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Hannibal - Season 1 - Ratings

If you haven't heard by now, Hannibal is the best new broadcast network drama of the 2012-2013 season.

This series from Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies) airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.

It started its 13-episode first season on 4th April and it ends the day after tomorrow. It has been renewed for a 13-episode second season to air at some point in 2014.

Ratings-wise, it's not a hit. After a very promising start in NBC's doomed time slot (filled with cancellations and flops since ER ended in March 2009), Hannibal's ratings started slipping.

Now, NBC can't help it if other networks have big guns (Elementary, Scandal, NFL draft, NBA games, etc.). But they are the ones programming the show in that slot, they're the ones who decided to air the last 5 episodes after the 2012/2013 season is over, they chose (in collaboration with Fuller, granted) not to air episode 1.04. And they can't help it if Mr. Nielsen and his family don't watch great series live.

And yet, Hannibal has been renewed. It's a bit of a surprise when you just look at the ratings, and since I love the show and love the fact that it's coming back for season 2, I felt like looking at the evolution of its ratings throughout these past 11 weeks.

— Therefore, here are the ratings of the first season of Hannibal :

Episode 1.01 (4th April - Apéritif) : 4.36 million viewers (1.6% on A18-49).
Episode 1.02 (11th April - Amuse-Bouche) : 4.38 million viewers (1.7% on A18-49).
Episode 1.03 (18th April - Potage) : 3.51 million viewers (1.4% on A18-49).
Episode 1.04 (Unaired - Œuf).
Episode 1.05 (25th April - Coquilles) : 2.40 million viewers (1.0% on A18-49).
Episode 1.06 (2nd May - Entrée) : 2.61 million viewers (1.1% on A18-49).
Episode 1.07 (9th May - Sorbet) : 2.62 million viewers (1.1% on A18-49).
Episode 1.08 (16th May - Fromage) : 2.46 million viewers (1.1% on A18-49).
Episode 1.09 (23rd May - Trou Normand) : 2.69 million viewers (1.0% on A18-49).
Episode 1.10 (30th May - Buffet Froid) : 2.40 million viewers (1.0% on A18-49).
Episode 1.11 (6th June - Rôti) : 2.36 million viewers (0.9% on A18-49).
Episode 1.12 (13th June - Relevés) : 2.10 million viewers (0.7% on A18-49).
Episode 1.13 (20th June - Savoureux) : 1.98 million viewers (0.8% on A18-49).

— Average of season 1 (Addition) : 2.82 million viewers (1.12% on A18-49).

Important : the average of episodes 1.01 to 1.09 is 1.25% on A18-49 but when you add Live+7 DVR ratings, Hannibal gets a 77% increase leading to a healthy 2.3% on A18-49 (for instance, Law & Order SVU gets to 2.5% on A18-49 after Live+7 ratings are taken into account, not that much more). It's the biggest post airdate increase of all programs on broadcast networks, ahead of the runner-up, Grimm and its 75% increase between Live + Same Day Ratings and Live + 7 Day ratings (+1.2% from 1.6% to 2.8%). Other NBC shows with big DVR bumps include Revolution (+1.7% (= +68%) from 2.5% to 4.2%) and Parenthood (+1.0% (= +58%) from 1.8% to 2.8%).

— A few details about these ratings :

Episode 4 did not air.

- During the 2012/2013 season :

Episodes 1 & 2 aired after originals of Go On (1.1% & 1.1% on A18-49).
Episodes 3, 5 & 6 aired after originals of Parks & Rec season 5 (1.7, 1.3 & 1.6% on A18-49).
Episodes 7 & 8 aired after the final two one-hour episodes of The Office season 9 (2.3% & 3.0% on A18-49).

Episodes 1, 5, 6, 7 & 8 were up against originals of Elementary on CBS (2.1, 2.0, 2.0, 1.9 & 2.0% on A18-49).
Episodes 1, 5, 6, 7 & 8 were up against originals of Scandal season 2 on ABC (2.6, 2.8, 2.6, 3.2, 3.2% on A18-49).

- During summer season :

Episodes 9 & 10 were up against originals of Rookie Blue season 4 on ABC (1.2 & 1.2% on A18-49).
Episodes 11, 12 & 13 are up against the NBA Finals on ABC (5.7%, 6.7% & 10.6% on A18-49).

Episodes 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 aired after repeats of Parks & Rec season 5 (0.7, 0.8, 0.7, 0.5 & 0.5 on A18-49).

Cable opponents :

Episodes 1 & 2 were up against Archer season 4 on FX (0.8% & 1.1% on A18-49).
Episode 5 was up against the NFL draft on ESPN (2.9% on A18-49).
Episodes 6, 8, 10 were up against the NBA playoffs on TNT (2.0, 1.9 & 3.7% on A18-49).
Episodes 1 to 11 were up against Men at Work season 2 on TBS (average of 0.7-0.8% on A18-49).
Episodes 11, 12 & 13 were up against Graceland on USA (0.8%, 0.8% & 0.7 on A18-49).

Cable repeats up against Hannibal throughout its run include NCIS (USA, ~0.5%) and American Dad (Adult Swim, ~0.8%), as well as unscripted programs such as Chasing Tail/Pawn Stars (History, ~0.8%).

Bottom line is, Hannibal didn't get renewed because of its live ratings. Huge DVR bump + critical acclaim + fan acclaim + prestigious cast + international co-production + 13-episode midseason order + NBC's desperate state = that's probably the winning formula in this case.


PS : Click to enlarge the promotional cast photos.

PS2 :

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