NBC has scheduled one of its most anticipated new dramas in one of its most challenged time slots.
 
Bryan Fuller announced on Twitter on Thursday (February 14) that his Thomas Harris semi-prequel "Hannibal" will take over NBC's ratings-challenged Thursday 10 p.m. time slot starting on April 4.
 
NBC subsequently confirmed the April 4 premiere date to HitFix.
 
The former "E.R." time slot most recently devoured "Do No Harm" after only two episodes, as the medical drama joined such recent speedy time period failures as "Awake," "The Firm," "Prime Suspect" and, on the unscripted front, "Rock Center with Brian Williams," which avoided cancellation despite consistently dismal ratings.
 
NBC ordered "Hannibal" last year without even seeing a pilot. Scripted by Fuller ("Pushing Daisies"), the thriller traces the early relationship between profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and the brilliant Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) well before the events depicted in the novel "Red Dragon" and its two adapted features.
 
The "Hannibal" pilot was directed by David Slade, who also directed "Awake," so he knows a thing or two about NBC's Thursday 10 p.m. struggles.