it this way:

    While there’s a separate argument that can be made for being too PC nowadays, while I understand him wanting to pull the episode for now because of the events in Boston, the part that makes no sense is to decide to scrap it completely. You just air it later like most other networks due with sensitive episodes. But you don’t just decide never to show it at all.

    • beckstle says:

      The decision to not air it at all – from what I’ve read – was a personal one by the creator, not the network. It’s about his personal consciousness – not a network PC issue.

  18. Michael Pemulis says:

    Ridiculous. We should pull every episode of every television show then. Because a coinciding tragedy occurs everyday on this planet. Let’s all grow up and understand the difference between TV and reality.

  19. R.O.B. says:

    I read on the comments here there will be clips that will fill in plot gaps? I actually would like if they could show the entire scenes (Graham and Lecter talking, for example). Fine, pull the episode, but don’t disrupt the ongoing character building if those scenes are showable. Certainly it isn’t a throwaway episode in terms of mythology. “Previously on…”- sized clips won’t cut it.

  20. Patrick Maloney says:

    Maybe it will be on Hulu?

  21. Avalon says:

    Not happy, not happy at all. NBC ….. Bad. I hope they at least put it ON DEMAND, it’s unfair to deprive fans of the show of any episode regardless of the content. If it offends, then don’t watch.

  22. times like these i am so glad to be a Brit. I will watch it and let you all know what goes down if you like

  23. Bill Smith says:

    The pussification of America continues..

    So sick of companies caving to people who are, or may get their feelings hurt.. It is a freaking TV show!! It was made before any of the things in Boston happened.. This reminds me of the Ben Stiller movie “The Watch.” Its release was delayed for half a year, and they changed its name from “Neighborhood Watch.” There were fears that people would be upset with the name and subject matter, due to the Trayvon Martin situation.. It doesn’t matter that the movie had already been made before all that stuff happened.. I could be wrong, but anyone who recently had a tragic death, or gruesome injury affect them, is probably not likely to be watching a show about a serial killer within a week of the incident. If they did, they need to hold themselves accountable for what they may see..