Exec explains why dismal ratings didn't stop Hannibal from getting renewed

Why did Hannibal get to stick around, even with those lean ratings?

Fannibals (yes, they're called that) are still celebrating the season-two renewal of Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller's horror-drama Hannibal, the Silence of the Lambs prequel series that's drawn great critical acclaim but weak ratings and viewership in its Thursday night timeslot. The show's ever-growing online fandom, filled with rabid supporters, was certainly a factor in keeping it around, but according to NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, there was more to it than that. Quite simply, she didn't want to throw away a good show, and in the process throw away her shot at other good shows.

"Would it be a smart move to take a show that represents quality and chop it off at the knees? I didn't feel like that would be a great decision and it would also affect the kind of talent we attract to the network," Salke said at a breakfast Thursday at the Paley Center for Media.

Salke also noted that the show represents part of the network's renewed commitment to keeping original programming going during the summer, a time when the broadcast networks traditionally back off into rerun territory and let the cable networks have all the fun. She also discussed the show's large online viewership, and expressed hope that the multiplatform appeal of the series would translate to greater success for it in the future.

"It's a show with critical acclaim and a following with a rabid fan base and we do a lot of online activity and yet the ratings lie there like a cat on a rug," Salke said. "If you have something great, people latch onto it and it will naturally evolve into all those places -- and if you don't, it won't."

So, low ratings or not, NBC seems to still have faith in Hannibal. What do you think? Are you sticking with the show? Will you catch up now that it's sticking around for a while?

(Via THR)