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Starz chief addresses American Gods showrunner shuffle amid conflicting reports of Neil Gaiman’s role

Contributed by
Jan 12, 2018

Even though Starz re-upped American Gods for a second season last May, it seems like the show’s future has been conflicted at every turn. With Gillian Anderson gone, its two showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green (mostly) gone, and scheduling challenges conspiring with high production costs to test the support of its backers, the Neil Gaiman-adapted show is at a crossroads as the network continues to look for a way to make Season 2 happen.

The good thing, at least, is that the people in charge want it to happen. Via The Hollywood Reporter, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht told reporters at the TCA winter press tour that American Gods’ first season had performed well with viewers, and that he’s hopeful there’ll be “many more years” for the show — even as Gaiman's official creative role in the series (and exactly what that is) has spurred much discussion. 

Interestingly, the biggest challenge to Season 2 may not come from casting or budget, but from the intimidation factor of finding permanent replacements for Bryan Fuller and Michael Green — two acts whom THR reports other showrunners are hesitant to follow.

Still, Starz seems to be all in on more seasons for American Gods, even if the way forward — at least for the moment — isn’t exactly clear. Gaiman himself is serving as an interim showrunner of sorts, with Albrecht saying that he'll "be taking a more central role moving forward into a more traditional showrunner function, and we’re looking for a partner for him who can ensure that the television part of this gets the appropriate attention. We’re very committed to American Gods.” 

On Friday, Gaiman — who is already showrunner on Amazon's upcoming Good Omens — took to Twitter to further clarify his creative role in the series, saying he won't be "physically showrunning two shows," but that he plans to "work really closely with the new showrunner" on American Gods.

 

Albrecht summarized that the show is experiencing growing pains and "having some trouble getting the second season underway" — challenges that “terrific, complex premium shows face when trying to get successive seasons, especially when art comes before commerce.”

There’s a ray of hope, albeit temporary, on that front: Even though Fuller and Green are officially off the project, Albrecht said they both plan to continue “to be involved as much as they can be” (Albrecht said Fuller and Green weren’t fired, nor did they quit). That’s a good sign, since it indicates creative differences perhaps haven’t spoiled the show’s direction.

At least the network’s heart appears to be in the right place. With no release date on the horizon for Season 2, you can still catch the first season on the network itself, or by subscribing to the Starz channel on Amazon Prime Video.