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NBC pulls ‘Hannibal’ episode after Marathon violence

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NBC said Friday that it’s pulling an episode of its serial killer drama ‘‘Hannibal’’ out of sensitivity to recent violence, including the Boston bombings. The episode that was to air next week features a character, played by guest star Molly Shannon, who brainwashes children to kill other children. ‘‘Hannibal’’ executive producer Bryan Fuller asked NBC to pull the episode, citing the Newtown, Conn., school shooting in December and this week’s Boston Marathon attack, NBC spokesman Stuart Levine said. The episode, the fourth for the freshman series, will be replaced by another ‘‘Hannibal’’ hour. Viewers will not see a plot continuity issue, Levine said. But a ‘‘clip package’’ with scenes from the unaired episode will be available at NBC.com next week, without the scenes of child violence and with commentary by Fuller. There have been other instances of networks responding quickly to the potentially difficult overlap between fact and fiction. ABC has delayed broadcasting an episode of the crime drama ‘‘Castle’’ in which a main character, New York police Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), steps on a pressure-sensitive bomb. It had been scheduled to air this coming Monday. ‘‘Out of respect,’’ Katic tweeted Wednesday about the delay.

You heard him

“Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” — Alex Lifeson, Rush guitarist, in his acceptance speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

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