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Hollywood's 20 Masters of Horror: The Twisted Talents Raising the Most Hell

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    Bryan Fuller Headshot - P 2012
    Getty Images
    Bryan Fuller
    The Death Dealer

    After his long-gestating $10 million Munsters reboot Mockingbird Lane fizzled at NBC, Fuller delivered with the Silence of the Lambs prequel series Hannibal. The Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal Lecter) and Hugh Dancy (Will Graham) starrer opened to positive reviews and a modest debut in the network’s troubled 10 p.m. Thursday slot, built a devoted base and went on to earn a second-season renewal despite lackluster numbers. (Season one averaged 2.82 million total viewers; factoring in DVR viewing, Hannibal’s freshman run spiked an impressive 77 percent among the under-50 set.)

    Of the artistic-yet-gruesome material featured on Hannibal, Fuller, 44, says it was a must to make the show stand out. “We want to make it difficult for audiences to turn away from it,” he says. “We strive to make it beautiful at the same time and value it as horrific — then and only then can you understand what Will goes through.” Death has been a major theme in Fuller’s work, which includes the high-concept dramas Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me.

    “It’s one of the biggest mysteries of the human condition because it’s a wall we can’t see beyond,” says Fuller. “As a kid growing up, I went to a lot of funerals and was always fascinated by death. It seemed so far away. There are all sorts of ways to interpret how death affects you.”

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