Hannibal producer blames pirates for death of the show

Martha De Laurentiis has written an impassioned piece about the difficulty of keeping the series alive in the face of colossal illegal downloading

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When the news broke last year that Hannibal may have had his last supper on American network NBC, fans signed petitions and started campaigns to get the show back on air. But despite all the effort, the prognosis wasn’t — and still isn’t — good. 

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And the show’s executive producer, Martha De Laurentiis, has now said that high levels of piracy were at least partly responsible for the death of the cult Silence of the Lambs prequel.

“When NBC decided not to renew Hannibal for a fourth season — a show on which I served as executive producer — it wasn’t much of a leap to connect its fate with the fact that the show was ranked as the fifth-most illegally downloaded show in 2013,” wrote De Laurentiis for The Hill.

“Did pirates kill Hannibal? Unfortunately, that is a cliffhanger that might last for a while. With more than 2 million viewers watching our show illegally, it’s hard not to think online pirates were, at the very least, partly responsible for hundreds of crew members losing their jobs and millions of fans — who watched the show legitimately — mourning the loss of a beloved program.” 

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De Laurentiis’s argument may or may not hold water. Game of Thrones is famously the most illegally downloaded show on TV — and also one of the most successful.