A few days ago, we reported that NBC and "Hannibal" producer Bryan Fuller had jointly decided to remove the horror/drama's fourth episode from the network's schedule. This decision came not as a result of the Boston bombing, but as a reaction to the violence incident in Newtown, CT back in December. The episode, entitled "Ceuf" revolved around a sinister cult that turned children against their families, leading the little tykes to slaughter their loved ones. This storyline doesn't seem to really have anything in common with the circumstances of the Newtown massacre, but never underestimate a broadcast network's need to be politically correct.
Anyway, NBC has now elected to make an abridged version of "Ceuf" available as a series of "webisodes" that will serve to bridge the gap between episode three and this Thursday's episode five. These installments will obviously not include the child-related violence that caused the episode to be yanked, but will instead focus on character development and dialog scenes involving Hannibal and the character of Abigail Hobbs (played by Kacey Rohl). An upcoming webisode will also feature a therapy session between Dr. Lecter and his colleague/nemesis Will Graham.
Presented below is the debut clip, first revealed by TV Line, featuring an introduction by Fuller:
Interestingly, Fuller makes mention of the fact that the complete episode will still be broadcast on air and online in other markets, and specifically avoids further plot spoilers for "anyone who wants to seek the episode out." Is that a subtle acknowledgement of how likely it is that U.S. fans will resort to shady online means in order to view "Ceuf" in its entirety? It sure sounds that way to me.
Was NBC right to pull the episode? Or has political correctness run amok yet again?