At 10 p.m. Thursday, "Hannibal" premieres on NBC.
This latest incarnation of the Lecter universe is set in the earliest stages of the relationship between FBI agent Will Graham (Clarice Starling's predecessor) and the brilliant but deadly psychiatrist, back when Graham was Hannibal Lecter's patient. It's a prequel to "Red Dragon," Thomas Harris' first Lecter novel.
Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen stars in the role made famous by Anthony Hopkins. You might recognize him as another villain: Le Chiffre in Daniel Craig's first James Bond outing, "Casino Royale." It will be interesting to see his take on such an iconic character.
British actor Hugh Dancy ("King Arthur," "Confessions of a Shopaholic") plays his foil, Will, a criminal profiler. Will's profiling is aided by his "gift" of empathy, which allows him to get into the mind of anyone — including psychopaths. One killer proves too complex for him, though, and that's how he ends up in Lecter's acquaintance.
The show also stars Lawrence Fishburne, who plays Graham's boss, and was created by Bryan Fuller, the man behind the canceled-too-soon "Pushing Daisies" and the first season of "Heroes."
Fuller calls the show "elegant horror," and horror it is. Even in previews, there is graphic, violent imagery, perhaps even darker than what we've already seen in envelope-pushing shows like "Criminal Minds" and "The Following." The show certainly won't be for the faint of heart.
Also premiering, but much less exciting, is "Ready for Love" at 9 p.m. Tuesday. On it, three well-to-do men will have wannabe lovers — chosen by "the three best matchmakers in the world" — competing for their affection.
Plus, according to the network's press site, the show will have "24-hour storytelling through the Facebook pages for [executive producer Eva] Longoria, the eligible guys, the matchmakers and the women looking for love," so those of you not content with Facebook-stalking people in your own lives can now stalk random TV folks.
The network is making some changes to its schedule starting this week.