Premium cable network Starz has canceled the big-budget fantasy drama American Gods without any intention of renewing it for a fourth season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The season three finale “Tears of the Wrath-Bearing Tree” aired on March 21, although the viewership numbers had noticeably plummeted: “Season three… saw ratings slide 65% across multiple platforms when compared with season one,” via The Hollywood Reporter.
The discourse surrounding season three was also impacted by the dismissal of two cast members. Johan Wengren, the Norse heavy metal rocker portrayed by Brian Warner A.K.A. Marilyn Manson (Wrong Cops), was allegedly edited out of the last half of the season in response to abuse allegations surrounding the industrial music performer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Prior to the season three premiere, Orlando Jones (The Good Lord Bird), who played the West African god Mr. Nancy, was fired from the show and allegedly claimed that newly knighted showrunner Charles “Chic” Eglee (Hemlock Grove) took issue with the defiant and angry nature of the character, as reported by Deadline. A public representative for American Gods rejected Jones’ accusation, citing Mr. Nancy’s absence from the specific section of the narrative covered by season three, via Deadline. Upon hearing of the series’ cancellation by the network, Jones posted a video to his Twitter wherein he performed a freestyle rap featuring lyrics that could allegedly be interpreted as referring to his own feelings about being let go from the show, such as “[There won’t be no one left [sic] when I leave.” You can watch Jones’s Twitter video below:
American Gods season 4??? pic.twitter.com/S8038bY3Kx
— Orlando Jones (@TheOrlandoJones) March 30, 2021
American Gods was based on a 2001 novel by Neil Gaiman (Good Omens). In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published the day after the season three finale aired, Gaiman was candid about how displeased he would be if the story of the show ended there: “If we don’t get a season four, we’ve ended on the single most frustrating, upsetting and maddening place that any season could possibly end.” He continued: “We definitely wrap the novel in season four… But it is open-ended, in that with each of the showrunners, I’ve had to sit down and say, ‘Okay, this is the plot of the next American Gods book, which I have not yet written, but… you need to know that this thing leads to that thing.’ So all three of them, bless their hearts, have done things to set that up,” via Entertainment Weekly.
The showrunners Gaiman references are Eglee, season two helmer Jesse Alexander (Heroes), who was let go prior to the development of season three, and the original two-man producer team who developed Gaiman’s novel for television, Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Blade Runner 2049), via The Hollywood Reporter. Fuller and Green’s exit from the project after season one acted as a prelude to the departure of big-name cast members Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies), ScreenRant reports.
American Gods is available to watch online via Starz.