The show I forgot to put on my Top Twenty List of 2017 (but wouldn’t have made the top ten) looked to have become less American and less godly when it was announced American Gods new showrunner would be…
Hold your horses, Louis! Let’s get a bit of backstory first! When showrunners Michael Green and Bryan Fuller walked away after the first season wrapped before Starz CEO, Chris Albrecht suggested creator Neil Gaiman would take up the reins.
But while Gaiman sure can pen a ripping, mythology-laden yarn, he is not, and never will be a TV showrunner. The BBC will soon find this out when he showruns his own adaptation of Good Omens, the book he co-authored with the late, great Terry Pratchett.
I'm already showrunning GOOD OMENS and I won't be physically showrunning two shows. But I plan to work really closely with the new showrunner, and to help plot and guide and build American Gods, just as I did when Bryan & Michael came on as showrunners.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 12, 2018
Gaiman was reportedly unhappy with the direction that Fuller and Green were taking American Gods in season one, feeling they were moving too far away from the source material and wanted a showrunner who would steer the series back towards his novel. Enter Jesse Alexander, stage right, hugged by a bear.
WHO IS AMERICAN GODS NEW SHOWRUNNER?
Enter Jesse Alexander, who worked with Fuller as staff writer and producer on Hannibal and Star Trek: Discovery. He’s also worked on Heroes and wrote the Eight-Legged Freaks screenplay way back in the early 2000’s.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Gaiman said:
“I’m thrilled that Jesse is American Gods new showrunner. 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.”
American Gods’ first season ran $30 million over budget with Fuller scrapping some episodes and reworking others. While the series began beautifully, viscerally and pushing boundaries and contained some breathtaking and memorable storytelling, these multiple rewrites go some way to explaining why, ultimately, the series was all over the fucking place.
The six season two scripts Bryan Fuller and Michael Green had already completed are expected to be scrapped and restarted from scratch by Alexander who will be working with a budget of $9 million per episode.
With the delay in securing American Gods’ new showrunner and to keep budgets in line, season 2’s episode count is expected to be reduced. The other bad news is that the previously undisclosed January 2019 return date has also become increasingly unlikely.