“American Gods” Season 3 has set a release date, nearly two years after the Starz drama aired its last new episode: The latest entry of the Starz adaptation will premiere January 10, 2021.
Starz announced the news Tuesday morning with a special message from novelist and executive producer Neil Gaiman. The author of the 2001 “American Gods” fantasy novel, Gaiman’s work serves as the basis for the ongoing series, but he emphasized the “timely” nature of the latest incarnation.
Per the synopsis provided by the network: “In Season 3, Shadow angrily pushes this apparent destiny away, and settles in the idyllic snowy town of Lakeside, Wisconsin — to make his own path, guided by the gods of his Black ancestors, the Orishas. But he’ll soon discover that this town’s still waters run deep, and dark, and bloody, and that you don’t get to simply reject being a god. The only choice — and a choice you have to make — is what kind of god you’re going to be.”
“American Gods” Season 2 ended in April 2019, after the turbulent series earned a somewhat unanticipated Season 3 renewal. The adaptation has been hit-and-miss with critics, struggled to gain traction on the awards circuit, and saw a steep drop in linear viewership between Seasons 1 and 2 (after another nearly two-year break between new episodes). Part of the reason for the extended delays can be explained by backstage turnover. Original showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green left after the first season over budget concerns and creative differences; then new Season 2 showrunner Jesse Alexander was reportedly sidelined mid-shoot, before being replaced in Season 3.
And, per reports, Season 3 hasn’t been smooth sailing either: Orlando Jones, who played Mr. Nancy during the first two seasons, said he was fired from the show in September 2019, and cited new showrunner Charles “Chic” Eglee as the reason. “The new Season 3 showrunner is Connecticut-born and Yale-educated, so he’s very smart and thinks that Mr. Nancy’s angry, get-shit-done is the wrong message for black America,” Jones said in a video posted to social media in December.
Starz representatives stated Jones’ character simply wasn’t the focus of the book being adapted this season, and the series has announced new cast members since then. Dominique Jackson (“Pose”), Marilyn Manson (“The New Pope”), Blythe Danner (“Will & Grace”), Eric Johnson (“The Girlfriend Experience”), and Herizen Guardiola (“The Get Down”) will join new series regular Ashley Reyes alongside returning cast members Ricky Whittle and Ian McShane.
Season 3 of “American Gods” will premiere Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET on Starz. A promotional photo for the release date was included with Gaiman’s letter, which can be read in full below.
When we embarked upon making Season Three of “American Gods,” we had no idea how timely it would turn out to be. We knew we wanted to return to what people loved and responded to in the book: that it was time for Shadow to go to the little town of Lakeside and try to lose himself in normality.
And at the same time, in Season Three, we wanted to focus on the characters and their journeys. To show Shadow forging a path guided by the Gods of his ancestors, becoming more himself while deciding who he is and what side he’s on — humanity’s or that of the Gods.
We knew also that we wanted to continue to root the show in the landscapes of America. To explore what “America” means to its people and to talk about immigrants — about the very different people who came to this remarkable land and brought their gods with them. The new gods of phone and app and glitter demand our attention and our love, and the old gods want to mean something again.
America must be for all of us, and “American Gods” must reflect that. This season truly feels as if it does. It’s full of drama and emotion, the very real and the utterly strange, and it features some of the finest performances the show has yet seen. It brings back favorite characters, some in remarkable new ways, and we will encounter people and gods we’ve never met before. I’m proud of our brilliant cast — of Ricky and Emily, of Yetide and Ian, Bruce, Demore, Omid and all the rest — and of what the writers have done to bring the story back on track.
The struggles of the gods and the people in Season Three of “American Gods” are the struggles of America. We didn’t think it would prove as timely when we plotted it, nor did I think the novel would still be relevant when I wrote it over 20 years ago. But I’m glad it’s happening now, in a year when it feels as though diverse stories are being heard, and honored, and allowed to change the future.
Thank you so much,