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Neil Gaiman’s American Gods television series heads to Starz

Back in February it was reported that acclaimed author Neil Gaiman’s 2001 fantasy novel American Gods was being developed into a television series, but details were scarce beyond the initial announcement. A few pieces of that puzzle have now been filled in with news of the series’ creative team and where the much-anticipated adaptation will be broadcast.

In a press release issued this week, Starz announced that it has commissioned development on the American Gods series with a pilot script penned by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, who will also serve as showrunners for the project. Fuller and Green will serve as executive producers on the series along with Gaiman, with FremantleMedia North America producing the series.

American Gods follows the adventure of an ex-convict named Shadow who gets caught up in a brewing battle between the traditional gods of various cultures and the new, modern gods of a world obsessed with celebrity, technology, and media. The story was awarded a long list of accolades when it was published, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker Awards for the year’s best novel, and it spawned a spinoff novel, 2005’s Anansi Boys.

Fuller is best known for his work writing and developing the current Hannibal television series, as well as HeroesPushing Daisies, and Dead Like Me. He got his start writing for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Voyager, and has been nominated for two Primetime Emmy awards. Like Fuller, Green was also a writer and producer for Heroes, which earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination. He also penned the screenplay for 2011’s Green Lantern movie, and served as a writer on the television series’ Everwood and Smallville, as well as the recent (and criminally under-appreciated) The River.

“When you create something like American Gods, which attracts fans and obsessives and people who tattoo quotes from it on themselves or each other, and who all, tattooed or not, just care about it deeply, it’s really important to pick your team carefully: you don’t want to let the fans down, or the people who care and have been casting it online since the dawn of recorded history,” said Gaiman in a statement regarding the news.

“What I love most about the team who I trust to take it out to the world, is that they are the same kind of fanatics that American Gods has attracted since the start. I haven’t actually checked Bryan Fuller or Michael Green for quote tattoos, but I would not be surprised if they have them. The people at Fremantle are the kinds of people who have copies of ‘American Gods in the bottom of their backpacks after going around the world, and who press them on their friends. And the team at Starz have been quite certain that they wanted to give Shadow, Wednesday, and Laura a home since they first heard that the book was out there. I can’t wait to see what they do to bring the story to the widest possible audience able to cope with it.”

There’s no timetable for the series at this point, but now that it has a home and an established team of showrunners and producers, things will likely move along quickly.