American Gods answers our prayers: Season two gets premiere date

The second season of American Gods is set to premiere on Sunday, March 10, 2019, on STARZ. The news brings excitement, relief, and concern to fans who have no idea what to expect.

For a while, it seemed like fans might not get a second season of American Gods. Even if it did get a second season, it felt like American Gods could be delayed for more than a year. But, those worries ended when Variety reported the show, based on the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, would return on March 10, 2019, on STARZ. That’s almost two full months earlier than the series premiere last year.

This is just the latest surprise turn for a show that has as much drama off-screen as it does on-screen.

Old Gods vs New Gods vs TV Execs

Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michal Green (Logan) developed American Gods for television and served as the showrunners for the first season. They had even written scripts for the first six episodes of season two. They left the show last November after pushing for bigger budgets and more creative control over the story. Green has stated that he and Fuller were fired.

Per the Hollywood Reporter, the show’s production company, Freemantle, ironically ended up throwing more money at the second season of American Gods. The same report claims this happened when STARZ executives argued that new showrunner Jesse Alexander’s (LOST) episodes looked cheap.

I feel for Alexander. He was approved by Gaiman as a showrunner who would stay more faithful to his vision of the story than Fuller or Green would. Gaiman, himself, credits Alexander for getting the production on schedule and bringing everyone together.

Yet, after scrapping Fuller and Green’s season two scripts, Gaiman wrote the season premiere. Alexander penned the season two finale, but Gaiman and the production companies rejected it. Alexander ended up writing seven different scripts for the finale before being cut out of the show’s production completely. He’s been replaced by Chris Byrne (Star Trek: Discovery).

That’s like managing an office with a lot of difficult ppersonalities Sure, you get the crew to meet their goals. That’s acknowledged in your job review. But, your boss tags that with, “while we love your ability to produce, we don’t like the end product. Sorry, guy.”

It’s soul-sucking. Somewhere after the fourth or fifth draft of the finale script, Alexander probably said something like tell me what to write and I’ll write it. I give him credit for continuing to turn drafts in until Freemantle and STARZ asked him to stop. Don’t get pushed out. Make them say the words: “You’re fired.”

What to Expect in Season Two

Based on reports from Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter, Gaiman wants the show to follow the arc of his novel more than it has. Freemantle and STARZ want a more atmospheric experience.

I can see where Alexander might have been a preferred choice at first. He’s been involved in Bad Robot productions like Alias, LOST, and Star Trek: Discovery. Those all value the mystery box approach to storytelling where several complex story arcs are explored, but never truly resolved. The story is meant to be the character’s journey.

Next: American Gods replacing Gillian Anderson: 5 Perfect actresses to take her place

Gaiman gets his arcs. STARZ gets their atmospheric character journey. But, what do the fans get? We need payoffs. Even if we hate them, we need something there to hate. One of the most atmospheric joyrides on television is FX’s Legion. And that has a story with payoffs. Sure, they may be out on the astral plane, but they’re there.

Let’s hope the story and vibe that made American Gods great last year continue their momentum in season two.

Are you excited for season two of American Gods? Does the behind the scenes drama worry you? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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