New 'American Gods' Showrunner Asked to Stop Work on the Series

The second season of American Gods is in jeopardy, as Starz' adaptation of Neil Gaiman's popular novel has hit another snag in production.

A new report from THR indicates that new showrunner Jesse Alexander has been effectively ordered to stop working on American Gods Season Two, and that production on the finale is on hiatus.

This comes after the departures of Season One showrunners and series creators Michael Green and Bryan Fuller, and the series order was shortened from 10 to eight episodes.

Insider sources tell THR that Alexander is "fired but not fired," sidelined from his show running duties as the studio Freemantle wants to avoid the negative attention of having gone through Green, Fuller, and now Alexander.

"We are all working very hard to make American Gods the series that its fans want and deserve," Alexander's statement to THR stated.

Both Starz and Freemantle issued their own statements, downplaying the production woes while teasing a debut at New York Comic Con.

"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," a Starz spokesperson said. "We are confident that when the fans get their first look at season two in just a few weeks at New York Comic Con, they will agree it was worth the wait."

"We stand by our network partner's statement and share in their confidence that season two will exceed expectations," said Freemantle's statement. "Our cast and crew are extremely passionate about the show and have delivered something that remains loyal to the source material and true to the creative vision of Neil Gaiman. We think fans will feel the same when we share a first look at New York Comic Con in a few weeks."

One source states there were a lot of creative disagreements from studio and network executives, leading to a lack of creative cohesion behind the scenes. The finale draft by Alexander was rejected multiple times, and a finalized version has yet to be completed.

"There are a lot of people who had a lot of different visions for what the book would look like on air," an insider told THR.

"I don't know which problems came from Starz and which came from Fremantle, but I know that there was serious disagreement about what they were making."

Some of this might come down to Gaiman's involvement, who is said to have been disappointed with how the first season turned out. Alexander was seen as Gaiman's choice to lead the series, which makes his ouster all more intriguing.

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The report states that Starz was unhappy with the new episodes, with a source claiming they look "cheap," and now Freemantle was having to spend more money to improve them. This comes after Fuller and Green's departures were said to be because of budget reasons.

We'll see how Starz and Freemantle bring the series together, but it's likely that Season Two of American Gods will be delayed well into 2019.