Salt Lake City NBC Affiliate Yanks 'Hannibal' From Schedule
As it did with "The Playboy Club" and "The New Normal," the Mormon church-owned station has pulled the serial killer drama after four episodes.
Hannibal just got harder to find in Utah. KSL TV, the Salt Lake City NBC affiliate which has previously vetoed The Playboy Club and The New Normal over content issues, announced on its Facebook page that it will no longer be airing the spin on Silence of the Lambs.
"After viewing the past few episodes, as well as receiving numerous complaints from viewers, KSL TV will cancel the airing of the NBC show Hannibal on Thursday evenings," reads the post. "This decision was made due to the extensive graphic nature of this show. The time slot will be replaced with a special edition of KSL 5 News at 9 p.m. NBC remains a valued partner to KSL TV. KSL is confident that with the proliferation of digital media, those who wish to view the program can easily do so."
KSL is owned by Bonneville International Corporation, a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints company. The Mormon ownership and largely Mormon audience in the market make the move a not entirely unsurprising one. Ahead of the 2012-13 season, KSL preemptively pulled Ryan Murphy's gay couple comedy New Normal for what it called "rude and crude dialogue."
As it has in the past, KUCW (an Ogden-licensed station with ties to The CW, ABC and NBC) has picked up KSL's discards. The affiliate will air Hannibal on Saturday nights after fellow NBC series Saturday Night Live.
This is not the first preemption news for Hannibal. At the insistence of showrunner Bryan Fuller, NBC opted not to air an April 25 episode about violent children out of respect after the Boston Marathon bombing. Parts of the episode were later repurposed for a series of web shorts.