TCA Summer Press Tour: HBO’s Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo Talk AMERICAN GODS

     July 29, 2011


Since it was announced that Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone Company was working with HBO to develop American Gods as a six-season series of 10 to 12 episodes, possibly premiering in 2013, fans of the best-selling Neil Gaiman novel have been all abuzz.  So, when I had a few minutes to chat with HBO Co-President Richard Plepler and President of Programming Michael Lombardo, following the executive session for the network at the TCA Press Tour, of course I asked them to update the status of that development and confirm whether or not they were actually going ahead with what seems like such a huge commitment.  While they clearly haven’t made any promises, they both said that it is in the very early stages of development and that they haven’t even seen a script yet. Check out what they had to say after the jump:

american-gods-book-cover-imageQuestion: Where are things at with American Gods and what you’re doing with that? How will the reaction you’ve gotten from Game of Thrones affect what you do with that, since it’s also from source material?

MICHAEL LOMBARDO: We haven’t gotten out of the business of developing from source material. We haven’t said, “Ah, Game of Thrones, we’re not taking pitches anymore.” I think it’s a challenge, always. We want to satisfy as many of our consumers as we can. But, at the end of the day, what we respond to is great storytelling. We had three psychiatrist shows on at almost the same time. So, all I’m saying is, with source material from the fantasy world – and I don’t know how much you can extrapolate about George R.R. Martin because he’s very unique in the world – some pretty compelling shows can come from genre and source material. We’re open to it, we’re developing it, and we’ll see.

RICHARD PLEPLER: The key is what the auteur does with the source material, not the source material itself being dispositive or not. What Alan [Ball] did with Charlaine Harris was masterful. What David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] did with George R.R. Martin was masterful. But, it’s what they did with it.

Are you committed to the development of American Gods, with the talk of it being picked up for six seasons?

PLEPLER: No, no, no, no, no.

LOMBARDO: It’s very early development. It hasn’t gotten to the place to even talk about that yet.

PLEPLER: What happens is that things like that get announced as development projects, and then somebody writes about it, as if there’s a 10-year commitment, and we haven’t even seen a script yet. That happens frequently. It’s in early development.

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  • fernando

    Too bad Lombardo and Plepler have got on the Scientology train with Neil Gaiman who underwrites the cult. Not only is Gaiman listed in Scientology’s Cornerstone Newsletter along with Mary Gaiman, (contributing $35,000.00 in 2009), Gaiman gave half a million In 2010 to the Scientology Super Powers Center. Mary Gaiman was awarded the “Gold Humanitarian Award” for her contribution of $500,000.00 to Scientology. This contribution was made by The Blank Corporation, Gaiman’s company which he owns with Mary. The Blank Corp is Gaiman’s Scientology front and how he pays the cult. The Gaiman Family are listed as Silver Meritorious for that year in Scientology’s own magazines (Impact 123). These listings mean that Gaiman can reincarnate into another Scientology family, according to the Cult’s bogus teachings.

    Gaiman will never leave the cult because he is the vitamin heir of Scientology and a spineless weakling. The Gaiman family owns G&G Vitamins which reaps 6 million a year from selling The Purification Rundown Vitamins and Gaiman’s two sisters, Claire Edwards and Lizzie Calciole are not just high-ranking Scientologists, they are the Head of Recruiting and the Head of Wealden House ( the Scientology stronghold in East Grinstead where Gaiman was an Auditor). These two high-ranking Scientologists cannot associate with Neil unless he is in good standing.

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