“Hannibal” will no longer air on NBC’s Salt Lake City affiliate KSL, in the latest decision by the Mormon-owned station to drop a NBC series.
KSL also declines to air NBC’s freshman comedy “The New Normal” and late night staple “Saturday Night Live” and previously rejected series including “The Playboy Club,” “Coupling” and “God, the Devil and Bob.” When it comes to “Hannibal,” KSL cites the show’s graphic violence and said last week’s episode — which featured a killer who sliced open and arranged the flesh of his victims to simulate angel wings — was the tipping point.
“After this last week’s episode, it just had too much graphic content for us,” KSL vice president of marketing, research and promotion Tami Ostmark tells the Salt Lake Tribune. “This is beyond anything we’ve put on our station before. This is too graphic to be on regular TV. It should be a cable show. We’ve talked to NBC, and that’s how we feel about it.”
The episode was indeed disgusting, and if KSL doesn’t want to air the show it’s their choice. But in the spirit of letting viewers make their own choices, local rival KUCW — Salt Lake City’s CW affiliate — has stepped in to broadcast “Hannibal” on Saturday evenings following the station’s run of “Saturday Night Live.” KUCW general manager Richard Doutre Jones tells the Salt Lake Tribune, “We’re happy to air all of the NBC shows KSL doesn’t.”
Earlier this month, NBC and “Hannibal” executive producer Bryan Fuller decided to pull an episode of the show from its U.S. run, citing their own content concerns — and instead made a condensed version available online as a web series.
Here’s the official announcement KSL posted to its Facebook page:
PROGRAMMING NOTE: After viewing the past few episodes, as well as receiving numerous complaints from viewers, KSL-TV will cancel the airing of the NBC show “Hannibal” on Thursday evenings.
This decision was made due to the extensive graphic nature of this show. The time slot will be replaced with a special edition of KSL 5 News at 9 p.m.
NBC remains a valued partner to KSL-TV. KSL is confident that with the proliferation of digital media, those who wish to view the program can easily do so.