TV Guide has an interesting interview with creator/showrunner Bryan Fuller about the finale and his plans for Season 2
In another interview with IGN
, Fuller explained the economic model for the show:
I think what’s really in the show’s favor is that it’s doing very well internationally, and we’re in something like 70 countries. It’s a relatively low-cost show for a network. They pay a third of the licensee that they would pay from a standard show because we have such a huge international component to the show. So I think that’s in the favor of continued ability to tell future stories, that the show is fiscally a great model. We’re not a huge-budget show, even though we put every effort into making the show feel like a big-budget, aesthetically beautiful production. But we’re not spending a ton of money.
So because the Dino de Laurentiis Company/Gaumont/Sony Pictures Television were able to presell the series so well internationally, the license fee that NBC faces is a third of the cost of a normal show. Sony's famously aggressive about keeping shows that make money for the studio on the air, and the money they're making on this one internationally ensures that it's cheap enough to find a home domestically. It takes some of the advertising pressure off NBC since they don't need the huge ratings to break even, and it opens up more options if NBC doesn't renew it down the road.
In yet another interview with Assignment X
, Fuller outlined his season by season plan for the show:
Well, when you get into Season Four, you get into the literature. And so Season Four would be RED DRAGON, Season Five would be the SILENCE OF THE LAMBS era, Season Six would be the HANNIBAL era, and then Season Seven would be a resolve to the ending of that book. HANNIBAL ends on a cliffhanger. Hannibal Lecter has bonded with Clarice Starling and brainwashed her and they are now quasi-lovers and off as fugitives, and so that’s a cliffhanger. It might be interesting to resolve that in some way and to bring Will Graham back into the picture. So once we get two more seasons, say, of the television show, those are the aren’t-novelized stories, and then we would get into expansions of the novels after that and kind of using the novels as a backbone for season arcs that would then be kind of enhanced.
So the next two seasons will be original content drawing from the bits of backstory in Red Dragon
, Seasons 4, 5 and 6 would be one-season adaptations of Red Dragon
, Silence of the Lambs
in the much the same way the first two seasons of Game of Thrones
were one-season adaptations of A Song of Ice and Fire
and then the final season would go back to original content to give the overarching story the sort of ending that Fuller obviously feels that Harris didn't give it.
But in this other interview with Fuller from Hitfix
, there are rights issues that get in the way. While the Dino de Laurentiis Company has the rights to Red Dragon
and all of the characters that originate in each, MGM has the rights to Silence of Lambs
and the characters (including Clarice) that originate in that. For next season, they're negotiating the character rights for Mason and Margot Verger. But if his plans make it to season five, there's going to be a much larger negotiation at play, probably involving bringing MGM in as a production partner.
Edited by Adam Lenhardt, June 21 2013 - 05:42 PM.