NBC Renews 'Hannibal' for Second Season

Hannibal Premiere Episodic - H 2013

Hannibal Premiere Episodic - H 2013

NBC is staying in business with Hannibal Lecter. 

The network on Thursday announced the Silence of the Lambs prequel Hannibal will return for a second season of 13 episodes.

The Bryan Fuller drama, from Gaumont International Television and Sony Pictures Television Networks, arrived with glowing reviews to NBC's minefield Thursday at 10 p.m. slot, opening in April to a 1.6 in the demo and 3.4 million total viewers. The debut marked the slot's best performance in more than a year after it took over for short-lived rookie Do No Harm. The Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen starrer heads into its June 27 season finale averaging 3.4 million total viewers. To date, Hannibal is averaging a 2.0 rating in adults 18-49 and 4.7 million total viewers, according to Nielsen.

“We’re so proud of Bryan’s vision for a show that is richly textured, psychologically complex, and very compelling,” NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke said. “There are many great stories still to be told.”

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In announcing the pickup, NBC noted that the series -- based on Thomas Harris' Red Dragon novel -- is the youngest drama on ABC, CBS and NBC, with a median age of 45.7. Factoring in DVR growth, the series improves its advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demo by an impressive 75 percent. 

With the renewal, Hannibal becomes only the third freshman series at NBC to earn a second-season pickup. It joins Chicago Fire and Revolution in that category.

Hannibal's second season, NBC notes, will air no earlier than midseason.