It's hard to believe that Bryan Fuller's ornate masterpiece Hannibal wasn't just a collective fever dream. The fact that the NBC series, a transgressive take on the cannibalistic psychiatrist of Thomas Harris' novels, aired for three seasons on broadcast TV was a miracle. After a gutting cancellation, the series came to a dramatic close, as serial killer Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) killed a man together and then tumbled over the side of a cliff.
Since its 2015 finale, fans haven't stopped talking about Hannibal or clamoring for more. While you recover from the mind-altering experience that is Hannibal, check out more shows (and one movie) that capture different elements of its appeal. If you like Hannibal, this is what you should watch next.
A lot of Hannibal fans seem disappointed that Clarice is not actually Hannibal Season 4 in a trench coat, but consider this: As devastating as its cancellation was, Hannibal ended perfectly. It's time for Clarice Starling to get her turn in the spotlight. This CBS procedural, set a year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs, legally can't mention Hannibal Lecter due to rights issues with Thomas Harris' books, which leaves the show with no choice but to put its focus where it should be anyway: on one of the coolest heroines of all time. Australian actress Rebecca Breeds makes it look easy to take over the role made famous by Jodie Foster, slipping into Clarice's West Virginia accent as she gets to work chasing new creeps while unpacking her own trauma. The show doesn't match the horror of the film or the stunning theatricality of Hannibal. But fans looking to kick back with a well-executed procedural will find plenty to chew on. -Kelly Connolly [Watch on Paramount+, airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS]
OK, it isn't a TV show. But now that The Silence of the Lambs, the 1991 psychological horror film based on Thomas Harris' novel of the same name, has hit its 30th anniversary, you should absolutely watch it if you haven't yet (or just rewatch it again). Sir Anthony Hopkins stars as the imprisoned Dr. Hannibal Lecter, with Jodie Foster playing the role of Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee who seeks his advice to try to catch another serial killer, the terrifying Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). The movie racked up Academy Awards for good reason. Bryan Fuller previously said he dreamed of reviving Hannibal as a limited series adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs, and while it's unlikely to happen, we would eat it up like liver with fava beans and a nice chianti. [Watch on Showtime, Hulu with Showtime add-on, Amazon with Showtime add-on or for purchase]
We're not saying Killing Eve is "Hannibal with women" but sometimes Killing Eve feels a lot like "Hannibal with women." Based on novels by Luke Jennings, the series stars Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri, a low-level officer for MI5 who is freakishly in tune with (to the point of obsession) a well-dressed, expert assassin named Villanelle (Emmy winner Jodie Comer). As the two get wrapped up in a heated game of cat and mouse, the two women come to realize they share similar desires and understand each other as no one else does. Who does that sound like to you, hm? To be completely honest, the show declined in quality after its excellent first season, but if you're looking for something to watch after Hannibal, you'd be hard-pressed to find something better than this. [Watch on Hulu]
CBS's long-running crime procedural Criminal Minds, which ran from 2005 until 2020, is very similar to Hannibal in that the hourlong show follows criminal profilers working for the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit as they investigate crimes and track down perpetrators using profiling and analysis. The show can get pretty unsettling at times -- you will probably find yourself becoming more suspicious of everyone around you after watching the show (that's not necessarily a bad thing) -- but with 15 seasons available at your fingertips, it should keep you busy for a while. [Watch Seasons 1-12 on Netflix, Seasons 13-15 on Hulu]
Netflix's true crime period drama Mindhunterchronicles the early days of criminal psychology and criminal profiling at the FBI via two special agents in the Behavioral Science Unit, played by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany. They travel the country and interview imprisoned serial killers in an attempt to better understand the impulse for murder and how serial killers' minds work. Assisted by a psychology professor (Anna Torv), they hope to use what they learn to solve ongoing cases. Enthralling but also disturbing at times, the show is must-see TV. Mindhunter's Holden Ford and Hannibal's Will Graham are both loosely inspired by real-life FBI profiler John E. Douglas. [Watch on Netflix]
The British drama series The Fall is similar to Hannibal in that it follows a skilled serial killer hiding in plain sight, this time as a respectable family man named Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan). Spector is being pursued by an equally skilled detective, Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson), who is determined to catch him and put him behind bars for his crimes. The two share an intense relationship that reveals them to be two sides of the same coin, and like Hannibal and Will, they are equally obsessed with one another. [Watch on BritBox, AMC+, Peacock, Ovation (with a cable provider)]
If you want to watch another prequel and spend more time in the mind of a murderer (no judgment!), look no further than A&E's Bates Motel, a psychological horror series that serves as a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho, which was based on the novel of the same name. The series, which ran for five seasons, features a young Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), and depicts their lives and complex relationship prior to the events of the film, revealing how Norman's mental state makes him increasingly dangerous. [Watch on Amazon (for purchase)]
Of all the shows on this list, Pushing Daisies is the least like Hannibal. In fact, the only common threads are series creator Bryan Fuller and a focus on memorable and stylish murders. But just because the series differs in tone and color palette -- the series exists in a Technicolor storybook world -- doesn't mean viewers shouldn't check it out. In Pushing Daisies, Lee Pace stars as Ned, a pie-maker with the unique ability to bring the dead back to life with a single touch -- and send them back to the grave with a second. He teams up with a private eye (Chi McBride) to help solve some wild and strange murders in order to make more money, and when you add in a childhood sweetheart he saved and now can't touch (Anna Friel), a coworker with an unrequited crush and a great set of pipes (Kristin Chenoweth), and an adorable dog, the quirky show is known for its distinct visual style and wordplay is a whimsical delight. It's a shame it ultimately became a casualty of the 2007-2008 writers' strike and only ran for two seasons because it was unlike anything else on TV. [Watch on HBO Max]