In a year that's already given us Fox's The Following and A&E's Bates Motel, some might argue that we don't need another serial killer TV show. And they'd probably be right.
But NBC's Hannibal isn't just another serial killer show.
But Mikkelsen and Fuller agree that Hannibal also humanizes Lecter in a way viewers might not expect. "I was fascinated by the social Hannibal," Fuller says. "What are the types of relationships Hannibal Lecter would have as a free man in society? ... [I wanted] to see Hannibal as not necessarily always the antagonist and for him to have a genuine appreciation of the relationships in his life. ... There are some deeply, deeply moving scenes toward the end of the season where Hannibal allows himself to feel. He goes to such genuine emotional places and raw vulnerability. We're clearly not doing Anthony Hopkins or Brian Cox. I love those performances, but I didn't want to go near them."
Although the show doesn't necessarily go for quick-jolt scares, its murder tableaux can be gruesome. And while, unlike The Following, the show and its characters actively meditate on the cost of constantly witnessing such horror and violence, there's bound to be viewers who don't want this particular brand of drama on network TV. And Fuller says that's OK.