Neil Gaiman to Lead ‘American Gods’ Season 2

Neil Gaiman, author of the novel on which “American Gods” is based, will take a central role leading the show in its second season. Other than that, the Starz’ series future isn’t clear.

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said at the Television Critics Association Friday that the Season 2 cast is largely up in the air at the moment.

“Gillian Anderson seems to be leaving everything, but this was not a surprise,” Albrecht said, referring to her announcement that she is done with “X-Files.” “We knew that she was not necessarily going to be able to come back.”

“But Kristen Chenoweth — as far as we all know — is still committed to the show, obviously pending her availability,” he continued. “As you are seeing, we’re having some trouble getting the second season underway. It’s an incredibly difficult adaptation of a fantastic novel.”

Also Read: 8 Questions We Need Answered in ‘American Gods’ Season 2 (Photos)

Which is one reason Starz turned to its author.

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

Also Read: ‘American Gods’: Bilquis’ Origins Revealed in ‘Coming to America’ Vignette (Exclusive Video)

So what actually happened with the old guys, series creators and book-adapters Bryan Fuller and Michael Green?

“They were not fired nor did they quit,” Albrecht said, when pushed.

And apparently, Fuller and Green will still have some involvement going forward, Abrecht said. How much is up to them, Gaiman, and production company Fremantle.

Also Read: ‘American Gods’: Bryan Fuller Teases Longer, ‘Much More Exciting’ Season 2

Whatever. Just get us a Season 2 already, fans are probably thinking right about now.

So is Albrecht.

“We’re hoping for many more American Gods to appear on Starz,” he concluded.

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‘American Gods’: What Does the House on the Rock Mean for Season 2?

Neil Gaiman, author of the novel on which “American Gods” is based, will take a central role leading the show in its second season. Other than that, the Starz’ series future isn’t clear.

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said at the Television Critics Association Friday that the Season 2 cast is largely up in the air at the moment.

“Gillian Anderson seems to be leaving everything, but this was not a surprise,” Albrecht said, referring to her announcement that she is done with “X-Files.” “We knew that she was not necessarily going to be able to come back.”

“But Kristen Chenoweth — as far as we all know — is still committed to the show, obviously pending her availability,” he continued. “As you are seeing, we’re having some trouble getting the second season underway. It’s an incredibly difficult adaptation of a fantastic novel.”

Which is one reason Starz turned to its author.

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

So what actually happened with the old guys, series creators and book-adapters Bryan Fuller and Michael Green?

“They were not fired nor did they quit,” Albrecht said, when pushed.

And apparently, Fuller and Green will still have some involvement going forward, Abrecht said. How much is up to them, Gaiman, and production company Fremantle.

Whatever. Just get us a Season 2 already, fans are probably thinking right about now.

So is Albrecht.

“We’re hoping for many more American Gods to appear on Starz,” he concluded.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'John Wick' TV Spinoff Coming to Starz; Keanu Reeves Expected to Guest

Starz Dropped by Altice USA as Negotiations Fail Over New Licensing Deal

'American Gods': What Does the House on the Rock Mean for Season 2?

Starz Head of PR Theano Apostolou to Step Down After 7 Years With Network

Starz head of Communications Theano Apostolou is leaving the company after seven years with the premium pay-TV channel. She’ll continue to consult there until a replacement is found.

“Theano has played an integral role in making Starz a global entertainment company,” Starz president Chris Albrecht said. “Her creativity and passionate commitment to our success was a driving force in our evolution. Everyone at Starz thanks her and wishes her the best in this next step of her life.”

“It’s been one of the most rewarding times in my career to work for Chris Albrecht and with the team at Starz,” Apostolou said. “I have immense pride in what we’ve accomplished at a time when our industry is changing at an unprecedented pace and take great satisfaction that we’ve built a valuable, meaningful brand. I am grateful to Chris for the loyalty, support and encouragement he’s always shown me.”

Also Read: ‘Survivor’s Remorse’ to End on Starz After 4 Seasons

During Apostolou’s tenure, Starz spun off from Liberty Media in 2013. Last December, the “Outlander” home was sold to Lionsgate for $4.4 billion.

Apostolou joined Starz in 2011 as senior vice president of Communications and was promoted to executive vice president of the department in 2013. Prior to that, Apostolou was SVP of Publicity, Talent Relations and Promotional Events for AMC.

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Starz head of Communications Theano Apostolou is leaving the company after seven years with the premium pay-TV channel. She’ll continue to consult there until a replacement is found.

