Did pirates kill Hannibal?
With more than 2 million viewers watching illegally, producer says pirates were partly responsible for hundreds of crew members losing their jobs and the show's axing.
Hannibal ended in part because of online piracy, according to executive producer Martha De Laurentiis.
The series starring Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen ended after three seasons. Now in an open letter on The Hill, De Laurentiis said “one third” of viewers used pirated sites.
“When NBC decided not to renew Hannibal for a fourth season, 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,” she wrote.
“When nearly one third of the audience for Hannibal is coming from pirated sites – despite the fact that a legitimate download for each episode was available the following day – you don’t have to know calculus to do the math. If a show is stolen, it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to fairly compensate a crew and keep a series in production.
“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.
“As I said, this isn’t just about me. This is about the livelihoods of thousands upon thousands of hardworking people who help enrich the lives of millions of fans of films and TV shows. When the plundering is done, even the pirates will have nothing left to watch, let alone steal. That is a dark future I will do my best — as a producer and a fan — to make sure [it] never arrives at a laptop near you.”