UPDATED: Michael Green and Bryan Fuller, the masterminds behind Starz’s American Gods, have exited the big-budget drama series. We hear the duo informed the cast of their departure today.

American Gods TCA
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Fuller and Green created the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2001 award-winning novel and served as executive producers/showrunners on the show, which debuted this past spring and earned a quick Season 2 renewal. We’ve learned that more than half of the scripts for Season 2, which had been targeting a mid-2018 premiere, have been written. Search is underway for a new showrunner. There has been talk about Gaiman possibly coming on board as a co-showrunner but that is in flux as he also has series Good Omens for Amazon. (He confirmed on Twitter that he is focused on his Good Omens showrunner duties and won’t be joining American Gods.)

No one is addressing the reasons behind Green and Fuller’s exit, but we hear that the split may have been over the series’ budget. There had been talk that the budget for first season of the ambitious production had ballooned to Game of Thrones levels. We hear series producer FremantleMedia North America, under new scripted chief Dante di Loreto, tried to impose big budget cuts for the 10-episode second season, which led to the showrunner change.

Neither Starz nor FremantleMedia North America responded to request for comment on the situation

Toplined by Ian McShane and Ricky Whittle, the first season of the mythological fantasy drama got off to a strong ratings start. Fuller and Green were executive producers with Gaiman himself.

Fuller also was creator/executive/producer/showrunner on CBS All Access’ Star Trek Discovery, which he exited abruptly before it went to production. He will next focus on the Amazing Stories reboot series for Apple; Green is writing a sequel to Murder on the Orient Express.