“Theano has played an integral role in making Starz a global entertainment company,” Starz president Chris Albrecht said. “Her creativity and passionate commitment to our success was a driving force in our evolution. Everyone at Starz thanks her and wishes her the best in this next step of her life.”

“It’s been one of the most rewarding times in my career to work for Chris Albrecht and with the team at Starz,” Apostolou said. “I have immense pride in what we’ve accomplished at a time when our industry is changing at an unprecedented pace and take great satisfaction that we’ve built a valuable, meaningful brand. I am grateful to Chris for the loyalty, support and encouragement he’s always shown me.”

During Apostolou’s tenure, Starz spun off from Liberty Media in 2013. Last December, the “Outlander” home was sold to Lionsgate for $4.4 billion.

Apostolou joined Starz in 2011 as senior vice president of Communications and was promoted to executive vice president of the department in 2013. Prior to that, Apostolou was SVP of Publicity, Talent Relations and Promotional Events for AMC.

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Starz Propels Lionsgate to Strong Q2

Cable Startup Layer3 TV Adds Starz (Exclusive)

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Starz Communications Chief Theano Apostolou Departing Premium Cabler

EXCLUSIVE: After seven years guiding Starz‘s communications ship, Theano Apostolou is leaving the premium cabler, I’ve learned. The EVP made the official announcement to her staff today at Starz’s Beverly Hills HQ.
A big part of Starz’s rise to the nation’s second most subscribed premium cabler, Apostolou will stay on until a successor is determined at the Chris Albrecht-run outlet. That means, with a new round of awards season looming, Starz likely will still have ex-AMC

EXCLUSIVE: After seven years guiding Starz's communications ship, Theano Apostolou is leaving the premium cabler, I've learned. The EVP made the official announcement to her staff today at Starz's Beverly Hills HQ. A big part of Starz's rise to the nation’s second most subscribed premium cabler, Apostolou will stay on until a successor is determined at the Chris Albrecht-run outlet. That means, with a new round of awards season looming, Starz likely will still have ex-AMC

Starz Boss Chris Albrecht On Lionsgate Integration & ‘American Gods’ End Date

Seven months after Lionsgate’s acquisition of Starz was completed, the effects of the merger are starting to reach the screen, with Starz today announcing the first series order to a show from Lionsgate TV, The Rook.
It’s the first of many to come. “We’ve got an exciting slate of stuff with Lionsgate in development,” Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht said during the premium channel’s TCA executive session. “There will be more to come in close partnership with…

Seven months after Lionsgate’s acquisition of Starz was completed, the effects of the merger are starting to reach the screen, with Starz today announcing the first series order to a show from Lionsgate TV, The Rook. It’s the first of many to come. “We've got an exciting slate of stuff with Lionsgate in development,” Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht said during the premium channel’s TCA executive session. “There will be more to come in close partnership with…

How Starz Chief Chris Albrecht Struck Gold With Overlooked Audiences

Chris Albrecht brought TV into a new era with groundbreaking shows like “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” when he presided over HBO throughout much of 1990s and 2000s. Now, as CEO of premium cable network Starz, he’s less about reinventing the wheel than driving it to forgotten places.

At the Code Media conference, Albrecht said Starz has found success — including 1 million subscribers paying $8.99 a month for its standalone streaming service — by going after viewers competitors like HBO may have missed.

“Instead of being everything for everyone, we’re targeting specific audiences who are underserved by the premium space,” he said. “Those include African-Americans and women, oddly enough.”

Also Read: ‘Outlander’ Casts Its Mr. Willoughby and Captain Leonard for Season 3

Starz also reaches its audience not just through premium cable packages, but its mobile app and streaming service. Its found a successful niche, Albrecht said, and isn’t out to grow its base for growth’s sake.

“There are companies out there that are trying to own the world,” he said. “We’re trying to succeed in the world.”

The network is also trying novel ways to bring on new subscribers. Albrecht says Starz plans to launch pre-paid cards for people without credit cards or the ability to afford a Cadillac cable package who nevertheless want to watch Starz and are willing to pay for it. Pay-as-you-go and premium don’t typically go together, Albrecht acknowledged, but he believes it will work for Starz.

Also Read: Chris Albrecht Says Starz-Lionsgate Merger Will Create ‘Global Content Powerhouse’

One thing Starz isn’t doing: explicitly identifying its user base with targeted marketing.

“I don’t think people like to be told ‘this is for you,’” he said. “That’s a decision they want to make for themselves.”

