Starz Cancels 'American Gods' After 3 Seasons

Starz canceled American Gods, the series adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel of the same name, after three seasons. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Starz is still in talks with series producer Fremantle for a possible event series or movie to wrap up the story. The series was developed by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, and featured an ensemble led by Ian McShane and Ricky Whittle.

"American Gods will not return for a fourth season. 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," Starz said in a statement to THR. The premium cable network ended the series just a week after the Series 3 finale aired due to low ratings.

The third season aired over a year and a half after Season 2 wrapped due to creative issues and pandemic delays. Ratings dropped 65% across multiple platforms compared to the first season. Starz ordered a third season a week into Season 2, even though the audience dropped 45% between Season 1 and 2. Then-new Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch hoped the show would find an audience, but it failed to.

Production on American Gods has been difficult since day one. After the first season aired in 2017, Fuller and Green both left the stylized drama over creative differences with Fremantle, especially as the show's budget continued climbing. Kristin Chenoweth and Gillian Anderson also left the series after the first season. Jesse Alexander (Hannibal) was picked as the showrunner for Season 2, but nothing came easy for him as Starz and Fremantle clashed with Gaiman. Alexander left, so Charles "Chic" Elgee (Dexter) came in for Season 3. All of these issues meant that Season 2 did not debut until March 2019, almost two years after Season 1 aired. Season 3 didn't start until January.

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The show also made headlines when Orlando Jones claimed he was fired from the series because Elgee thought his character sent the "wrong message for Black America." Jones played Mr. Nancy on the series and contributed to scripts during Season 2. " [T]he new season three showrunner is Connecticut born and Yale-educated, so he's very smart and he thinks that Mr. Nancy's angry, get shit done is the wrong message for black America," Jones said in 2019. Producers disputed this, though, saying his character was simply not in the part of the book Season 3 covered, and they did not pick up his option. In February, Starz announced Marilyn Manson would no longer appear on the show due to sexual abuse allegations.