The second season of American Gods finally has a new showrunner. After the abrupt departure of producers Bryan Fuller and Michael Green over budget cuts, The Hollywood Reporter says that Jesse Alexander (Heroes, Hannibal) has signed on to manage the show alongside original novel writer and executive producer Neil Gaiman.
The show has had a lot of uncertainty after reported budget cuts were being imposed by FreemantleMedia on the Starz series. Starz CEO Chris Albrecht says that Fuller and Green were not fired, and have not quit, and will be involved “as much as they can be,” but it seems unlikely at this point. The two would likely retain their executive producer credits. In addition, Gillian Anderson (Media) has already stated she will not return to the show, and Kristen Chenoweth (Easter) is not certain she will return. The former might be replaced fairly easily – the character changes appearances easily, thus far showing up as Lucille Ball, David Bowie and Marilyn Monroe, but Easter looked to set up for a pivotal part in the upcoming war of the Old and New Gods.
In a bit of a surprise announcement, SpikeTV announced today that they will be taking on the second season of The Shannara Chronicles which will air this Fall.
The first season of the original scripted drama, based on the best-selling fantasy book series by Terry Brooks, debuted on MTV in 2016.
Filmed on location in New Zealand, the new season will consist of 10 one-hour episodes. Details of the premiere date and time for season two will be announced in the coming weeks.
Spike will introduce its viewers to the critically-acclaimed series this summer as it will encore season one beginning on Thursday, June 29 at 11:00pm ET/PT, directly following the Spike original series, The Mist.
The Shannara Chronicles stars Austin Butler (Wil), Ivana Baquero (Eretria), Manu Bennett (Allanon), Aaron Jakubenko (Ander) and Marcus Vanco (Bandon) along with new cast members Vanessa Morgan (Lyria), Malese Jow (Mareth), Gentry White (Garet), Caroline Chikezie (Queen Tamlin), and Desmond Chiam (General Riga).
Season two takes place one year after the events of last season. The Four Lands are in chaos. The re-emergence of magic has the populace terrified, and an organization called The Crimson is hunting down magic users, using fear and intimidation to sow discord among the races. Wil, scarred by the loss of Amberle and his separation from Eretria, has turned his back on his magical destiny to become a healer. But when a mysterious woman named Mareth saves Wil from a Crimson attack, he is forced to rejoin the fight.
The Shannara Chronicles is created by Al Gough and Miles Millar based on the Shannara series of books written by Terry Brooks. The series is executive produced by Gough & Millar, Brooks, Jon Favreau, Jonathan Liebesman, and Dan Farah. The series is produced and distributed worldwide by Sonar Entertainment in association with Millar/Gough Ink and Farah Films.
In less surprising news, Starz has renewed American Gods for a second season after just two episodes. The show, based on the novel of the same name by author Neil Gaiman, follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle, The 100) after he is released from prison and recruited by the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) into what appears to be a supernatural war between the gods of the Old World, brought to America by the immigrants, and the “new” gods, led by Technical Boy (Bruce Langley, Deadly Waters) and Media (Gillian Anderson, The X-Files – who appears in the form of Lucille Ball/Lucy Ricardo). The show is produced by FremantleMedia North America, with Bryan Fuller and Michael Green serving as executive producers/showrunners and also writing for the show.
X-Files alum Gillian Anderson is the latest actor to sign on for Starz’ series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, about the struggle between the old gods of mythology and the new gods that represent modern society’s influences – money, power, technology, etc.
Anderson will play Media, who is – surprise – the spokesperson for the New Gods. Ricky Whittle (The 100) portrays the protagonist Shadow Moon, an ex-con who becomes the bodyguard of conman Mr. Wednesday, who is actually on a mission to marshall the old gods in preparation for battle.
Tidbits: Rod Roddenberry joins Star Trek; McShane to American Gods; ABC early pickups; will Doctor attend Class?