Albrecht said shows like “Power,” which has heavy African-American viewership, and “Outlander,” which is watched by mostly women, attract those audiences organically. And the proof is in the subscribers: Starz’ customer base is more heavily weighted toward African-Americans, women and people earning less than $50,000 a year than any other premium cable network.

Also Read: Starz Adds 300,000 Subscribers in Q3 But Whiffs on Earnings

Lionsgate, which produces TV hits like Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black,” recently acquired Starz. Albrecht said Starz will certainly get looks at Lionsgate’s TV pipeline, but denied there would be any special treatment.

Starz’ streaming service is also the only network-affiliated one that currently offers the ability to download shows and watch offline, which Albrecht said came as a result of again, trying to zig where others zag. Amazon and Netflix are beginning to introduce that capability.

However, he acknowledged that traditional bundles are stickier, meaning it’s more important to consistently deliver fresh content when serving the streaming audience.

“Although it’s easy to sign up when you’re selling directly to the consumer, it’s easy to disconnect,” Albrecht said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Lionsgate, Starz Shareholders Approve Merger

Chris Albrecht Says Starz-Lionsgate Merger Will Create ‘Global Content Powerhouse’

Starz Adds 300,000 Subscribers in Q3 But Whiffs on Earnings

Chris Albrecht brought TV into a new era with groundbreaking shows like “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” when he presided over HBO throughout much of 1990s and 2000s. Now, as CEO of premium cable network Starz, he’s less about reinventing the wheel than driving it to forgotten places.

At the Code Media conference, Albrecht said Starz has found success — including 1 million subscribers paying $8.99 a month for its standalone streaming service — by going after viewers competitors like HBO may have missed.

“Instead of being everything for everyone, we’re targeting specific audiences who are underserved by the premium space,” he said. “Those include African-Americans and women, oddly enough.”

Starz also reaches its audience not just through premium cable packages, but its mobile app and streaming service. Its found a successful niche, Albrecht said, and isn’t out to grow its base for growth’s sake.

“There are companies out there that are trying to own the world,” he said. “We’re trying to succeed in the world.”

The network is also trying novel ways to bring on new subscribers. Albrecht says Starz plans to launch pre-paid cards for people without credit cards or the ability to afford a Cadillac cable package who nevertheless want to watch Starz and are willing to pay for it. Pay-as-you-go and premium don’t typically go together, Albrecht acknowledged, but he believes it will work for Starz.

One thing Starz isn’t doing: explicitly identifying its user base with targeted marketing.

“I don’t think people like to be told ‘this is for you,'” he said. “That’s a decision they want to make for themselves.”

Albrecht said shows like “Power,” which has heavy African-American viewership, and “Outlander,” which is watched by mostly women, attract those audiences organically. And the proof is in the subscribers: Starz’ customer base is more heavily weighted toward African-Americans, women and people earning less than $50,000 a year than any other premium cable network.

Lionsgate, which produces TV hits like Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black,” recently acquired Starz. Albrecht said Starz will certainly get looks at Lionsgate’s TV pipeline, but denied there would be any special treatment.

Starz’ streaming service is also the only network-affiliated one that currently offers the ability to download shows and watch offline, which Albrecht said came as a result of again, trying to zig where others zag. Amazon and Netflix are beginning to introduce that capability.

However, he acknowledged that traditional bundles are stickier, meaning it’s more important to consistently deliver fresh content when serving the streaming audience.

“Although it’s easy to sign up when you’re selling directly to the consumer, it’s easy to disconnect,” Albrecht said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Lionsgate, Starz Shareholders Approve Merger

Chris Albrecht Says Starz-Lionsgate Merger Will Create 'Global Content Powerhouse'

Starz Adds 300,000 Subscribers in Q3 But Whiffs on Earnings

Starz to Issue Pre-Paid Cards As Alternative to Traditional Subscriptions

Starz is going to issue pre-paid subscription cards that allow consumers to pay for the premium service without using credit cards, CEO Chris Albrecht revealed Tuesday in a Q&A session at the Recode Media conference in Laguna Niguel, Calif. While he stopped short of offering details on the new payment option, which are still being… Read more »

Starz is going to issue pre-paid subscription cards that allow consumers to pay for the premium service without using credit cards, CEO Chris Albrecht revealed Tuesday in a Q&A session at the Recode Media conference in Laguna Niguel, Calif. While he stopped short of offering details on the new payment option, which are still being... Read more »