Hannibal is bloody and creatively brilliant, period.
But since it doesn't showcase teenagers making out or trying to declare a coup against their parents, the show is struggling to bring impressive ratings to NBC.
The premise of the series that is right down dark and yet visually entertaining is somehow not the usual paradigm viewers of streamlined shows are accustomed to.
Now going into its third season, NBC executives have given their opinion on the show's bubble status, and whether it could find a better audience if given the chance to air on a cable network.
Hannibal is - and I think most people in this room would agree - one of the best shows we have creatively. It's one of the best reviewed shows that this network has had since I've been here. And we still struggle to find an audience for it. It's great, we're keeping it going, we keep trying to build an audience for it. But, if this were on a cable network the small audience would not matter. It would be deemed more successful than it is on our network. I don't know why five million people or eight million people won't watch Hannibal on a broadcast network. Three million might watch it on Showtime or another cable network and that's okay. The minute you try and do something that is dark, and subversive, and frightening, and gets into that territory, you start to peel away the mass audience. It's just the way it is. Because the quality of that show is undeniable.