American Gods Sidelines Showrunner as Season 2 Problems Continue

Starz’s American Gods has “fired but not fired” (as one source puts it) Season 2 showrunner Jesse Alexander in the wake of ongoing production issues, delays and script doctoring being performed by frustrated cast members.

The former Hannibal executive producer had been brought onto the series as co-showrunner in February, to operate alongside American Gods author Neil Gaiman and succeed series co-creators Bryan Fuller and Michael Green (who exited the series last November over “creative differences”). Gaiman, however, has since directed his focus to Amazon’s Good Omens, another adaptation of Gaiman’s work.

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Alexander is no longer working on American Gods as showrunner or writer, and he has been asked not to be involved in any areas of production or post-production. Producing director Chris Byrne and line producer Lisa Kussner reportedly have been left to run the show.

Though Alexander had been brought on to reshape the series into something more in keeping with Gaiman’s vision and wishes, THR reports that scripts have been met with derision by Ian McShane and other actors, to the point that cast member Orlando Jones was given a writer credit to avoid running afoul of WGA rules.

Alexander’s first two stabs at a Season 2 finale script were rejected; sources tell THR that a seventh draft is now in the works. With production already six weeks behind, the downtime is being used to fit in reshoots for previous episodes, inflating a Season 2 budget that had been ordered to be smaller than the freshman run’s.

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,” Starz said in a statement to THR. “We are confident that when the fans get their first look at Season 2 in just a few weeks at New York Comic-Con, they will agree it was worth the wait.”

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