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American Gods can't catch a break as more showrunner issues come to light

09.12.2018

Here we go again. It seems that American Gods is experiencing another behind-the-scenes shakeup as THR has reported that showrunner Jesse Alexander has been pushed out. The outlet made sure to note that the word "fired" is not being used, but Jesse Alexander is no longer working on American Gods as either showrunner or writer, and has also "been asked not to sit in on editing, be involved on set or participate in any other areas of production or postproduction." According to THR's sources, Jesse Alexander has been "fired but not fired" as Fremantle, the show's studio, would rather put Alexander on the bench than have to "endure the negative attention that would come with dismissing a second showrunner in two seasons."

If you recall, the successful first season of American Gods was run by Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (LOGAN), but after numerous battles with Fremantle over the expanding budget for the second season as well as frequent script rewrites, both Fuller and Green were asked to step down. Script issues also seem to be a problem during the second season as well, which has caused production to fall six weeks behind. In fact, instead of shooting the season finale, the crew have instead been filming pickups and reshoots of earlier episodes as there's apparently no script for the final episode at the moment. It's also been said that Jesse Alexander's take on American Gods didn't mesh with several members of the cast and crew, who found that it was taking the series in more of a conventional direction.

There were clashes over scripts from the day of the first table read. Sources note that season two scripts were often rewritten on the set, as many involved in the series wanted to honor the original vision and protect what they saw as important aspects of the characters and plot. After some actors, including star Ian McShane (Mr. Wednesday), began taking passes at improving dialogue, the production was forced to enlist co-star Orlando Jones (Mr. Nancy) as a writer on the series so a member of the WGA would be credited with writing instead of having actors violating guild rules. Others say some writers were coming to set with hand-written notebook pages — rewrites on scripts Alexander oversaw — amid "screaming matches" between the showrunner and McShane.

In a statement to THR, Jesse Alexander said, "We are all working very hard to make American Gods the series that its fans want and deserve." What is happening over there? The second season of American Gods won't arrive until 2019, but a Starz spokesperson seems confident that it will be worth it. "American Gods has 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," the spokesperson said "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." Given how troublesome the production on the second season seems to have been, I'm not exactly optimistic that American Gods will be the same show it once was.

Source: THR

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