Based on the 2001 novel by comics and fantasy legend Neil Gaiman, American Gods tells the story of Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), an ex-convict who finds himself caught up in the world of literal gods as a war brews between the new and old deities. One of the more visually arresting shows on television, the show was stocked with a top tier cast of supporting characters in season 1, perhaps none of them more impressive than Anderson as Media: a new god who appears in the guise of modern icons like Lucille Ball, David Bowie, and Marilyn Monroe.
Related: American Gods Showrunners Step Down
However, the show will have to go on without her. Per the Los Angeles Times, Anderson will not return for American Gods' second season, which is a direct consequence of the show's creators and season 1 showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green parting ways with the series. Anderson had a pre-existing relationship with Fuller in particular, from their days working together on the NBC horror TV series Hannibal.
Anderson was unquestionably fantastic in the role, but Media's status as something of a chameleon means it should be relatively straightforward to recast. Anderson's departure seems like the least of the show's problems at the moment. What seemed poised to eventually become Starz's flagship series now faces a deeply uncertain future. By virtually all accounts, Fuller and Green deserve essentially all the credit for transforming Gaiman's novel into something visually audacious, setting a mood that was simultaneously beautiful and horrifying, much like they did on the dearly departed Hannibal.
Starz and the series' production company were reportedly unhappy with the amount of time and money it was taking the pair to develop season two, leading to the divorce. No replacement showrunner has been named - though Gaiman quickly took himself out of the running - nor is there a release date for season two, though Fuller and Green reportedly finished most of the scripts for the sophomore year before departing.
It's hard not to compare this situation to Fuller's dismissal from Star Trek: Discovery for similar reasons. Discovery has managed to find some success based on the brand appeal of Star Trek and its unusual position as CBS All Access' primary reason for existing. American Gods' chances of continued success without its masterminds - and now one of its most celebrated actors - seems far more precarious.
American Gods season 2 doesn't have a premiere date yet.
Source: Los Angeles Times