12:07pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Starz Boss Talks Through "Trouble" With 'American Gods' Exodus
There's still no word on when American Gods might find its way back on the air.
The breakout Starz drama, renewed for a second season in summer 2017, lost showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green amid alleged budget disputes on the pricey FremantleMedia North America production. They've yet to be replaced — though, as Starz boss Chris Albrecht tells it, they're still involved.
"We're having some trouble getting the second season underway," Albrecht told reporters gathered at the semiannual TCA press tour. "It has faced many of the challenges that terrific, complex, premium shows face when trying to get successive seasons, especially when art comes before commerce."
Addressing Fuller and Green specifically, Albrecht claimed that they were neither fired nor did they quit. They'll continue to be involved "as much as they can be," while source material scribe Neil Gaiman will take on the showrunner duties. He'll be paired with a yet-to-be-determined TV vet. The search for the right producer is one of the things holding the show up. These are not the first issues with the project. Production delays during the first season prompted a reduced episode count. (Sources tell THR that multiple showrunners have turned down Fremantle as few want to replace Fuller and Green.)
"It's not ideal to have 18 months or two years between seasons," Albrecht admitted. "It's not an inexpensive show. Budget is always a factor. There needs [to be] a vision that can be executed on a regular basis."
The producers were not the only ones to leave their roles. American Gods lost featured player Gillian Anderson, and Kristin Chenoweth has expressed confusion about her own future on the show.
"I think there's been some confusion around the cast exit," Albrecht said, attempting to clarify. "Gillian seems to be leaving everything these days, but this was not a surprise. Kristin is still committed to the show, obviously depending on her schedule."
Talk about American Gods' second season remains largely speculative, with no production start date set, but Albrecht made a point of not mistaking the current confusion with actual doubt.
"We're very committed to American Gods," he said. "The show did very well for us. We're hoping for many more years of American Gods to appear on Starz."