In an extremely exciting piece of news for Neil Gaiman fans, it was announced yesterday that FremantleMedia have picked up the rights to American Gods. While the project had initially been in development at HBO (the cable network responsible for the likes of Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones), it changed hands late last year.
FremantleMedia are perhaps best known for reality television such as Amercian Idol, The X Factor and America’s Got Talent, although they have recently made a move into scripted shows with the likes of the planned The Vampire Diaries spinoff and The Tomorrow People on The CW.
The press release can be read in full below, and it offers up a plot synopsis which should help give you an idea what to expect from the series if you’ve never read the book. Where exactly it will now end up – and when it will air – remains to be seen, so be sure to stay tuned to HeyUGuys for any further updates!
FremantleMedia North America has finalized a deal for the rights to Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed urban fantasy novel American Gods, it was announced today by Thom Beers, CEO, FremantleMedia North America.
The 2001 novel has been translated into over 30 languages and earned numerous accolades including Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel. 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 “The Tomorrow People,” picked up for a back-nine order by The CW. The succession of scripted projects follows the appointment of Craig Cegielski, Executive Vice President, Scripted Programming and Development, and Stefanie Berk, Senior Executive Vice President, Scripted Programming and Development in June of 2013.