11:39 am EDT, September 12, 2018

‘American Gods’ season 2 delays production, might lose second showrunner

American Gods season 2 experiences more delays as showrunner Jesse Alexander steps away from the production.

According to a new report by THR showrunner Jesse Alexander, who replaced Bryan Fuller and Michael Green earlier this year, has not been active on the show for close to a month. Following in the footsteps of the announcement surrounding Fuller and Greene’s departure, the word “fired” has not been used.

No new showrunner candidates have been announced and Alexander is still attached to the series.

This news arrives at yet another “he, said, she said” of behind the scenes whisperings. Regardless of what is actually transpiring behind closed, this is not great PR for the show.

In a statement, Alexander said, “We are all working very hard to make American Gods the series that its fans want and deserve.” I personally find this hard to believe. Who is to say that fans don’t deserve the versions Fuller, Greene, Alexander, or anyone in the American Gods writers room came up with.

Starz and Freemantle are holding the season one of the show on a pedestal and not revealing the standards by which this creative content should be held against. I’m not against waiting for the show to be the best it can be. But I have lost all confidence that the network and Freemantle even know what that is.

In just under a month, New York Comic-Con attendees with see the first footage of the second season. But it now comes tainted with this news.

Related: American Gods confirms 2019 return, teases House on the Rock

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Starz has released the following statement saying, “American Gods has a deep and complex mythology and a unique visual style that makes this series one of the most ambitious productions on television, and one that we remain committed to delivering for our audience.”

Freemantle handled it’s own coverage of recent events saying, “We stand by our network partner’s statement and share in their confidence that season two will exceed expectations. Our cast and crew are extremely passionate about the show and have delivered something that remains loyal to the source material and true to the creative vision of Neil Gaiman.”

Can a great show exist outside of the material in the book? All signals from the teams at Starz and Freemantle seem to say, no. in fact, I interpret their statements as saying, “fans want the books and so we are going to keep changing staff until someone does that.”

Citing commitment to the fans makes these moves almost appear as a way to blame the viewers for setting standards. The pivot is, at best, a copout for problems that are well-above a Starz subscriber’s pay grade.

Let’s hope that as these conversations continue, the people who have a voice in the room truly do have the best interests of the cast, crew, and fans in mind.

American Gods is expected to return to Starz in 2019.

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