What ‘Hannibal’ and ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ Fans Want For CBS Pilot ‘Clarice’ | PRO Insight

Ranker uses fan data to speculate about the show, based on what it knows about fans of “The Silence of the Lambs” films

A new chapter in “The Silence of the Lambs” saga is coming to CBS. In January, the network closed deals on a new pilot called “Clarice” that is set to continue the story of FBI agent Clarice Starling after the events of the original Oscar-winning psychological horror movie.

There’s supposedly a lot of excitement at CBS about “Clarice,” which executives hope will be a breakout hit. But in spite of all this enthusiasm and excitement, very little is known about the show: The pilot hasn’t been widely distributed. The network has yet to place a series order, and no casting decisions have been announced.

That means we’ll likely have to wait until pilot season to learn most of the nitty-gritty details of this highly anticipated procedural, but it can’t stop us from guessing. We can put our huge trove of fan data to good use and take a guess at what the show will be like, based on what we already know about fans of “The Silence of the Lambs” films, as well as the NBC procedural “Hannibal.” We can even suggest an ideal actor to play what’s sure to be one of the most coveted roles in TV this year, a 26-year-old Agent Starling.

What “Silence” Fans Love

Fans of the “The Silence of the Lambs” film have a taste for the cerebral in television — smart TV shows that still have plenty of heart. “Lambs” fanatics are 5 times more likely to also enjoy “Breaking Bad” and 4 times more likely to love the serial killer procedural “Dexter,” the animated comedy “Rick and Morty,” and the medical drama “House.”

All these shows feature a genius protagonist who must decide whether to use their skills for the common good or for personal gain. Since executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet have stated that they hope the show will “give voice to one of America’s most enduring heroes” and shine a light on her otherwise murky past, we might expect to see this “tortured genius” archetype replicated in their telling of Starling’s origin story.

Where “Hannibal” Fans Stand

When NBC released its “Silence of the Lambs” prequel series “Hannibal,” which focused on the story of eponymous cannibal killer Hannibal Lecter, a similar level of buzz surrounded its premiere in 2013. But even though this show is based on the same Thomas Harris novel as “The Silence of the Lambs”, the tastes of its fans seem to diverge from those of “Lambs” fanatics.

People who love “Hannibal” are drawn to similar police procedurals or dramas about brutal murders and serial killers: They’re 7 times more likely to also enjoy “Mindhunter” and “Sherlock,” and 5 times more likely to love “True Detective” and “Fargo.” The other thing that seems to separate these fan bases is Hannibal devotees tend to like dark shows with a kind of gothic sensibility, such as “Bates Motel” and “American Horror Story,” which the NBC show has but the original film lacks. Because CBS will likely want to distinguish its take on the story from the approach of a rival network, and producers have signaled that “Clarice” will tell a very personal story about agent Starling’s struggle against adversity, we can guess “Clarice” will be far less dark and cynical in tone than “Hannibal.”

While there’s no telling whether our data will be reflected in the decisions that Kurtzman and Lumet ultimately make in writing and producing the show, we feel confident our version would be a tremendous hit with people who are already fans of this story. We’ll be watching closely to see how excited pop culture fans are for what’s sure to be one of the most anticipated new dramas of 2020.

Clark Benson

Clark Benson

Clark Benson is the Founder and CEO of Ranker, the #1 site for crowdsourced rankings on everything from “The Most Trustworthy Actors” to “The Best New Streaming Shows.” Launched in 2009, Ranker is Benson’s fifth startup. Clark believes the opinion of millions is more relevant (and far more predictive) than the opinion of one critic. Part of Clark’s vision at Ranker is to allow studios to use the correlation data from over a billion votes to find niche audiences and make creative decisions on everything from casting to content recommendations. Benson resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Jenifer, and twins, Austin and Zani.



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