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Mikkelsen’s ‘Hannibal’ Gives NBC Much-Needed Ratings Boost, ‘The Hunt’ Opens July 12

Mikkelsen's 'Hannibal' Gives NBC Much-Needed Ratings Boost, 'The Hunt' Opens July 12

Looks like Danish star, former dancer Mads Mikkelsen, has boosted his stateside star power and NBC’s Thursday night ratings at the same time with crime drama “Hannibal,” which earned 4.3 million viewers and a 1.6 with adults. “Hannibal,” based on the Thomas Harris character so memorably played by Anthony Hopkins in Jonathan Demme’s Oscar-winner “Silence of the Lambs” and the Ridley Scott sequel, earned stronger reviews than any other of the beleaguered network’s new dramas.

“Hannibal” did remarkably well considering its 10 PM slot and competition, coming in third behind original episodes of ABC’s “Scandal” and CBS’ “Elementary.” It’s NBC’s best rating in that Death Valley period in a year. Here’s Indiewire’s interview with the showrunner Bryan Fuller.

Thirteen episodes are already in the can. Win-win for NBC, which could use some good news right now as they get lambasted for mishandling yet another Jay Leno exit. (Best report on this is from THR’s Kim Masters, natch.) 

TV continues to be more compelling viewing than most movies, which on the indie side position emerging talent with callow coming-of-age stories, and on the studio end, deliver mindless green-screen would-be tentpoles aimed at the middle, with studio specialty divisions throwing smart viewers the occasional bone. Foreign films and cable take up the slack. I’ll throw “Justified,” “Mad Men,” “Game of Thrones,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Homeland,” “The Americans” and “Nashville” (Elvis Mitchell interviews writer Callie Khourie here) up against most new movies. And many of you would add “Breaking Bad” or “Scandal”–the list goes on. There’s far too much to ingest. Now “Hannibal” joins the must-see list.

A Hulu embed of the “Hannibal” pilot is below.

Here’s my Telluride flipcam interview with Mikkelsen covering Danish Oscar submission “The Royal Affair,” his upcoming Cannes best-actor winner “The Hunt,” which Magnolia will now be able to sell more easily when it opens July 12, and yes, why Mikkelsen wanted to come stateside to do “Hannibal.” Answer: to hang with his family.

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