News Briefs: Starz and Bryan Fuller are Making Neil Gaiman's American Gods

By Tim Surette

Jul 02, 2014

IT'S ABOUT TIME 

... Neil Gaiman's book American Gods, which has been begging for an adaptation for years now, is finally getting a shot on television. Starz (*gulp*) will be adapting the cherished genre book with the help of Bryan Fuller, the man behind Hannibal and Pushing Daisies. For those not in the know, Gaiman's book is all about a world where gods from all walks of mythology live, the people who believe in them, and the new ones that rise as new beliefs come into play. I'm obviously not doing it justice, but needless to say this is a big deal. Starz is desperate for a hit, and with Fuller on board they have the right guy to create one, but the network's track record scares me a little bit. American Gods has the potential to be Game of Thrones huge, and in HBO's hands—where it was in development for many years before the network realized they couldn't adapt it—it could have been. [Starz via press release]


BUSINESS TIME

... In other books-as-shows news, CBS has ordered an adaptation of James Patterson's novel Zoo for the summer of 2015. Despite the book's title conjuring images of looking at pachyderms while eating cotton candy, the story is terrifying. It presents a scenario where animals team up to kick our ass, with only a renegade biologist and a sexy scientist able to stop them. [THR]

... Under the Dome returned last night and I totally reviewed it with photos and words on those photos and the occasional moving photo. But what I want to tell you here is that it's still doing pretty well in the ratings. 9.4 million people tuned in for the Season 2 premiere, which translated to a 2.2 rating in the adult demo. Though that's a big drop from last year's numbers (13.3 million/3.3), it still kicked the butts of its competition and handily won the night for CBS. [EW]

... HBO's The Leftovers debuted on Sunday and bummed 1.8 million people out. The premium cable network's shows never start off with huge audiences, but this was even a little low for HBO. Compare it to the recent debuts of True Detective (2.33 million), The Newsroom (2.14 million), and Game of Thrones (2.22 million). Go on, compare it! I reviewed the premiere episode, and found it very intriguing but I'm not excited about its future as an actual series. [Variety]

... Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul might take place before, during, and after the Breaking Bad timeline, meaning that Walter White could make an appearance in the show. And that guy with those freakish eyebrows. [NY Daily News]

... Robin Williams is back in rehab, but the good kind of rehab. Williams has checked into a long-term sobriety center to help him stay sober as opposed to going to rehab because he woke up in a ditch in his underwear. He'll stay there for a few weeks. [TMZ]

... You guys want to keep this Aaron Paul on The Walking Dead rumor going? Go for it. [HNGN]


CASTING ROUNDUP

... Arrow is beefing up its cast for Season 3 already, adding Devon Aoki to the mix. The former model will play Tatsu Yamashiro, a martial-arts expert featured in the Green Arrow comics also known by the name Katana. In the show, she'll be a mentor to Oliver in his flashbacks. [Deadline]

... Battlestar Galactica's Jamie Bamber is headed to Rizzoli & Isles for a multi-episode arc. He'll play a prosecutor who is accused of killing his wife, of course. Look for him to appear in the Season 5 summer finale and then again when the TNT drama returns from its break. [TV Line]

... Once Upon a Time is getting closer to its cash-grab of milking Frozen, and has cast a pair of characters from the Pixar hit. Newcomer Elizabeth Lail will play Anna, the young sister of Queen Anna, and Scott Michael Foster (Greek's Cappie) will play Kristoff, Anna's hunk 'o love. The role of Elsa still remains to be cast, so I still have hope. [TV Line]

... Chris D'Elia, formerly of Whitney, will guest star on TVLand's Jennifer Falls. He'll play the deadbeat dad who knocked up Jaime Pressly's character and took off, and returns a supposed changed man. Look for him in Episode 8! [TV Line]


REQUIRED READING

... Point: Orange is the New Black needs to focus more on its portrayal of men. [The Atlantic]

... Counterpoint: No, that guy is an idiot and Orange is the New Black is fine. [Flavorwire]


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... Cory's still reviewing 24: Live Another Day and will 'til the day is over.

... Since Yahoo! saved Community, we figured it might want to think about saving these 19 other shows.

... NBC renewed The Night Shift for a second season, and Fox canceled Hieroglyph before it even aired.


