‘American Gods’ In Limbo: Network Boss Says Starz Still Wants Bryan Fuller and Michael Green To Return

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Starz is facing at least an 18 month or 2-year gap between seasons of “American Gods,” which CEO Chris Albrecht admitted isn’t ideal. But with original book author Neil Gaiman now more involved in the show, he told reporters on Friday that he believed the show was “finally on a path to get this on track to a definite Season 2. We’re very committed to ‘American Gods,’ we love the show. It did very well for us. We’re hoping for many more ‘American Gods.'”

“American Gods” has been in a holding pattern since showrunners/executive producers Bryan Fuller and Michael Green parted ways with studio FremantleMedia North America following a dispute over the show’s budget.

According to Albrecht, Gaiman “will continue to take more of a central role and moving forward into a more traditional showrunner function. And we’re looking for a partner for him who can ensure that the television part of this gets the appropriate attention.”

In December, Gaiman said on Twitter that he didn’t have the time to serve as “God’s” new showrunner: “No, I wouldn’t take over, but I look forward to working with new showrunners as closely with as I did with Bryan and Michael.”

On Friday, Gaiman commented on Twitter that the show was not in serious trouble, also telling one of his followers not to be scared about Season 2’s future.

But after IndieWire’s Liz Shannon Miller asked on Twitter whether Gaiman’s increased involvement on “American Gods” was news to the author, he responded: Yes.

Asked for additional clarification, Gaiman replied:

Meanwhile, Albrecht said he still also hoped that Fuller and Green would have some involvement. He said FremantleMedia was still in contact with the duo and trying to work with “their schedules for a way for them to be continually involved… Bryan and Michael will be involved as much as they can be. It’s a little bit in the air as to what their exact role will be. And a lot of that is between Fremantle and Neil and Bryan and Michael. We’re not in direct negotiations with the actual executive producers and the people who run the show.”

Bryan Fuller, Michael Green, Ian McShane and Ricky WhittleThe Contenders Emmys, presented by Deadline, Photo Studio, Los Angeles, USA - 09 Apr 2017

Bryan Fuller, Michael Green, Ian McShane and Ricky Whittle

Buckne/Deadline/REX/Shutterstock

Albrecht added that “obviously it’s not ideal to go 18 months to two years between seasons, given how competitive the world has gotten. [But] Fremantle needs to know there’s a formula where they can get this show on. It might be that the things Bryan and Michael were doing and their schedule has not allowed them to focus in the way Fremantle would like them to, given everything that’s going on.”

He also said that Fuller and Green “were not fired nor did they quit. There’s a very good relationship between Fremantle and Michael and Bryan… everyone is trying to work this out to have this be a win/win for the people involved and the show itself. Everyone wants to keep as much of the team intact for as long as possible.”

Also not returning to the show is Gillian Anderson, who played Media. Quipped Albrecht: “Gillian Anderson seems to be leaving everything but it was not a surprise.”

Asked about Fuller’s and Green’s concerns over not having enough money to produce the show, “not surprisingly if you’ve seen the show it’s not an inexpensive show. Budget is always a factor, although Fremantle has been really terrific in being willing to invest. This is about, is there a vision that can be executed on a regular basis? It is a big show, it’s a monster show, and it’s faced many of the challenges that terrific complex premium shows face in trying to get successive seasons — especially when art comes before commerce.”