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Article updated: 3/20/2013 10:23 AM

NBC hopes spring shows will warm up ratings

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Danish actor Mads Mikkelson plays Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the upcoming TV series, "Hannibal." The series will premiere on April 4.

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Last fall, downtrodden NBC entered the new season with brave but only modest aspirations. Then, juiced on audience-grabber "Sunday Night Football" and further boosted by robust singing competition "The Voice," the network vaulted to front-runner status, winning 13 of the season's first 15 weeks. With full recognition that football goes away each January, NBC's bosses prayed that the network's unanticipated surge, plus positive reception for its upcoming new shows, might propel it across the wintry void.
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