Shadow Moon’s resolution to make a fresh start will happen along with everyone else’s: just after the new year.
American Gods will return to Starz for Season 3 on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, at 8/7c, TVLine has learned.
The fantasy series’ upcoming run will cover the part of Neil Gaiman‘s book that is set in Lakeside, Wisc., and will follow Ricky Whittle’s character, Shadow — who’ll be living under the name Mike Ainsell — as he tries to blend in everyone else in the sleepy, small community. (Watch the teaser trailer.)
In a note to fans, executive producer Gaiman called the new season “timely” and reassured fans that upcoming episodes would accurately represent the totality of the country. “American must be for all of us, and American Gods must reflect that,” he wrote. “This season truly feels as if it does.”
The remarks likely are in response to the behind-the-scenes drama that accompanied the departure of several cast members, including a very vocal Orlando Jones, in late 2019. At the time, Jones said he had been fired because new showrunner Charles “Chic” Eglee thought the character of Mr. Nancy sends “the wrong message” to “Black America.”
In response, a spokesperson for the Fremantle-produced series told TVLine that Jones’ option for Season 3 was not picked up because Mr. Nancy is not part of the Lakeside portion of the book. Via statement, the show added that “Several new characters, many of which have already been announced, will be introduced into Shadow Moon’s world that will further contribute to the show’s legacy as one of the most diverse series on television.”
In the letter, Gaiman also seemed to address criticism of the series’ second season, writing that he was proud of the cast — including Whittle, Emily Browning, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Ian McShane, Demore Barnes and Omid Abtahi — “and of what the writers have done to bring the story back on track.”
Per the official description, Shadow will hide out in Lakeside while coming to terms with the knowledge that Mr. Wednesday (aka the Norse god Odin) is his father. He’ll attempt to forge his own destiny, and will be guided by the gods of his Black ancestors, the Orishas. He’ll also happen to come across a dark secret about the seemingly idyllic town.
Gaiman also released an image of the Lakeside Clunker Board from Hinzelmann’s shop, which readers of the book will recognize as emblematic of the season ahead. (Scroll down to get a good look.)
Read Gaiman’s letter in full below:
When we embarked upon making Season 3 of “American Gods,” we had no idea how timely it would turn out to be. We knew we wanted to return to what people loved and responded to in the book: that it was time for Shadow to go to the little town of Lakeside and try to lose himself in normality.
And at the same time, in Season 3, we wanted to focus on the characters and their journeys. To show Shadow forging a path guided by the Gods of his ancestors, becoming more himself while deciding who he is and what side he’s on — humanity’s or that of the Gods.
We knew also that we wanted to continue to root the show in the landscapes of America. To explore what “America” means to its people and to talk about immigrants — about the very different people who came to this remarkable land and brought their gods with them. The new gods of phone and app and glitter demand our attention and our love, and the old gods want to mean something again.
America must be for all of us, and “American Gods” must reflect that. This season truly feels as if it does. It’s full of drama and emotion, the very real and the utterly strange, and it features some of the finest performances the show has yet seen. It brings back favorite characters, some in remarkable new ways, and we will encounter people and gods we’ve never met before. I’m proud of our brilliant cast — of Ricky and Emily, of Yetide and Ian, Bruce, Demore, Omid and all the rest — and of what the writers have done to bring the story back on track.
The struggles of the gods and the people in Season 3 of “American Gods” are the struggles of America. We didn’t think it would prove as timely when we plotted it, nor did I think the novel would still be relevant when I wrote it over 20 years ago. But I’m glad it’s happening now, in a year when it feels as though diverse stories are being heard, and honored, and allowed to change the future.
Thank you so much,