Why HBO couldn’t pull off American Gods TV show

HBO boss explains why they had to pass on Neil Gaiman’s American Gods

Picture from kimlawlercreative.com
Picture from kimlawlercreative.com

Neil Gaiman’s fan-favourite modern fairy-tale American Gods may now be in development as a TV show with Fremantle Media, the production company responsible for Merlin and Wizards Vs Aliens, but the earlier deal with HBO seemed like a match made in heaven.

So why couldn’t HBO do for American Gods what they so successfully did with George RR Martin’s equally complex A Song Of Ice And Fire?

Speaking to Vulture, HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo explained that, “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.”