Creators and co-showrunners Michael Green and Bryan Fuller have departed the STARZ series ‘American Gods’ which debuted in April of this year. In May, amid excellent reviews, it was renewed for a second season. The reason for the split appears to be budgetary. Season Two reportedly had a budget of $10 million per episode, but it seems that the two creators, who also served as executive producers, wanted more. Production company FremantleMedia, under new guidance by Dante di Loreto, apparently balked. There were also disagreements over the show’s creative direction.
Green and Fuller informed the cast of their departure on Wednesday. Apparently, half the scripts for Season Two are already completed. The show was slated to return in mid-2018, but it’s unknown if this shakeup will affect that. There is some discussion of Neil Gaiman, the author of the novel upon which this show is based, may step in as co-showrunner, but he already has his plate full with Amazon’s ‘Good Omens’.
No, it’s not true at all. I’m showrunning Good Omens in the UK until next year, then retiring from showrunning and going back to writing novels for a living. https://t.co/nsmx7OkLzK
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 30, 2017
The series is based on Gaiman’s award-winning 2001 novel. Gaiman served as an executive producer along with Fuller and Green, as well as Craig Cegielski, Stefanie Berk, David Slade, and Adam Kane.
The story builds toward a huge conflict between the ancient gods like Odin (a.k.a. Mister Wednesday, played by Ian McShane), leprechaun Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) and Bilquis the Queen of Sheba (Yetide Badaki) and a new pantheon of ‘American Gods’, led by Mr. World (Crispin Glover), and including Media (the chameleon-like Gillian Anderson) and Technical Boy (Bruce Langley). Caught in the middle of this struggle are humans, ex-con Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and his formerly-deceased wife Laura (Emily Browning), as well as recurring character Salim (Omid Abtahi).
Season One was packed with colorful godly guest-stars like Demore Barnes as Mr. Ibis a.k.a. Toth, Corbin Bernsen as Vulcan, Kristin Chenoweth as Easter, Jeremy Davies as Jesus Prime, Orlando Jones as Mr. Nancy a.k.a. trickster god Anansi, Cloris Leachman as Zorya Vechernyaya the Evening Star, Chris Obi as Mr. Jacquel a.k.a. Anubis, and Peter Stormare as Czernobog.
It’s unclear if the departure of Fuller and Green will affect the cast, but it is true that Chenoweth joined the show after working with Fuller on ‘Pushing Daisies’.
Were you a fan of the first season? Does this behind-the-scenes change make you worry about the show’s future?