Adapting the work of a visionary creative mind such as Neil Gaiman is never an easy task, but season two of Starz' American Gods is proving to be something of an impossible challenge.
Having delivered a strong first season, showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green parted ways with the show over budget disputes and creative differences. Jesse Alexander was appointed as co-showrunner alongside Neil Gaiman earlier this year, and production eventually started back in April. However, the delayed second season has just been dealt another setback with Alexander being 'sidelined' by Starz.
In a lengthy article on The Hollywood Reporter, the term fired or sacked is never used to describe Alexander no longer being co-showrunner. Instead, his exit is referred to as being 'sidelined' for the remainder of the production. According to THR, Alexander's script for the finale was rejected by Starz multiple times which is one of the factors in why the production was put on hiatus. Production is reportedly running six weeks behind schedule, and now they have to find a new showrunner meeting that January 2019 launch seems unlikely.
Starz announced the second season order halfway through the run of the first back in 2017, but it has been an uphill struggle ever since. Fuller and Green had turned in scripts for six of the ten-episodes before they departed the series, yet all their hard work was for nothing as Fremantle and Starz threw those scripts out and started from scratch.
The spiralling budget was just one of the frequent points of contention between the network and the then showrunners. Fuller and Green vision for the show rapidly exceeded what Fremantle & Starz had outlined, even with a reported budget of $9 million per episode, the showrunners and the network couldn't find a middle ground. Fuller and Green will still be credited as executive producers, but their involvement is in credit only.
Freemantle and Starz will now look to secure a new showrunner as soon as possible so the final block of filming can resume. More on American Gods season two as it comes in.