The Hollywood Reporter -- CANNES - Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPT) is rolling out a a new second screen viewing app for its international network of pay-TV channels to accompany the global launch of Hannibal, the new serial killer drama starring Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne and Mads Mikkelsen, which bowed on NBC last Thursday.
SPT co-produced the series, a prequel to Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter novels, together with Gaumont International Television and it will air the show on its branded pay-TV networks in 63 countries worldwide.
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For the global launch of Hannibal later this month, SPT will premiere a Hannibal app that will allow local viewers to watch the show through iTunes and on mobile phones and tablets. The app will go out in several foreign languages to accompany the series' bow across Latin America, Brazil, Spain, Portugal and pan-Asia.
For many territories, Hannibal will be the first second screen app for a scripted TV series. The move by Sony is part of a broader embrace of time-shifted viewing by international broadcasters, who increasingly see DVR and VOD platforms less as a threat to their primary broadcast than an opportunity to increase a show's overall audience and build critical buzz. SPT's Hannibal app will include exclusive non-broadcast content, behind-the-scenes footage and social media elements including a hosted online Hannibal community.
Given the show's dark subject matter and outside-the-mainstream, cable-style story telling, building a slavishly dedicated fan base will be key to Hannibal's long-term future. The show premiered to a decent, thought not exceptional, 1.6 rating on NBC last Thursday.