Sophie Giraud/NBC
Marc Snetiker
July 13, 2014 AT 05:48 PM EDT

NBC is excited about the third season of Hannibal. They just wish you were, too.

At the network’s Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday, NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt addressed the dilemma the network faces about its critically acclaimed horror darling and the ratings challenge it faces in its Friday night timeslot.

Hannibal is…one of the best shows we have creatively, and it’s one of the best-reviewed shows this network has had since I’ve been here. We still struggle to find an audience for it,” Greenblatt told critics. “It’s great, we’re keeping it going, we keep trying to build the audience, but if this were on a cable network, the small audience wouldn’t matter and it would be deemed more successful than it is on our network.”

Greenblatt continued: “I don’t know why five or eight million people won’t watch Hannibal on a broadcast network. Three million might watch it on Showtime, or two million on another cable network, and that’s okay. The minute you try to do something that is dark and subversive and frightening and gets into that territory, you start to peel away the mass audience. That’s just the way it is, I think.”

Still, the network shows no signs of shying away from the series, which has developed an impressive following on social media and with passionate viewers. NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke shared that the team behind Hannibal (run by creator Bryan Fuller) had just pitched the third season, and “it blew us away.” So…binge away.


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