Variety has confirmed that Starz has officially found their new showrunner for the upcoming second season of American Gods — Jesse Alexander.
Alexander is set to step in for Bryan Fuller and Michael Green — both of whom served as showrunners for the first season, but exited the series last November due to creative differences.
Alexander and Fuller have worked together in the past, on such series as Hannibal and Star Trek: Discovery. Alexander has also produced episodes of Agent X, Heroes, Alias and Lost.
There’s been no comment from Starz as to the exact reasoning why Fuller and Green abruptly stepped down, but speculation has cited disagreements over the series’ budget as the reason.
“Not surprisingly if you’ve seen the show, it’s not an inexpensive show,” Stars CEO Chris Albrecht said last January via Deadline. “Budget is always a factor, although Fremantle has been terrific in wanting to invest. It’s a big show, it’s a monster show and it’s faced many of the challenges that terrific, complex, premium shows face trying to get seasons, especially when art comes before commerce.”
Some of the cast from American Gods have been vocal about Fuller and Green stepping down, saying they were considering departing the show as well. Kristin Chenoweth, who played the goddess Easter, said via Variety: “When Bryan was the showrunner, I was coming back for several episodes, but I don’t know now. It depends on who it is and if they think I add value or not.” Gillian Anderson, who plays Media, also said she likely wouldn’t return. No word as of yet whether Alexander will seek out these characters or not.
The first season of American Gods debuted last May. Based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name, the series follows Shadow moon (Ricky Whittle) — an ex-con who finds himself in the middle of an all-out war zone between old and new gods from mythological legend. Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber and Crispin Glover also star. The first season was nominated for two Primetime Emmys.
American Gods was quickly renewed after its first few episodes. The second season was expected to air later this year, but The Verge is reporting the search for a showrunner will likely push it back to a January 2019 return.