Gillian Anderson finally gets to take on Hannibal Lecter.

Anderson, who was supposedly in the running to replace Jodie Foster in 2001 in the "Silence of the Lambs" sequel, is returning to TV to play Lecter's therapist in new drama "Hannibal."

It probably took a while to come up with that title.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Anderson will play Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier murderous psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter's (Mads Mikkelsen) own therapist -- in a multi-episode arc.

"Every therapist needs their own head examined and we are ecstatic that Gillian Anderson has chosen 'Hannibal' to mark her return to American television after 10 years to portray Dr. Lecter's personal psychiatrist," series creator Bryan Fuller said in a statement. "Her intelligence and sophistication, not to mention her pedigree of groundbreaking TV, make her the perfect actress to match wits and psychological manipulations with one of the greatest villains of pop culture. I couldn't be more excited."

Yes you could. You could be an "X-Files" geek who has Dana Scully pillow cases.

Since Fox's classic series "The X-Files" concluded in 2002, Anderson has appeared in miniseries such as Encore's recent "Moby Dick" adaptation and British TV series like "The Fall."


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According to IMDB, Anderson's FOX contract didn't allow her to play another FBI agent, which is why she fell out of the running to play Clarice Starling in the "Silence of the Lambs" sequel (which was also named "Hannibal").

Couldn't Starling have retired, then come back as a contractor? It's a great way to double-dip on a pension.

Anderson joins a cast that also includes Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, Eddie Izzard, Gina Torres, Molly Shannon, Ellen Greene and Chelan Simmons. No premiere date has been set, but insiders expect the show will likely debut in late spring, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Contact Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks.