Looks Like American Gods Has Another Showrunner Problem

Mr. Wednesday Shadow Moon Ian McShane Ricky Whittle American Gods Starz

American Gods got a quick Season 2 renewal from Starz not long into its inaugural season, and so far that's the best news the series has received in regards to future episodes. Things first began to go south for the series when showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green exited midway through production on Season 2. Now it appears the show is losing another showrunner, as Fuller and Green's replacement Jesse Alexander is reportedly on his way out as well in what sounds to be a very complicated situation.

Jesse Alexander apparently still has his job, but has been effectively kept from doing all activities a showrunner might typically do. Specifically, it's being said Alexander has been removed as a writer and is being kept out of the editing room and all other areas involving production of American Gods. THR reported the situation as a "fired but not fired," scenario, where the only reason Alexander's still with the production is so the news doesn't come out American Gods has dropped multiple showrunners in the course of making two seasons.

It's also being reported that Jesse Alexander has failed to provide a script for the American Gods Season 2 finale that executives are satisfied with. Sources indicated Alexander was up to the seventh draft, and then was presumably cut off by Starz and Fremantle, given he's apparently no longer writing for the series. Alexander came into the show when it was said over half the scripts for the upcoming season were completed, and it's unknown if it's the season finale script that's holding things up, or there are multiple episodes they may need to be reworked.

There was also reported tensions on-set between Jesse Alexander and actor Ian McShane regarding scripts. The showrunner and actor engaged in "screaming matches," which might have started after McShane attempted to improve the dialogue of the scripts provided. The incidents apparently resulted in American Gods signing Orlando Jones on as a writer for the series, in an effort to prevent any fines that would arise from actors violating guild rules. Other whispers from the set said writers were showing up to shoots with hand-written notebook pages of script re-writes of episodes Alexander oversaw, which sounds a bit unusual.

Whatever the situation is, things are bad enough that American Gods Season 2 production is six weeks behind and currently in hiatus. Once again, it's being reported actors are frustrated because they don't have a full script, or possibly any script for the finale and had been working on reshoots and reworked scenes of prior Season 2 episodes while waiting for a finished copy. Neil Gaiman is said to want greater control over the series, even though it's been said Jesse Alexander originally got the role as showrunner thanks to Gaiman's approval, and because his scripts he presented better followed the author's novel.

Despite the drama American Gods is still on track for a Season 2 release at Starz, although an announcement on a release date might be far off. Keep up with what's happening on television in the meantime with our fall premiere guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.