American Gods’ new showrunner will be sticking close to the source material

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

American Gods

A couple months back, the pillars of Heaven were shaken when showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green left the Starz series American Gods over creative and budgetary issues. With Fuller and Green no longer working to craft the show's second season, actress Gillian Anderson announced that she wouldn't be coming back to reprise the role of the "New God" Media – if the show didn't have the same showrunners, it wouldn't have her, either.

Starz has now found their replacement showrunner, and it's someone who has worked with Fuller before: Jesse Alexander, whose credits include the Fuller shows Hannibal and Star Trek: Discovery – which is another series the very busy show-maker left after having creative and budgetary disagreements with the network (in that case, CBS).

While running the show, Alexander will be working alongside Neil Gaiman, author of the novel the series is based on.

"American Gods" posits a different kind of war brewing — one between Old Gods and New. The traditional Old Gods, with mythological roots from around the world, fear irrelevance as their believers die off or are seduced by the money, technology, and celebrity offered by the New Gods. Shadow Moon (is an ex-con who, left adrift by the recent death of his wife, becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to conman Mr. Wednesday. But in truth, Mr. Wednesday is a powerful old deity, on a cross-country mission to build an army and reclaim his lost glory.

Gaiman had this to say about the hiring of Alexander: 

I'm thrilled that Jesse is [the] 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." 

Sources close to American Gods told The Hollywood Reporter that Gaiman was not happy with the direction Fuller and Green wanted to take the second season in, as their vision strayed too far from the story of his book. The pair had already written the scripts for the first 6 episodes of season 2, and those scripts are now being thrown out. Alexander will be starting from scratch, sticking closer to the source material and ignoring the cliffhanger season 1 ended on.

The first season was 8 episodes long (and came in $30 million over budget). Fuller and Green wanted to tell their season 2 story over 10 episodes. It's not clear if the season will be 10 episodes long under Alexander and Gaiman.

Starz had been hoping to get American Gods back on the air in January of 2019, but this showrunner shake-up might cause a delay.

We'll keep you updated as Alexander and Gaiman get to work putting the new season together.

American Gods season 1 starred Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, Yetide Badaki, Bruce Langley, Crispin Glover, Orlando Jones, Kristin Chenoweth, Jonathan Tucker, Cloris Leachman, Peter Stormare, Corbin Bernsen, and Gillian Anderson.

Source: THR

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.