Starz’s Neil Gaiman adaptation, American Gods, has been hit with a lot of bad news in recent weeks, with showrunners Michael Green and Bryan Fuller announcing that they’d be departing their high-profile roles on the series before its second season, and recurring guest stars Gillian Anderson and Kristin Chenoweth both raising questions about whether they’d return, too. Starz CEO Chris Albrecht did some damage control on the series today at the TCA press tour, though, attempting to quell rumors and suggest that the network is still looking to keep Green and Fuller on in some capacity with the show.
“Our partners at Fremantle are working with Bryan and Michael and their schedules, working out a way for them to continue to be involved,” Albrecht told reporters, while also noting that Gaiman—who was heavily involved in the show’s development—would be taking on a more traditional showrunner role. Albrecht didn’t go into more detail about why Fuller and Green were leaving—except to comment that “they were not fired, nor did they quit”—but said that there’s still a strong relationship between Starz and the two producers. He also commented obliquely on questions about whether their departure was related to the show’s budget, calling it “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.”
Albrecht was a bit more direct when it came to the show’s purported casting changes. He chalked Anderson’s statement up to what seems like a general pulling-back from acting roles on her part—see also her repeated statements of being done with The X-Files’ Dana Scully, once and for all—while making it clear that, as far as Starz is concerned, Chenoweth is still on the books to reprise her role of Easter when the show eventually returns.