Kristin Chenoweth has left the Starz series American Gods ahead of the shows upcoming season two premiere.
TV Line reports that Chenoweth — who played Easter, the Germanic goddess of the dawn — revealed recently that she is not returning due to the previous exits of showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green.
Fuller and Green left due to creative differences with FremantleMedia North America — the show's production company — on the direction the show should go.
“I couldn’t come back without him,” Chenoweth said of Fuller's exit. “It wouldn’t be right.”
“Let me just say this: Those people are also my family,” Chenoweth added, speaking about the remaining cast members and crew that she has relationships with. “It came out of [author Neil] Gaiman’s brain, who is a genius.”
Chenoweth and Fuller have a longstanding relationship dating back to the 2007 dramedy Pushing Daisies, which Fuller created and Chenoweth co-starred. Notably, actress Gillian Anderson also left American Gods for essentially the same reason.
Anderson played the new goddess Media — the spokesperson and "mouthpiece" for the new gods — but left the show after Fuller, whom she worked with on Hannibal, quit.
While Chenoweth and Anderson will not be returning for the show's new season, the main cast of American Gods appears to all still be on board.
Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Schreiber and Ian McShane all appear to be returning for season two.
With Fuller and Green out, Jesse Alexander will be the showrunner for the new season of American Gods. His past TV credits include Alias, Lost, Heroes, Star Trek: Discovery, as well as the film Eight Legged Freaks.
"Michael came and said, 'Look, we’re doing this show and there’s this character, we’d like you to read it.' It was Czernobog, and I phoned him back, because we’d been in touch over the years and he said, 'You’d only be in a couple of episodes, not recurring, because it’d be great to work with you but you don’t do television.' I said, 'Why didn’t you ask me?' I said, 'Also it’s intriguing to read this.' I said, 'I can think of 10 actors who’d do Czernobog better than I would, but what is this Mr. Wednesday?' He said, 'We’re sort of, you know …' I read the book and then they came back 10 days later and said, 'Would you like to play Mr. Wednesday?' Either whoever they got it out to at the time said no, or you know the way this business works," McShane recalled.
"It’s a funny old business, but sometimes parts have got your name on it, I always think. Sometimes a part will find its way to you, whatever. I didn’t know about the part, I didn’t know about American Gods," he added. "I didn’t know the book. I knew Neil Gaiman, I’d done Coraline which is great. I read it and I thought, what a great blueprint, outline, to make a series out of. When I saw it, I thought it was a very good combination, it was a good call because no matter what happens to the show, it’s part of television lore."
Season two of American Gods is scheduled to premiere in 2019.