Tom Hanks to produce six seasons of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” for HBO

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While a few of Neil Gaiman's projects have appeared on screen — like the underrated Coraline and the original-but-inferior BBC version of Neverwhere — the two that people most wanted adapted were probably his iconic comic series Sandman and his novel American Gods. There have been rumors about both being developed for the big or small screen, but it seems like American Gods will come to fruition first. Quite randomly, Tom Hanks' production company, Playton Productions, is backing the enterprise. And if you thought Game of Thrones got a long order, wait until you read this:

The series-in-development, revolving around the question “are you a god if no one believes in you?” is executive produced by Goetzman and Hanks, with Bob Richardson, and Gaiman on board as executive producer and writer. 

Now slated for six seasons, each season will be of 10-12, hour-long episodes with a budget of around $35-40 million per season, targeted to debut on the cable powerhouse in 2013 at the earliest.

That seems… quite long, to be honest. While I do think that many of Gaiman's stories would make fantastic TV entertainment, I'm also aware of how easily they could be mishandled. American Gods is certainly an epic tale — it's actually about a war between old gods and new gods, which that treatment above doesn't quite get at — but I just don't know if it can span six seasons, since it's only one book. For those of you who've read it, can you say how long you think a TV adaptation should go on?