NBC's ‘Hannibal’ Expected in Late Spring

NBC chief also outlines plans for "Smash," "Sound of Music" project

NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said he expects the Hannibal Lecter series "Hannibal" to premiere "towards the end of the season," but said it may have to wait until summer.

Getty ImagesHe also said the network has big plans for "Smash" when it returns in midseason, and it is close to announcing a key player in its "Sound of Music" adaptation. He spoke to reporters Tuesday as he trumpeted NBC's first win in the November sweeps in nine years.

Also read: NBC Wins First November Sweeps in 9 Years

"I think it will be towards the end of the season," he said of "Hannibal." "The question will be, do we have room for it to launch it, if it's as late as April, before the season ends, or should we hold it until the summer. There's a bunch of things that have to play out before we can make that determination."

"Hannibal" serves as a sort of prequel to the Thomas Harris books about the cannibalistic serial killer and the films they spawned. It focuses on the early relationship between Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). "Pushing Daisies" writer Bryan Fuller is writing and producing, along with Martha DeLaurentiis, who produced 2001's "Hannibal," 2002's "Red Dragon" and 2007's "Hannibal Rising." David Slade, director of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," will direct the pilot.

Greenblatt said the second season of "Smash," meanwhile, will focus on a second, smaller musical, which will become a surprise challenger to "Bombshell," the musical at the center of the show's first season. 

He also said a casting announcement was coming soon for a live airing of "The Sound of Music," from "Smash" producers "Smash" Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

"We are, I think, close to finding our Maria and as soon as we have that in place we will announce it with great fanfare," he said."If all falls into place it will be on track for this time next year, Christmas of '13."