Beloved author Neil Gaiman will step in as showrunner on season 2 of the American Gods TV show. Although Gaiman himself previously claimed that he would be done running television shows once he completed the BBC/Amazon production of Good Omens (itself adapted from the novel that Gaiman cowrote with Terry Pratchett), it appears that won't be the case after all.
Based on Gaiman's novel of the same name, American Gods focuses upon the character of ex-con Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle). Moon is released from prison only to find that Laura (Emily Browning), the wife he thought was waiting for him, is dead and the job that was waiting for him upon his release isn't there. Accepting an offer of employment from the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), Shadow finds himself drawn into the conflict between the gods of the Old World and the new Gods of America, born of peoples' belief in forces like Media and Technology rather than War or Love.
Chris Albrecht, President and CEO of Starz, confirmed that Gaiman will essentially serve as showrunner on American Gods season 2, while addressing reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour. Per The Wrap, Albrecht specifically said that Gaiman "will be taking more of a central role and moving forward into a more traditional showrunner function" on the show's sophomore season.
Update: Neil Gaiman responded to word of him stepping up into a showrunner capacity on Twitter.
It was. I suspect there's some crossed wires somewhere.— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 12, 2018
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
We are in the process of finding a new showrunner (and very close to an announcement).— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 12, 2018
Albrecht also confirmed Gillian Anderson's departure from the series in season 2, while noting it was not really a surprise and that “we knew that she was not necessarily going to be able to come back.” Anderson's performance as the new goddess Media was considered by many a highlight of American Gods' first season, and it earned her a nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actress In A Drama Series at the 2018 Critic's Choice Television Awards.
Despite Anderson's unavailability and the uncertainty of just which actors from the core cast will be returning for the second season, Albrecht remained optimistic about the series' future. He affirmed that Kristen Chenoweth, who played the fertility goddess Easter, "is still committed to the show, obviously pending her availability.” Albrecht also stated that despite no longer acting as show-runners on the series, producers Bryan Fuller and Michael Green will still have a role to play in the second season, emphasizing that the two "were not fired, not did they quit."
Gaiman taking the reins of running the series is the first spark of good news that American Gods has seen in quite some time. It remains to be seen if Gaiman can bring order to the seemingly chaotic turn that the show has taken in recent months, or what his plans for a second season might entail. For now, at least, fans will just have to keep the faith.
American Gods season 2 doesn't have a premiere date yet.
Source: The Wrap