Starz doesn’t seem to be having much luck when it comes to the second season of its Neil Gaiman adaptation American Gods.
Season one showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green exited the series back in November of last year, with actress Gillian Anderson choosing to follow them. The network then enlisted Jesse Alexander, who previously worked with Fuller on Star Trek: Discovery and Hannibal, to serve as co-showrunner on season two with author Neil Gaiman.
However, THR is reporting that Alexander has now been “sidelined” from his position, and was asked to stop working on the series around a month ago. Although it’s said the word “fired” hasn’t been used by producers Fremantle, Alexander “has been asked not to sit in on editing, be involved on set or participate in any other areas of production or postproduction”, in what THR’s source describes as “fired but not fired.”
According to the site, production on the season two finale is six weeks behind schedule and “in disarray” after Alexander turned in multiple drafts, all of which were rejected by Fremantle and Starz. There’s said to be friction between the two companies, with Fremantle now having to spend frantically to finish the season after originally hoping to cut the budget after an expensive first season.
Nevertheless, both Starz and Fremantle have released statements downplaying the troubles:
“American Godshas a deep and complex mythology and a unique visual style that makes this series one of the most ambitious productions on television, and one that we remain committed to delivering for our audience,” said Starz. “We are confident that when the fans get their first look at season two in just a few weeks at New York Comic-Con, they will agree it was worth the wait.”
“We stand by our network partner’s statement and share in their confidence that season two will exceed expectations,” added Fremantle. “Our cast and crew are extremely passionate about the show and have delivered something that remains loyal to the source material and true to the creative vision of Neil Gaiman. We think fans will feel the same when we share a first look at New York Comic-Con in a few weeks.”
Assuming it actually gets finished, the second season of American Gods will air on Starz in 2019.