American Gods is coming to television, Gaiman to write more novels

HBO today announced that American Gods – its new series based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman – will have a total of 60-70 episodes divided into six seasons.

HBO today announced that American Gods, their new series based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman will have a total of 60-70 episodes divided into six seasons.

Since it’s an HBO series, rather than a typical network-style 40 minute episode format, each episode will be an hour. That’s a lot of hours to fill, and immediately after the announcement, questions stareted to roll in from fans about how the current novel would be expanded to fill 60 hours of air-time.

The answer came late last night on Gaiman’s own Twitter feed. “And for those asking, No, 6 years of AMERICAN GODS on TV doesn’t mean just the 1st book. It means I need to write the 2nd now, for a start.”

Gaiman has been planning a series of novels in the American Gods story for some time, but has so far only managed to produce a novelette sequel, and a spin-off novel.

Both of which were excellent – Anansi Boys is one of my favorite novels, but neither of which adds many hours to the American Gods storyline.

Likely, he is now planning to write a pair of trilogies, to match with the six seasons. 

If you’re not familiar, the stories take place in a world where belief makes things real, and all gods are psychic products of men.

The more belief men have, the stronger the gods are, meaning that gods and their powers and strengths are constantly shifting throughout history. In the timeline of the first novel, Americans have created new gods from the things they ‘worship’ in the modern world, like The Internet. A cabal of old gods, led by the All-Father Odin set out to confront these new Gods, dragging a recently released convict – our POV character – along with them.

The series is planned to be big-budgeted and effects-heavy, not really a surprise for an HBO series featuring gods.

“There are some crazy things in there.” said Gary Goetzman, a partner in the production company, Playtone Productions, “We’ll probably be doing more effects in [American Gods] than [has ever] been done on a television series,” said Goetzman.

If that’s true, then I think we figured out who George Lucas needs to talk to about producing his live-action Star Wars series. HBO just keeps rolling out good ideas, and near-film production values. It’s at the point where everytime I hear a good idea for a television show, I hope HBO takes it up.