Former AMERICAN GODS showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green could still have roles as the series searches for a new “partner” for novelist Neil Gaiman, who will take more of a central role on the series, according to Starz boss Chris Albrecht.
“As you can see, we are having some trouble getting the second season underway,” Albrecht said during his executive session at the Television Critics’ Association’s winter press tour. “It’s an incredibly difficult adaptation of a fantastic novel. It’s why it took so long to make it to screen in the first place. Bryan and Michael, working with Neil Gaiman, have done a phenomenal job. Our partners at [production company]Freemantle are working with Bryan and Michael on their schedules, for a way for them to be involved. Neil Gaiman will be taking more of a central role and moving forward, will be taking on more of a traditional showrunner function. We’re looking for a partner for him who can ensure the television aspect of it gets the appropriate attention.”
Still, Albrecht said the network is committed to the show, which was given a quick Season 2 renewal early into its Season 1 run.
When Fuller and Green left the series, rumors abounded that budget was an issue in conflict between the showrunners and the studio.
“It’s not an inexpensive show,” Albrecht admitted. “Budget is always a factor, although Freemantle has been really terriffic in being willing to invest. This is really about, is there a vision that can be executed on a weekly basis? Obviously it’s not ideal to have 18 months or two years between seasons. I think Freemantle needs to know that a formula where they can get the show on. And it might be that Michael and Bryan were doing, and their schedule, did not allow them to focus in a way that Freemantle wanted. Maybe not that specifically, but given everything that’s going on, it seems like we’re finally on the path to get this on track to a definite Season 2.”
As for rumors of cast exits, Albrecht said Gillian Anderson, who played the New God “Media” on the show, was always going to exit, while Kristin Chenoweth, who plays Easter, is still committed to the series, “pending availability.” Both actresses, of course, are frequent Fuller collaborators who were brought to the series by the showrunner.