The 25 Most Anticipated TV Shows of 2013

10. Hannibal

Network: NBC
Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Caroline Dhavernas, Lara Jean Chorostecki
Premieres:  Mid-season 2013

Why we're excited: There seems to be a trend this year of developing series based on classic horror/thriller characters, and Hannibal has a shot at being the best of the bunch. There's every chance it could be as terrible a prequel as Hannibal Rising, but the talent involved suggests otherwise.

The series stars onetime Bond villain Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter, the good doctor who uses his forensic psychiatrist skills to help Special Agent Will Graham (Dancy) catch serial killers—while secretly serial killing and cannibalizing in his private time. Hannibal will explore the complex relationship between Lecter and Graham, its origins, and of course how it all leads to the opening scene of Red Dragon.

The show is also notable for being the first broadcast drama to apply the cable model in terms of episode order—every season will only consist of 13 episodes, which of course tightens the narrative focus and lessens the chance of the fluff and filler usually deployed to stretch a typical broadcast 22-episode order.

Yes, it's possible that Mikkelsen's performance will just be a pale imitation of Anthony Hopkins' iconic one, or that the series will stick too closely to a procedural format. But with Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me) running things, we're hoping Hannibal proves the skeptics wrong.

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