The turmoil behind-the-scenes of Starz ‘American Gods’ has been made very public, after the show’s creators Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, who acted as co-showrunners of Season 1, clashed with production company Fremantle Media, reportedly over the length and budget of Season 2. Their eventual replacement, Jesse Alexander was reportedly sidelined during the production of Season 2, but not officially let go. It was just announced that Charles “Chic” Eglee would assume the role of showrunner for Season 3, which Starz has already ordered.
“It was weirder for me to read some of the stuff online that said, “Oh, my god, American Gods, behind the scenes, is all falling apart.” I was going, “But they just shot four episodes, and everything is fine. They’re doing some re-shoots, but they’re doing less re-shoots than they did in Season 1. I was going, “I don’t think this is news.” Then, I was reading Steven Bochco’s biography on the tube, going into work on Good Omens, every morning, and learning about what went down on Hill Street Blues, and then on NYPD Blue. That was worse, by a factor of thousands, than anything that happened on American Gods. A showrunner came, and a showrunner left. That’s not even an unusual thing. Given the slightly hysterical tenor of some of the reporting, and naming no names, but the Hollywood Reporter should have been ashamed of themselves, the weirdest thing for me was putting out a thing on Twitter on Season 2, and having a bunch of people go, “We thought this was canceled.” No, it’s not canceled. In its own mad way, it’s on schedule. It’s not the fastest show to make. It’s big and it’s complicated. I’m sure that Season 3 will be a while, as well. The waiting is a pain in the ass.”
The biggest difference between ‘American Gods’ and ‘Hill Street Blues’ and ‘NYPD Blue’ is that those shows weren’t created in the internet age. Perhaps if they were, online chatter would be crying doom for them too.
In addition to the showrunner changes, ‘American Gods’ lost two major cast members after Season 1, Gillian Anderson and Kristin Chenoweth. In Chenoweth’s case, she had only been drawn to the series because of her working relationship with Bryan Fuller. With him gone, she chose to depart as well.
Now that Season 2 has begun, what do you think? Has the show suffered any? Or does it live up to the first?