NBC’s ‘Aquarius,’ ‘Hannibal’ Downgraded to Saturday; ‘Dateline’ Gets Promoted

Courtesy of Vivian Zink/NBC

NBC has run out of patience with its low-rated Thursday drama tandem of “Aquarius” and “Hannibal,” revealing Monday that they will move over to little-watched Saturday nights.

The scripted series will air from 9 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, flipping timeslots with the net’s popular “Dateline Saturday Mystery” crime franchise. Last week, the first-year Charles Manson-themed drama “Aquarius” and third-year “Hannibal” both delivered tiny 0.4 ratings in adults 18-49, while “Dateline” did double that (0.8) on Saturday.

The network’s advanced schedule shows the timeslot swap taking place in early August, but insiders confirmed Monday that the move is effective immediately.

The network effectively canceled “Hannibal” last month, announcing that “Hannibal” would not return to the network after its current 13-episode season wraps, but renewed “Aquarius” for a second season.

Saturday has long been a final resting place for underperforming series. Over the Independence Day holiday weekend, CBS began airing never-aired episodes of recent comedy failures “The Millers” and “The McCarthys.” Last summer, NBC slid drama “Crossbones” from Friday to Saturday to end its run.

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  1. cindy says:

    i missed 4 shows because i did not know Hannibal moved to Saturday night pisssssssssssed me off.

    Now i have to watch it on demand hate watching good programs that get switched or dropped by the major networks looks like Netflix or amazon

  2. Lynn Stivers says:

    Sadly, it’s typical of NBC to spend gobs of money making and promoting new series, then before they have time to catch on, sabotaging their own efforts by switching timeslots (and finally cancelling the show/s). I recall they did the same to the highly polished “Dark Shadows” revival, which featured a stellar cast. (This was around the same time they chose Leno over Letterman, making me wonder if GE was just using NBC as a tax shelter by deliberately making stupid moves.)

    I was hesitant to even get involved in “Aquarius”, though I remember the period and the infamous murders well and thus have an interest in them, simply because it was an NBC show. Turns out I was correct, NBC has once again come through. It’s a shame someone with some real skill and patience can’t get such a huge network in line.

    My advice to the world is simply focus on programming on CBS, ABC, and alternative networks such as FX and FOX. We don’t have many good choices anymore, but what few there are will inevitably be abandoned by NBC just about the time you really become addicted to them.

  3. Diana says:

    I am more than proud of Bryan Fuller (who, to be honest, is like the master of making great shows that get quickly cancelled). He told NBC what he wanted and needed to make Hannibal an even bigger hit….they agreed and then screwed him with budget and filming schedule. Instead of bending over, he did what he set out to do, going over both of NBC’s allocated numbers and sticking with their original figures. But…..the fact that much of the younger fan-base may not be home on Saturday nights does not take away from watching the shows digitally (possibly on the following Thursdays, if they so choose). Also, relocating Dateline does not guarantee that “crime-buffs” that watched “Aquarius” and/or “Hannibal” will settle for just any crime-related programming. I am just going to continue hoping that “Hannibal” gets picked up by another station or another format, and makes NBC take notice that, in the end, the fans dictate which shows they choose to follow

  4. Barbara Yates says:

    Damn, I love both these shows. I think Dukovny is doing an excellent job and Hannibal, one of the best written and best produced shows on TV. Wow, what’s wrong with people, they would rather watch a show depicting true violence then these two shows, idiots to put it mildly! Bleh, maybe some sophisticated network like FX can pick them up, NBC obviously has no cojones! That’s it for me, I’m sticking with cable, not so fickle and money-hungry!

  5. frank deniro says:

    “Aquarius” and “Hannibal” combined for NBC’s Best Thursday night double-header since the halcyon days when “The Office” and “Parks & Rec” shared that evening.
    Oh, well. At least they didn’t shelve the final episodes altogether. And w/ “Hell on Wheels” returning this weekend, Saturdays won’t be such a TV wasteland anymore.
    Glad–if extremely surprised–that “Aquarius” landed a second season. Maybe NBC can schedule it for Sunday mornings next year if they really want to keep it a closely guarded secret.

  6. cadavra says:

    NBC, you sure you want a second season of a series you just exiled to Saturdays?

    Then again, you only gave “Mysteries of Laura” a 13-episode renewal, so apparently you enjoy having lower ratings than the Golf Channel.

    • I don’t understand why they “exiled” it in the first place. Aquarius is an amazing series, I don’t understand why it’s not performing very well. Maybe a large part of the audience, like me, is pirating the show and that’s not coming through in the ratings. I’ve been telling everyone who will listen to watch the show. Hopefully they will release it on DVD/BluRay soon and it will get the love it deserves.

  7. anonymousfan says:

    Damn…Hannibal is fantastic but got cancelled and Aquarius is lame and got renewed. Shame on you NBC.
    Happy about the move tho. I love to see Hannibal on Saturday night because there isnt squat on tv on Saturday!
    Cmon you fannibals…Show support for Hannibal!! Tune in on Saturday!! #SaveHannibal

    • Lynn Stivers says:

      They base their actions on Nielson ratings, which are highly questionable. I recall many years ago (when TV Guide was still actually TV Guide, prior to their ruining that publication), an article appeared touting a new ratings system which was more accurate. When this new system proved to be extremely off base with Nielson, it was abandoned and forgotten. I also recall the reaction of one network executive, who in a virtual panic said, “What are we supposed to use now to gauge our ratings? Which one is right? Are they both inaccurate? This messes up everything we counted on.” So they went back to the Nielson system and basically came to deny the alternative system had ever existed.

      As in politics and (all too often) science, ratings aren’t so much about getting it right, but more about maintaining the status quo and not rocking the boat… even if the current is taking it straight over a dam.

    • Matthew says:

      I don’t think there’s any saving Hannibal, as far as NBC is concerned, anymore.

      What I wish could happen is that Amazon would forfeit or sell their streaming rights for the series since that’s apparently a major part of why other services won’t pick it up. And with their not wanting to renew it themselves, it’s kind of at a stubborn dead-end.

      I give all due credit to NBC for keeping this show that’s far too good for network for three years.
      The dream (well, my dream) has been for it to be let go and move to a home with even more freedom. Amazon’s exclusive streaming [bragging] rights have really mucked up the crucial second part of that plan though and it’s incredibly annoying.

      Um. Anyway. I’ve gone on a little bit of a tangent about Hannibal again…

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