not in our stars, but in ourselves
Dear Netflix and Amazon,
So I hear you’ve passed on Hannibal. You have your reasons, I’m sure: tricky legalities for Netflix, since Amazon owns the streaming rights for the first three seasons; and a lack of an international distributor for Amazon. Fine.
But…like…really? You REALLY couldn’t work out some kind of gentlemen’s agreement to pick up the show? Neither of you care about ratings, right? I mean, I’m sure you keep track of who watches what, and compile that data in creepy and incredibly invasive ways, but you’re not in it for ratings. Surely Orange is the New Black or Sense8 or Transparent would have fared pretty poorly, ratings-wise, on a more traditional television channel. But they bring your respective streaming platforms lots of new subscribers, and awards, and prestige, and that’s a win-win for everyone. Right?!
Think of the accolades. Think of the buzz. If Hannibal were on a streaming platform, instead of shunted into the 10:00 timeslot on random days (thanks a lot, NBC), people could watch it whenever they wanted. I am convinced that part of the reason Hannibal has gotten such low ratings is its fixed location at a time when most of us 9-5 kinds of people find it difficult to stay awake. If people could watch it whenever they wanted, as often as they wanted, in the comfort of their own home or office or whatever, imagine how much bigger it would get.
Hannibal would cost you next-to-nothing. It’s a beautifully produced show, surely, and I bet it costs a pretty penny – but the De Laurentiis Company and Gaumont foot the bill. What did either of you have to lose, really? Why you gotta be so capitalist about this?
I guess there’s nothing more to discuss, since you’ve both made up your minds, so I’ll just list off other potential homes that I hope will have better sense than either of you: Hulu, HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, Sundance, FX, BBC, AMC – hell, even another broadcast network, if ABC or CBS or Fox were interested in snatching NBC’s wig. (I’d worry very much about their interference, but I’d rather see it find a home and let Bryan Fuller outwit them all.)
In conclusion: you done goofed, Netflix and Amazon. They gave you a rare gift, but you didn’t want it.
Amelia the Fannibal
P.S. You know I’m trying to be serious because I didn’t swear at all.