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'American Gods': A look at the new fantasy series coming from Starz

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(Read caption) Neil Gaiman speaks at Comic-Con International in San Diego in 2013.

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Neil Gaiman fans got some very good news recently. 

Mr. Gaiman’s acclaimed book “American Gods” is reportedly moving forward as a series at the network Starz, according to Deadline

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“Gods” was released in 2001 and centers on Shadow Moon, a man who has recently been released from prison and becomes the bodyguard for a con man named Mr. Wednesday. He soon discovers that the world is full of old gods who are trying to fight back against the new gods, who represent forces like the Internet and transportation. The book won such prizes as the Nebula and Hugo Awards. 

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According to Deadline, Starz has given a series order to “Gods” and two of the people who will be behind the camera are Bryan Fuller, who created the NBC series “Hannibal,” and Michael Green, who served as an executive producer on the TV shows “The River” and “Heroes,” among others. Gaiman himself will serve as executive producer for "Gods." 

Starz has already scored a hit with the book-to-TV adaptation of “Outlander,” another beloved literary property. 

Why would a network want to move forward with a thick fantasy novel like this? One big factor is probably “Game of Thrones.” The HBO TV show based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novels has become the network’s highest-rated show ever last year, according to Variety, and “Thrones,” like “Gods,” has a high page count and many characters. 

In addition, Starz already scored with a TV adaptation of a lengthy novel with many characters. “Outlander,” which debuted in the fall of 2014,  had the highest-rated series debut ever for the network, according to Variety. Some of that may have been curious viewers who had never heard of the book before, but a lot of those numbers were most likely diehard fans.

If some writers’ reactions to the news about “Gods” is any indication, the adaptation of Gaiman’s novel will be bringing a strong fan base to this TV show, too. “Starz is turning 'American Gods' into a TV show because somebody up there loves me,” Bustle writer Kadeen Griffiths wrote. “The Neil Gaiman novel is the ultimate dream for mythology fans all over the world.” Meanwhile, Mashable writer Sandra Gonzalez wrote of the TV adaptation, “We thank the gods for the… news” and Marc Snetiker of Entertainment Weekly wrote that there are “huge reasons to be excited for Starz’s ‘American Gods’… With Bryan Fuller, Michael Green, and Gaiman on board [for] the production, geeks everywhere can collectively sigh in relief that the sublime novel is in great hands… [this] could very well be television’s next great fantasy series.”