Starz cancels American Gods, though may return for finale event
After a turbulent rollercoaster of development cycles for the series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s iconic novel, Starz has elected to bring American Gods to an early close after three seasons at the network, with the cancellation coming on the heels of the latest season finale, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“American Gods will not return for a fourth season,” the Lionsgate-owned network wrote 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.”
Sources report that the decision to bring the series to an end comes as the latest season performed low in its rating, dropping 65 percent across Starz’ multiple platforms in comparison to its first season, but do note that production company Freemantle is currently in talks with the network to develop a potential event series or movie to help wrap the story adapted thus far form Gaiman’s novel.
The third season of the series followed Shadow as he attempted to break away from his father, Wednesday, and assert himself as his own man, settling in the idyllic snowy town of Lakeside, Wisconsin. However, as he uncovers the town’s dark secret, he is drawn back into the world of the gods and explore his own divinity and, with the guidance of his Black ancestors the Orishas, must decide if he’s a veneration-seeking god or a man in the service of “we.”
American Gods stars Ricky Whittle (The 100) as Shadow Moon, Ian McShane (Deadwood) as Mr. Wednesday, Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) as Laura Moon, Pablo Schreiber (Orange is the New Black) as Mad Sweeney, Yetide Badaki (Aquarius) as Bilquis, Bruce Langley (Deadly Waters) as Technical Boy and Glover as Mr. World.
The guest and recurring roster for the third season included Danny Trejo (Machete) and Dominique Jackson (Pose) as two of the many forms of the villainous Mr. World, primarily played by Crispin Glover (Back to the Future), Julia Sweeney (Shrill) as Ann-Marie Hinzelmann, the self-appointed mayor of Lakeside, Wale as Chango, an Orisha connected to Shadow’s unexplored past, Herizen Guardiola (The Get Down) as Oshun, Ashley Reyes (The Play That Goes Wrong) as Cordelia, Blythe Danner (Huff) as Demeter, Eric Johnson (Smallville) as Chad Mulligan, Lela Loren (Power) as Marguerite Olsen and Denis O’Hare (American Horror Story) as Tyr.
Adapted from the award-winning novel by Gaiman, who serves as executive producer on the series, American Gods went through a troubled route across its three seasons, from original showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green leaving halfway through development on the second season due to creative differences with the studio and replacement Jesse Alexander also being removed, as well as losing key stars Gillian Anderson and Kristen Chenoweth, leaving the production without a proper showrunner and resulting in a poorly-received and messy season.
While the third season saw an overall smoother production cycle, bringing on The Walking Dead alum Charles “Chic” Eglee as showrunner and Gaiman praising Emmy winner for his grasp on the source material and vision for the series’ future, there was a brief bump in the road as star Orlando Jones claimed he had been fired from the series in a racial decision, though a spokesperson responded by claiming that his contract had not been renewed as the part of the book the third season is based upon did not include Jones’ character.