Starz CEO Chris Albrecht addressed Bryan Fuller and Michael Green’s exit from the series at the Television Critics Association 2018 Winter panel.
Update (Jan 12, 9:25 p.m.): While Starz sticks to their narrative, Neil Gaiman clarifies his future with the series. And that future looks very similar to the present state of things.
Gaiman will indeed stay on for season 2, but he will not be taking on a showrunner position as Starz CEO Chris Albrecht alluded to at the TCA panel (see story below for more details).
But Gaiman clarified his role on Twitter, stating:
I'm already showrunning GOOD OMENS and I won't be physically showrunning two shows. But I plan to work really closely with the new showrunner, and to help plot and guide and build American Gods, just as I did when Bryan & Michael came on as showrunners.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 12, 2018
At this juncture, all fans want is clarity. More updates, and clarifications, will be posted as they arrive.
A line from the original article has been updated to reflect that Gaiman is not showrunning American Gods.
Original (Jan 12, 7:56 p.m.): All is not well in American Gods land. In November, the Starz hit took a devastating turn when a rumor all but confirmed the creative team’s exit from the series. With Bryan Fuller and Michael Green out, the future of the series remains in limbo.
At the January 12 TCA panel, Chris Albrecht addressed the god-sized elephant in the room — the future of American Gods.
Deadline reports that Fuller and Green neither “quit” nor are they “fired.” So, what exactly is their employment status?
Albrecht went on to say, “Our partners at Fremantle are working with Bryan and Michael and their schedules, working out a way for them to continue to be involved.”
The Starz boss did confirm that Neil Gaiman would step into the “more traditional” role of a showrunner. He adds, “We’re looking for a partner for him who can ensure that the television part of this get the appropriate attention.”
Citing the budget issues surrounding the first story, Albrecht had this to say: “Budget is always a factor although Fremantle has been terrific in wanting to invest. It’s a big show, it’s a monster show and it’s faced many of the challenges that terrific complex premium shows face trying to get seasons, especially when art comes before commerce.”
Not exactly an answer. But it does hint at the price tag that comes with creative freedom. A freedom that, while possible to scale back on production costs, still requires a bit a money.
And while Fuller and Green are technically still attached to the project, there was no word on their involvement. Since the initial announcement, it was stated that Bryan Fuller would be working on an adaptation of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles television series.
Albrecht also mentioned that no bad blood exists and the two parties are speaking: “Everyone wants that to be a win-win for the people involved and the fans, everyone wants to keep as much of the team intact as possible.”
As for Gillian Anderson’s exit, Albrecht notes that it was not surprising, seeing as the star also exited The X-Files.
But, there is a difference between leaving a series where you have played the same role for 12 years and leaving one where you play a different version of a character each week.
Chenoweth, he notes, at this moment remains tied to the project.
While this is not the most encouraging news to come out of the Starz panel, it is something to chew on until an official statement comes out. But from what I can surmise, I am not betting on Fuller and Green taking us to House on the Rock. And I will forever be sad about that.