American Gods (TV series)
|Based on||American Gods|
by Neil Gaiman
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||1 (list of episodes)|
|Original release||April 30, 2017 – present|
American Gods is an American television series developed by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green for Starz, based on the novel of the same name by author Neil Gaiman. Fuller and Green wrote the first episode and serve as showrunners. Gaiman serves as executive producer along with Fuller, Green, Craig Cegielski, Stefanie Berk, and Thom Beers. The eight-episode first season premiered on the Starz app on April 30, 2017.
The series focuses on Shadow Moon, a man serving three years in prison. With only days remaining in his sentence, Shadow is given an unexpected early release after his beloved wife Laura is killed. Shadow finds himself next to a man named Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job. Wednesday appears to be nothing but a con artist who needs Shadow as a bodyguard, but is in fact the god Odin. Wednesday is making his way across America, gathering all the old gods, who have now incorporated themselves into American life, to confront the New Gods, including Media and Technology, who grow stronger.
- Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon, a former convict who becomes Mr. Wednesday's bodyguard
- Emily Browning as Laura Moon, Shadow Moon's wife
- Crispin Glover as Mr. World, the New God of globalization, the leader of the New Gods and "interpretation of the Norse god Loki"
- Bruce Langley as Technical Boy, the New God of technology
- Yetide Badaki as Bilquis, an Old Goddess of love
- Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney, a leprechaun in the employ of Mr. Wednesday who has trouble coming to terms with his lost charm
- Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday, a con artist and the Old God Odin
- Jonathan Tucker as Low Key Lyesmith, a confidante of Shadow's in prison
- Cloris Leachman as Zorya Vechernyaya, the eldest of three sisters who watch the stars to guard against forgotten horrors
- Peter Stormare as Czernobog, Slavic god of darkness and evil who suspects Mr. Wednesday's motives and is reluctant to lend his aid
- Chris Obi as Mr. Jacquel, the Egyptian god of the dead Anubis
- Mousa Kraish as the Jinn, a mythical being of fire who, fearing for his safety, considers fleeing the United States
- Gillian Anderson as Media, the public face and "mouthpiece" of the New Gods
- Omid Abtahi as Salim, a foreigner who is "one half of a pair of star-crossed lovers"
- Orlando Jones as Mr. Nancy, the African trickster god Anansi
- Demore Barnes as Mr. Ibis, the keeper of stories past and present
- Dane Cook as Robbie, Shadow's best friend
- Kristin Chenoweth as Easter, Germanic goddess of the dawn
- Corbin Bernsen as Vulcan, a new character created by Gaiman specifically for the series and described as having "bound himself to guns".
- Jeremy Davies as Jesus, the overly empathetic Son of God who had only a minor mention in the book
- Beth Grant as Jack, the owner of the bar where Shadow meets Mr. Wednesday
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||"The Bone Orchard"||David Slade||Bryan Fuller & Michael Green||April 30, 2017||TBD|
|2||"The Secret of Spoons"||TBA||TBA||May 7, 2017||TBD|
|3||"Head Full of Snow"||TBA||TBA||May 14, 2017||TBD|
|4||"Git Gone"||TBA||TBA||May 21, 2017||TBD|
|5||"Lemon Scented You"||TBA||TBA||May 28, 2017||TBD|
|6||"A Murder of Gods"||TBA||TBA||June 4, 2017||TBD|
|7||"A Prayer for Mad Sweeney"||TBA||TBA||June 11, 2017||TBD|
|8||"Come to Jesus"||TBA||TBA||June 18, 2017||TBD|
In 2011, American Gods author Neil Gaiman stated at the Edinburgh International Book Festival that HBO had expressed an interest in adapting the novel into a television series. In March 2013 Gaiman spoke of the project's progress at the Cambridge International Student Film Festival, and confirmed that the prospective series' opening episode would "contain new elements and details" while still remaining "a lot like the opening chapters of the book". He also commented that the book would only make up the first two seasons of the show and that he was still working on the pilot script, as his first script was not close enough to his book for HBO's satisfaction. In November 2013 Gaiman announced on Reddit that the TV series was still in the works but no longer at HBO.
In 2014, HBO's president of programming Michael Lombardo revealed that the project had been abandoned because they could not get the script right: "We tried three different writers, we put a lot of effort into it. Some things just don't happen".
In February 2014, Fremantle Media acquired the rights to adapt the novel as a fantasy drama series. In July 2014, it was announced that Starz would be developing the series with Bryan Fuller and Michael Green.
Fuller stated that the series would be "[following] the events of the books but expanding those events, and expanding the point of view to go above and beyond Shadow and Wednesday". Permission has been given for the series to incorporate elements from the book's companion, Anansi Boys. Fuller also confirmed that Gaiman is "very involved" with the production and expressed his hope that Gaiman would write an episode himself.
On June 16, 2015, Starz officially announced that it had greenlit the series. Showrunner Bryan Fuller estimated in May 2015 that the show would likely air in "late 2016"; however, it premiered in April 2017, and the first season will consist of eight episodes. The shooting was scheduled to begin on March 1, 2016, in Toronto and continue until September.
During an interview with Neil Gaiman on June 24, 2016, he discussed plans for future seasons of the show beyond the first, should it be continued, and noting that the first season only covers the first third of the novel. The second season is intended to cover the Lakeside section of the novel, and "a big pivotal thing that happens to Mr. Wednesday" will likely be a season finale for either the second or third season.
On January 28, 2016, Ricky Whittle was cast as the lead character, Shadow Moon. On March 2, 2016, it was announced that Ian McShane had been cast as Mr. Wednesday. It was later announced on March 17, 2016, that Emily Browning will play Laura Moon, Shadow's wife. On March 23, 2016, it was announced that Sean Harris, Yetide Badaki and Bruce Langley would play the respective roles of Mad Sweeney, Bilquis and Technical Boy. On April 14, 2016, Jonathan Tucker and Crispin Glover were cast as Low Key Lyesmith and Mr. World. On April 21, 2016, Cloris Leachman was cast as Zorya Vechernyaya, Peter Stormare as Czernobog, Chris Obi as Mr. Jaquel, and Mousa Kraish as the Jinn.
On May 6, 2016, it was announced that Sean Harris had departed the series due to personal reasons and the role of "Mad Sweeney" was being recast. On May 11, 2016, it was announced that Pablo Schreiber would take over the role of Mad Sweeney. In June 2016, it was announced that Gillian Anderson would portray Media. On June 15, 2016, it was announced that Omid Abtahi, Orlando Jones and Demore Barnes would join the cast as Salim, Mr. Nancy and Mr. Ibis, respectively.
American Gods premieres each week in the U.S. on the Starz app, before airing the same day on Starz at 9:00 pm (Eastern). Each episode becomes available internationally on Amazon Prime the day after the U.S. broadcast.
The first season of American Gods has received positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, it has a score of 76 out of 100 based on 29 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 91% rating with an average score of 8.26 out of 10 based on 43 reviews.