About seven months ago HBO was planning a full six season adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Things apparently didn't work out between the two parties because the project is no longer set up at HBO, which is a bloody shame.
The series is now being developed by FremantleMedia, who produce the shows The Tomorrow People and the upcoming The Returned. This is the press release that the production company sent out making the announcement, along with some details on what the series will be about.
Gaiman, the creator of the celebrated Sandman comic series, and the author of bestselling novels The Graveyard Book, Coraline and The Ocean at the End of the Lane, will Executive Produce the series along with FremantleMedia. Gaiman was represented in the deal by Jon Levin at CAA on behalf of literary agent Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House.
The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society's modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to 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.
The acquisition of American Gods reflects the recent ramp-up in development activity by FremantleMedia North America's scripted television division, most recently seen in the sale of the US adaptation of the hit French format "The Returned," currently in development at A&E, Carl Hiaasen's novel "Basket Case" in development at Spike with Rob Reiner attached and "TheTomorrow People," picked up for a back-nine order by The CW.
This has potential to be a seriously awesome series. There's no word on what network it will end up on, but it kind of sucks that HBO is no longer on board, because they would have given it the production value it needs to reach its full potential. Hopefully FremantleMedia has what it takes to make a decent adaptation.