NBC skipped the normal pilot order process and picked up the Hannibal TV series for 13-episode first season. It's a bit of a gamble for the network and we're curious to see how it all comes together. The series won't start until the middle of the fall TV season, but some new plot and character details have been revealed.

As previously reported, the main cast includes Hugh Dancy as FBI agent Will Graham and Casino Royale's Mad Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter. Laurence Fishburne is playing FBI Agent Jack Crawford, who is in charge of the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI and will eventually be given the job of tracking down Hannibal Lecter. Rounding out the main cast is Caroline Dhavernas, playing the role of a psychiatric protege of Hannibal. Aaron Abrams has also been hired in what sounds like a supporting role as a crime scene investigator working with the FBI.

This series takes place before the days of Silence of the Lambs and here is a basic outline of the pilot episode via Moviehole:

(Minor Spoilers) "Someone is out there abducting college girls. The victims’ bodies have never been found, so there’s some hope (at least until the authorities discover the reason these girls bodies have never been found is because someone’s eaten them for breakfast) that all or some of the eight may be found alive.

Will Graham, now a teacher because of some complex mental issues (bordering on aspergers), is coaxed back into the field by the head of the behavioral science unit, Jack Crawford. Since it’s been eight months that this abductor/killer has been on the loose, and he’s just grabbed his latest victim, the feds are desperate to catch the guy.

Though Crawford’s a little worried that Graham – who has social anxieties and then some – might struggle here and there on the job, he needs his brilliance to find the killer. Graham, being able to empathize with screw loose people, is someone who can sniff out a bad guy’s motivation fairly quickly.

In this case though, Graham needs assistance – someone who can read the ‘Cannibals’ mind even better than he can. The feds recruit Dr Hannibal Lecter, a loopy but brilliant doc, who joins the former and Crawford on the case. Lecter sees it not so much as a chance to do something good for the community (well, anyone that knows Hannibal Lecter knows that he’s got to be involved in the case for a start, right!?), but an opportunity to play with the equally unstable Graham."

If you'd like more character details and spoilers, head over to Moviehole for additional information.

Source: Moviehole