  • Comments (77)
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  • danieljensen75491 Jul 04, 2014

    Frozen, a Pixar movie??? When did that hapend, it is animated by Disney Studios (or one of there subsidies)

  • averysays Jul 16, 2014

    Pixar is a Disney subsidiary.

  • sylaine Jul 04, 2014

    I've been waiting for American Gods on my TV screen for years. Or movie screen. Whatever. As the poll says, I'd be more excited if it was HBO doing the adaptation, but Bryan Fuller being involved is promising, and of course Gaiman is pure genius - we'll see how this translates to the small screen.
    I've already had two favorite book adaptations do not so amazing there - Sword of Truth and Dresden Files. (Whoever thought ABC was the right place to adapt a bookseries whose main character gets tortured and raped for months in the very first book was clearly high - they didn't do too badly, considering, but on HBO it could have been GoT levels of epic) and while SciFi made some changes that I loved (I really liked Bob and Morgan in the series, OK) they should have left the story lines alone, because the ones they did weren't all that great (and I still want to see the unaired 2 hour version of Storm Front, dammit.)

  • headclub Jul 03, 2014

    This would make a great movie. A tv show, I dunno bout that.... GOT has a ton of material, and even they may run out next year if King SideProject doesn't make haste with his tortoise style of writing...TWOW- due out in 2022!

  • ArkhamNative Jul 03, 2014

    Bryan Fuller: Hmm! I'm hopeful for team Fuller/Gaiman/Green, that not only will they adapt it cleverly, but also avoid cable's tendency to festoon scenes with random sex acts and witless dialog.

    Also: Nice to see a Brit doing well with US TV (Jamie Bamber), even if only for another recurring role this time. Katana! My first new Arrow season "spoiler". And Leftovers... I barely made it through the first hour. It seems lost before it ever got started.

  • Kerkesh Jul 03, 2014

    The Leftovers really stinks and I am not even giving it the four episode trial.
    American Gods can be either super awesome amazing good or rotten vomit diarrhea bad; no middle ground. So wait and see. although Starz has to make the same effort than for Spartacus and this has yet to be seen.
    I think what Jamie Bamber needs is another SF role.

  • antmorris3511 Jul 03, 2014

    At least you gave it the one episode trial. I decided not to. It looks like something made to fail.

  • dagrimmreepa Jul 03, 2014

    Spartacus was an amazing show, so I'm excited for American Gods (the book was AWESOME). Plus, hey, I'm a straight guy, I love needless nudity and gratuitous sex scenes! What's not to like?

  • Svanehjerte Jul 03, 2014

    I love Bryan Fuller and Neil Gaiman's work, so I should be psyched about this, but unfortunately it worries me that it is on Starz... Which means Mr. Fuller will probably become another man who disappoints... More pointless nudity and sex scenes I fear. It will cheapen everything and give it minus points no matter what the quality is on the rest of the show. I hope they'll prove me wrong, but Starz never do. :(

  • AnimeMadness Jul 02, 2014

    Um… Frozen is not a Pixar film. Its a Walt Disney Animation Studios production… Just saying.

    I'm glad American Gods is picked up but then again its Starz… I feel like American Gods could be so much better if HBO produced it. I guess its too soon to judge though. I can't wait for it to finally air!

  • averysays Jul 16, 2014

    Pixar has been a subsidiary of Disney since 2006...Just saying.

  • AnimeMadness Jul 24, 2014

    Yeah but Pixar didn't make it.

  • ArkhamNative Jul 03, 2014

    This comment has been removed.

  • P3TE Jul 02, 2014

    I'm so glad Starz picked the show up after HBO dropped it.

  • Gem-n-eye Jul 02, 2014

    Let's hope it is more Banshee and Spartacus than Magic City or Black Sails (which aren't BAD, but not top notch) but still I'll believe it when I see it. They've been talking about American Gods being turned into a tv show for years. As far as HBO vrs. Starz. American Gods sounds more like an HBO audience show, and whenever Neil mentioned the possibility of the show it was with the understanding that HBO would be doing it, so what I want to know is, is Neil Gaimen on board with it being on Starz since he probably already sold the rights to HBO and Starz is a sister company of HBO so it is probably well in their rights to switch it over to Starz?

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