Some Thursday tidbits for you…
Rod Roddenberry, the son of the “Great Bird of the Galaxy”, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and president of Roddenberry Entertainment, will join the upcoming Star Trek series for CBS All Access as an executive producer, along with chief operating officer Trevor Roth. Roddenberry Entertainment will co-produce the series.
Actor Ian McShane (Deadwood) will play the mysterious con man Mr. Wednesday in Starz’ series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, where the gods of myth are about to enter a war against the gods of modern society representing money, power, etc.
ABC gave quite a few early pickups to its shows, including Once Upon A Time and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Absent, at least so far, is Agent Carter, which appears to be a long shot at this point – especially since star Haley Atwell has signed on to do a pilot for ABC. While Carter currently operates on a half-season schedule it is possible that if the other show is also half-season she could do both, but the shows only modest ratings already were pointing at an ending for the show.
And finally, the Radio Times is reporting that Peter Capaldi is set to show up in the upcoming Doctor Who spinoff Class which is set at the Coal Hill School – where the very first episode of Doctor Who started and where Clara Oswald had been teaching. “It wil[sic] have a close connection with Doctor Who so don’t be surprised if Peter pops up,” according to someone close to the production. Now, my interpretation of that statement is that it isn’t definite Capaldi will appear, but that the story will allow for it.
With several official live action spin-off series in the history of the show (K-9 and Company (only one episode produced), Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and K-9), the Doctor only appeared on The Sarah Jane Adventures – but he did so in two incarnations: both David Tennant and Matt Smith appeared in separate two-parters.
Tidbits: Ford to preview Disney’s Star Wars park plans; American Gods gets Shadow; Time After Time pilot order
Just some quick stories…first, Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford, will star in a Wonderful World of Disney special called “Disneyland 60” where he will preview the upcoming Star Wars-themed park areas at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios park in Walt Disney World. Filming of the special starts tomorrow and will air on February 21st on ABC. The special itself will focus on Disneyland’s 60th anniversary, with Derek Hough as host and Elton John, Josh Gad and Witney Carson already announced as guests.
The 100‘s Ricky Whittle will be protagonist Shadow Moon in the upcoming Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, about the struggle between the old gods of mythology and the new gods that represent modern society’s influences – money, power, technology, etc. Ex-con Shadow find himself as a bodyguard to the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, “a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.” Bryan Fuller and Michael Green are writers/showrunners, and David Slade (Hannibal) is directing the pilot and will direct additional episodes. Shooting is expected to start in April.
The Time After Time series remake for ABC we reported on in September has gotten a pilot order from ABC. It’s still early in the process as there does not appear to be any casting contingency in the pilot order, but I understand that studio Warner Bros. TV had one or more “if come” deals with casting directors if the project got picked up.
Here are some of the big and our favorite stories we covered in 2012…
Helmer Steven Moffat confirmed today that Neil Gaiman is indeed writing an episode of Doctor Who that will be part of the current season (it was earlier suggested that his episode may get pushed back for budgetary reasons), and that the episode will mark the return of the Cybermen. Not much else is known, but we do know that the episode will co-star Warwick Davis (Willow, the Leprechaun and Star Wars movies, and more recently Life’s Too Short), Tamzin Outhwaite (EastEnders) and Jason Watkins (Being Human).
Neil Gaiman won a Hugo award for last season’s episode, “The Doctor’s Wife”.
Update: The first day of filming was today!
The winners of the 2012 Hugo Awards were announced last night at Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention. Neil Gaiman, with several Hugos already, picked up another – but instead of getting Best Novel, he won the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form award for the Doctor Who episode, “The Doctor’s Wife”.
Here is a list of the winners:
Yesterday Neil Gaiman announced on twitter that he is going to finally write a story about how Morpheus became imprisoned, which leads in to his original Sandman graphic novel story that was first published in 1988.
The mini-series will start publishing in November 2013, and will be released digitally at the same time.
See his video announcement below:
Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic series, which has long been in Development Hell for a movie, might finally get off the ground – as a TV series for Warner Bros., and Supernatural‘s Eric Kripke is tagged to produce.