Episode 4 of the serial-killer drama, which was slated to air next Thursday, featured Molly Shannon's character brainwashing children to murder other kids. It will not be rescheduled; instead, "Hannibal" will skip it entirely and move on to Episode 5. NBC notes that continuity will not be affected.
Series creator Bryan Fuller told Variety that he did not want audience members to have a "negative experience" watching the show. And after the Boston bombings and December's Sandy Hook school shooting, he and the network felt it was appropriate to pull the episode.
"With this episode, it wasn't about the graphic imagery or violence," he said. "It was the associations that came with the subject matter that I felt would inhibit the enjoyment of the overall episode. … It was my own sensitivity."
"Hannibal" isn't the only show that pulled or rescheduled an episode due to the violent and tragic events of the past week. ABC pushed back Monday's bomb-themed episode of "Castle" to April 29 (and may further delay it).
Fox removed a March "Family Guy" episode from Fox.com and Hulu when two unrelated clips were used in a mashup video that made it seem as if the episode depicted deadly explosions at the Boston race. Creator Seth MacFarlane called the edited video "abhorrent."