clarice tv series

Clarice, the Silence of the Lambs-inspired TV series that isn’t Hannibal, has landed itself a place on the CBS midseason lineup. Rebecca Breeds plays the FBI agent, leading a cast that includes Kal Penn, Nick Sandow, and Devyn A. Tyler. New details about the show come with this news, revealing the series is set after the events of Silence of the Lambs, making it a sequel series.

When Hannibal was first announced as a TV series, I was skeptical. But Bryan Fuller’s weird, disturbing, beautiful series won me over. And yet…I’m hesitant to get too excited about Clarice, another Silence of the Lambs-inspired show. However Clarice turns out, it won’t have Fuller behind-the-scenes. And it’s also headed for CBS, which isn’t exactly known these days for its ground-breaking shows.

But hey – maybe Clarice will be something truly special. Clarice has now been picked up to series, with plans to debut it sometime next March (they can’t film anything now, for obvious reasons). As for the premise, Collider reports Clarice is set in 1993, six months after the events of The Silence of the Lambs, and finds Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds) returning to duty. “Brilliant and vulnerable, Clarice’s bravery gives her an inner light that draws monsters and madmen to her. However, her complex psychological makeup that comes from a challenging childhood empowers her to begin to find her voice while working in a man’s world, as well as escape the family secrets that have haunted her throughout her life.”

The sequel aspect will enable Clarice to get around featuring Hannibal Lecter – since at the end of Silence of the Lambs, Lecter escaped and went into hiding. The Hannibal Lecter/Clarice Starling rights are a little convoluted. If you watched Hannibal, you likely noticed that Clarice Starling never showed up. Bryan Fuller wanted to introduce the character eventually, but NBC did not have the rights to the character.

As Fuller explained, “The way the rights go, it’s not by the literature, it’s actually by the character’s introduction. So if a character is first seen in Silence of the Lambs, we’re screwed, as far as rights go.” Hannibal Lecter was introduced in Red Dragon, so Fuller was able to use that character, as well as several other Red Dragon characters. On the flip side, CBS can’t use Hannibal Lecter as a character because he wasn’t introduced in Silence of the Lambs. This also means that Jack Crawford – Clarice Starling’s mentor – is unlikely to appear in Clarice as well, since he, too, was introduced in Red Dragon. Like I said: it’s a little convoluted.

Below, watch a video featuring Clarice producers and co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet discussing the series.

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