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American Gods Finally Has a Season Two Showrunner, and They May Toss the Scripts That Fuller and Green Already Wrote

After losing showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, allegedly over budget disputes, Starz’s American Gods has found a new showrunner: Jesse Alexander, who previously served as an executive producer on shows like Hannibal, Star Trek: Discovery, Heroes, Alias, and Lost. Alexander will work closely with Neil Gaiman, the author of the novel on which the show is based, to get the show going again.

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“I’m thrilled that Jesse is showrunner,” Gaiman told The Hollywood Reporter. “He loves and understands the book, he loves and understands the TV series, and he’s dedicated to making future seasons of American Gods as good and as beautiful and as unique as they can be. Shadow’s journey is going to take him, and Mr. Wednesday, and the New Gods and the Old, to some very strange places. I’m glad that we, and the cast and crew, will have Jesse shepherding us on the way.”

It’s unclear how much Fuller and Green will be involved from this point, though Starz CEO Chris Albrecht had said they would be involved “as much as they can be” back in January. “They were not fired,” said Albrecht, “nor did they quit … [They] will be involved as much as they can be; it’s a little bit up in the air as to what their role will be … Everyone’s trying to work this out, everyone wants that to be a win-win for the people involved and the fans, everyone wants to keep as much of the team intact as possible.”

However, according to The Hollywood Reporter (THR)‘s sources, much of Fuller and Green’s work won’t appear in the second season. At the time of their departure, Fuller and Green had reportedly written about half of the episodes for Season Two. Now, THR‘s sources said that, “Fremantle planned to toss those scripts and start from scratch with Alexander.” According to those same sources, Gaiman himself was also unhappy about Fuller and Green’s plans for the second season. “Gaiman is said to have wanted a showrunner to come in and produce a straight take on his novel (which would include ignoring the cliffhanger from season one),” wrote THR. 

(As ever with reports from unnamed, “insider” sources, don’t take this as written in stone until you hear more.)

I hope these sources aren’t correct. Personally, I was excited for Season Two precisely because of some of those changes that Fuller and Green had made. The promise of new arcs and plot developments, particularly for Bilquis and other female characters who were shortchanged in the original novel, suggested that they were expanding the story into the sort of twistier, more expansive storytelling that TV is uniquely built for. I hope that, whatever direction Alexander and Gaiman may choose for the new season, they keep in mind all the potential of this show’s female characters—and that they serve that potential well.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter; image: Starz)

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