Why HBO’s “American Gods” Collapsed

A while back HBO announced plans for a six-season adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”.

The project never ended up coming together, though it was never made clear why that was the case. Now, HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo talked with Vulture about it and confirmed the network has lost the option to the property:

“I think we’re all huge fans of the book, and I think the script just didn’t – we couldn’t craft the script as good as we needed it to be. I think we knew going in that it would be a challenge; every good book is a challenge to adapt it and find the level you need for it.

The bar is high now for great dramas. And to find that bar – we tried. So it was a huge disappointment. We tried three different writers, we put a lot of effort into it. Some things just don’t happen.

We have to trust at the end of the day, if you don’t have a star with a great script, you’re just not going to go through with it. Even though we love the book, we love the idea, we love the hope of what it could be, we just couldn’t get it right.”

Gaiman himself revealed last year that one of the things HBO didn’t like about his script was that he’d added new material that wasn’t in the books.

FremantleMedia now owns the rights to the property and are developing their own version on which Gaiman is serving as executive producer.