TVAndMovies

Meet The "Hannibal" Fannibals, TV's Newest And Most Intense Fandom

The critically acclaimed, recently renewed Hannibal has rapidly developed a large, enthusiastic fan base with an ever-growing online presence.

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On Thursday night, NBC made the eleventh-hour decision to renew the serial-killer drama Hannibal, a critically acclaimed but low-rated thriller based on the characters from the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon. The show, created by Bryan Fuller, stars Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist who kills and eats his victims, and Hugh Dancy as a criminal profiler Will Graham.

NBC's indecision about whether or not to pick up Hannibal for a second season was likely due to the show's subject matter and gore, which push the boundaries of network television with every episode. Its decision to renew the show may be attributable, in part, to the rapidly growing, rabid fan base that has embraced the show and spread its popularity across the internet. The meteoric rise of the Hannibal fandom in the two months since the drama first aired is unprecedented — the last show that inspired such a large, organized, and enthusiastic fandom to emerge immediately after its start was BBC's Sherlock in 2010.

After Hannibal's first episode aired on April 4, new fans of the show quickly took to social media sites, particularly Tumblr, en masse, in a way that is rarely seen in fan bases of new shows.

And hilariously strange videos.

View this video on YouTube

I love how Hannibal is this sophisticated, yet incredibly disturbing show, but there's a part of the fandom that just

Beth

@chingirl_

I love how Hannibal is this sophisticated, yet incredibly disturbing show, but there's a part of the fandom that just

@BryanFuller the Hannibal fandom has scared the crap out of the Big 3 fandoms on tumblr (Sherlock, Dr. Who, SPN). They think we'll eat them.

RedHeadedGirl

@redheadedgirl

@BryanFuller the Hannibal fandom has scared the crap out of the Big 3 fandoms on tumblr (Sherlock, Dr. Who, SPN). They think we'll eat them.

Fans quickly began to worry about the show's possible impending cancellation...

HANNIBAL Held Hostage: Day 7, still no news, still no timetable for news http://t.co/EmeXqGqcSv

Cancellation Bear

@TheCancelBear

HANNIBAL Held Hostage: Day 7, still no news, still no timetable for news http://t.co/EmeXqGqcSv

When NBC delayed making a decision about the show's fate, Fannibals organized a campaign to save it, sending letters and business cards to NBC and urging people across social media networks to watch.

'I wouldn't cancel a show where the fandom sympathizes with a cannibal.' #EatTheRude @NBCHannibal

spacemonkeyluvn

@spacemonkeyluvn

'I wouldn't cancel a show where the fandom sympathizes with a cannibal.' #EatTheRude @NBCHannibal

Guys, let's save #Hannibal #NBC. Keep calm, eat the rude and help us saving the show ! #EatTheRude

Consulting Cannibal.

@PlumeFunambule

Guys, let's save #Hannibal #NBC.

Keep calm, eat the rude and help us saving the show ! #EatTheRude

Fortunately for the Fannibals, NBC made the decision to renew Hannibal on May 30, surprising many media critics. Entertainment Weekly reported that it was the "lowest-rated drama to get renewed among the major broadcast networks this season."

Are you ready for seconds?! Hannibal Season 2 is coming…

Hannibal

@NBCHannibal

Are you ready for seconds?! Hannibal Season 2 is coming…

Showrunner Bryan Fuller made a point of thanking the show's fans when the news was announced.

I RAISE A GLASS TO THE FAITHFUL & HUNGRY #HANNIBAL TWITTERERS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND ENTHUSIASM #FEEDYOURFEAR

Bryan Fuller

@BryanFuller

I RAISE A GLASS TO THE FAITHFUL & HUNGRY #HANNIBAL TWITTERERS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND ENTHUSIASM #FEEDYOURFEAR

Hannibal airs on NBC (obviously) and is produced by Gaumont International Television, Dino De Laurentiis Company and Living Dead Guy Productions.