The saga of American Gods continues. After Bryan Fuller left, to helm the new Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles show for Paramount TV supposedly, along with Michael Green, fans have been worried about what would happen next. Gillian Anderson already left, and there’s talk of other stars jumping ship as well. Good news though — author Neil Gaiman is coming back to take an integral role on the show.
Back in November 2017, when the two showrunners left, Neil Gaiman pretty specifically said that he would only be show running Good Omens and then would go back to his life of writing:
No, it's not true at all. I'm showrunning Good Omens in the UK until next year, then retiring from showrunning and going back to writing novels for a living. https://t.co/nsmx7OkLzK
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 30, 2017
And Gaiman is true to his word…in a way. He is not coming back to the show as its showrunner but rather as a strong creative force. In his own, he will be helping the new show runner, whoever that might be, to shape the show as he did with the last pair.
I'm already showrunning GOOD OMENS and I won't be physically showrunning two shows. But I plan to work really closely with the new showrunner, and to help plot and guide and build American Gods, just as I did when Bryan & Michael came on as showrunners.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 12, 2018
However, this does raise some questions. Is Gaiman coming back a good sign or a bad one? According to his tweets, he’s been very positive that the show is going to be just fine and is stepping back more as a helper than a bigger player. He also hinted that there would soon be an announcement as to who that new showrunner.
Rumor was, initially, that Gaiman would be the showrunner, due to a statement from STARZ network head Chris Albrecht at the Starz’s Television Critics Association today:
“As you can see, we are having some trouble getting the second season underway. It’s an incredibly difficult adaptation of a fantastic novel. It’s why it took so long to make it to screen in the first place. Bryan and Michael, working with Neil Gaiman, have done a phenomenal job. Our partners at [production company] Freemantle are working with Bryan and Michael on their schedules, for a way for them to be involved.
Neil Gaiman will be taking more of a central role and moving forward into a more traditional showrunner function. And we’re looking for a partner for him who can ensure that the television part of this gets appropriate attention.”
Albrecht also said that Green and Fuller “were not fired nor did they quit,” which doesn’t seem ring true, given the statements from both sides.
Still, all we can hope for is that a good show with a strong first season can continue being excellent.