The journey of Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and company has officially come to a close, as the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods has been cancelled at Starz after three seasons. The news comes just days after the airing of the series' Season 3 finale. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Starz is currently in talks with Freemantle, who produces American Gods, to potentially wrap up the series in either an event series or movie, although there are no concrete plans at this point.
"American Gods will not return for a fourth season," Starz said in a statement. "Everyone at Starz is grateful to the dedicated cast and crew, and our partners at Fremantle who brought author and executive producer Neil Gaiman's ever-relevant story to life that speaks to the cultural climate of our country."
The report claims that the cancellation was due to American Gods' ratings, which had slid 65% across multiple platforms compared to its first season. There's also the nature of the series' various behind-the-scenes shake-ups, as it endured multiple major showrunner and cast departures over the course of its three seasons. Bryan Fuller and Michael Green initially departed due to creative differences following Season 1, which also led to the exit of series stars Kristin Chenoweth and Gillian Anderson. Jesse Alexander was then brought on for Season 2, but was also met with creative friction, causing a nearly two-year gap between seasons. Charles "Chic" Eglee was brought in to showrun Season 3, just as series star Orlando Jones was publicly let go from the series. The series also had to drop recurring cast member Marilyn Manson during Season 3 following the resurfacing of abuse allegations.
American Gods follows Shadow, an ex-convict who learns that deities are living amongst humans. In Season Two, the battle moves inexorably towards crisis point as the destinies of gods and men collide. While Mr. World (Crispin Glover) plots revenge for the attack against him in Season One, Shadow throws in his lot with Wednesday's (Ian McShane) attempt to convince the Old Gods of the urgency for full-out war, with Laura and Mad Sweeney in tow. A council at the House on the Rock explodes into chaos, sending deities both Old and New on quests across America that will converge in Cairo, Illinois. Shadow is forced to carve out a place as a believer in this strange new world of living gods — a dark world where change demands commitment and faith requires terrible sacrifice.
Over the weekend, Gaiman himself spoke about the future of the series in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, expressing that the ending of Season 3 would be "the single most frustrating, upsetting, and maddening place" for the series to end.
"If we don't get a season 4, we've ended on the single most frustrating, upsetting and maddening place that any season could possibly end," Gaiman explained.
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