Devastated fans of the TV series ‘Hannibal’, which NBC announced it was axing yesterday, have swiftly launched a petition calling for their favourite show to be reinstated.

Series creator Bryan Fuller announced that the critically acclaimed spin-off, concerning the back story of Thomas Harris’ cannibal psychiatrist character made so popular by The Silence of the Lambs, would be coming to an end permanently after the current third series ends in September.

Within a day, a petition has been launched and has gathered more than 30,000 signatures at the time of writing. Fans had been writing appeals such as “What are you thinking? Renew ‘Hannibal’” alongside a message which reads, “The fans want more Hannibal. Period.”

Mads MikkelsenMads Mikkelsen, who plays the cannibal psychiatrist in the NBC series

NBC had announced on Monday (June 22nd) that the acclaimed would be ending after the series finale on September 3rd. “We have been tremendously proud of Hannibal over its three seasons,” the network said in a statement. “Bryan and his team of writers and producers, as well as our incredible actors, have brought a visual palette of storytelling that has been second to none in all of television – broadcast or cable.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s take on the situation points out that the series may have been running into practical difficulties in addition to the steadily declining viewing figures, which have been slumping to just over 1.5 million per week. It believes that the makers of ‘Hannibal’ didn’t have the rights to the character of Clarice Starling (played famously by Jodie Foster in the ‘…Lambs’ movie), which they had hoped to introduce in a prospective fourth season.

However, hopes exist that a streaming network will step in rescue the series, which does have a dedicated fanbase to show for its three years, albeit too small for cable TV. Hulu, for instance, intervened to bring in ‘The Mindy Project’ after it was axed by Fox in May.

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