Just a week after its Season 3’s finale, American Gods has been canceled by Starz. There’s still hope left for fans, though, since the streaming channel is in talks with producers Fremantle to wrap the story somehow.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Starz is discussing the possibility of concluding Neil Gaiman’s adaptation as an event series or a movie. This would give fans some closure, since the third season was produced without the news of the cancellation, and left behind a lot of unfinished plot points. For the moment this is all theoretical, and we have no official confirmation that American Gods will indeed have the chance to be complete.
The cancellation is not exactly a surprise, since the ratings for American Gods dropped significantly between the first and second seasons, with no recovery during the third. With all the problems production faced, and all the extra cost it brings to Starz, it’s easy to understand the company’s decision. Original series creators Michael Green and Bryan Fuller were fired after trying to reduce the scope of Season 2 due to a budget cut imposed by Fremantle, which led to the departure of co-stars Kristin Chenoweth and Gillian Anderson.
It was up to Jesse Alexander to keep the production going, but the new showrunner was also fired before that season ended, following creative power struggles between Alexander, Starz executives, and Gaiman himself. This meant that even before 2020, American Gods had already suffered a long two-year hiatus between its two first seasons, with plenty of shifting of personnel behind-the-scenes.
American Gods was not the only show to suspend production during the first wave of the pandemic, but after so much trouble between its first two seasons, it was a challenge to bring back viewers when Season 3 premiere last January. This is all too bad since the new showrunner, Charles H. Eglee, did salvage some of the wreckage left behind by the previous season. Unfortunately, that’s show business, and when the ratings don’t pay the bills, productions get shut down.
Whether or not American Gods will receive a proper send-off is yet to be seen, but for the time being, maybe the best bet is just grabbing Gaiman’s original book and reading the entire story instead.