The Call Sheet sifts through the day's glut of Hollywood news to find the stories even non-industry types can care about. Today: NBC is in deep trouble, but maybe Hannibal Lecter can save them; Justin Bieber wins Christmas; and Leo DiCaprio gets his revenge.
Bill Carter and Brian Stelter break down today just what a ratings pickle NBC is in, noting the startling statistic that without their football coverage, NBC would be "struggling to stay out of fifth place." Yes, fifth place. As in, beaten by The CW. The CW! Home of sexy vampire witches and, uh, 90210. That's a mighty bad place for NBC to be, considering how dominantly it used to rule the airwaves. But alas the go-go '90s are long gone, and even a recent change in management -- Steve Burke is the new CEO and Bob Greenblatt, who previously worked wonders at Fox and Showtime, is the new chairman -- hasn't been able to reverse the Peacock's downward trend. Recent high-profile failures like Free Agents and The Playboy Club, both already canceled, certainly haven't helped matters, nor have the limping-along numbers for Prime Suspect, a big-ticket series with a strong lead actress that, for whatever mysterious reason, has failed to entice viewers. It's a shame, because the show is actually pretty good. [NYT]
Maybe this will save NBC. The net has bought a show called Hannibal from Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies), about famous people-eater Hannibal Lecter. Fictionally famous, that is. There isn't really a Hannibal Lecter in real life. Sadly none of our cannibals are nearly as witty or erudite. Nope, mostly we've just got a bunch of beer-drinkin', Hannity-watchin', Barca Lounger cannibals in this country. There are probably some classy cannibals in France or whatever, but who wants to bother to find out? But yes, in the world of fiction there is the fabulous Hannibal Lecter and now he will have his very own network television show. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that. [Deadline]