Earlier this summer FX picked up a 13-episode order for its next original drama series. American Horror Story comes from Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy and his Nip/Tuck and Glee collaborator Brad Falchuk. Deadline reports: “Described as a psychosexual thriller, [the show] centers on a therapist and his wife who, dealing with the aftermath of the husband’s adultery, move along with their kids into a new house that seems to know all about their fears and plays on them.” Now check out this all star cast extracted from a press release:
American Horror Story revolves around The Harmons, a family of three who move from Boston to Los Angeles as a means to reconcile past anguish. The All Star cast features Dylan McDermott (The Practice) as “Ben Harmon,” a psychiatrist; Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) as “Vivien Harmon,” Ben’s wife; Taissa Farmiga as “Violet,” the Harmon’s teenage daughter; Jessica Lange (Tootsie, Blue Sky, Grey Gardens) in her first-ever regular series TV role as “Constance,” the Harmon’s neighbor; Evan Peters (One Tree Hill) as “Tate Langdon,” one of Ben’s patients; and Denis O’Hare (The Good Wife) as “Larry Harvey.” Guest stars for the series include Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under) and Alexandra Breckenridge (Dirt) as the Harmon’s housekeepers; and Jamie Brewer as Constance’s daughter.
AHS promises to be an extremely chilling TV series with intention to genuinely frighten audiences. Murphy describes it as a “feel-bad” show, as opposed to his “feel-good” show Glee. He and Falchuk were inspired by classic horror films Rosemary’s Baby and Don’t Look Now. Industry members who have seen the pilot were spooked and amazed by its originality.
Says FX president John Landgraf: “We’re thrilled to welcome Ryan and Brad back to their original home. They have shown an uncanny ability to bring original series to the air unlike any that have come before, and to reconcile ’wildly entertaining’ with the ’creatively ambitious.’ Once again, American Horror Story is a wholly unique and original take on its genre with richly drawn characters. The ability to put together a cast of stars such as Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, Denis O’Hare, Frances Conroy and Oscar-winner Jessica Lange speaks to the quality of the writing and storytelling. This series is going to blow audiences back in their seats, and we can’t wait to have it on our air.”
Others who have seen the pilot say that it’s filled to the brim with character and plot development. One critic says, “The first episode has more stuff crammed into it than some shows have in their first season.” This may not be such a great thing because viewers typically don’t like to get suffocated by too much in the very beginning. At the TCAs, Murphy admitted that pilot “has like eight cliffhangers” but he went on to reassure potential viewers that he has “an obligation to the audience in the next two [episodes] to explain a lot of those things that are set up.”
Over the summer FX has been running a super creepy yet intriguing marketing campaign to amp anticipation for the series. Short commercials featuring AHS “clues” can be screened at this YouTube channel. This week the cable network finally released a standard teaser clip featuring the main cast in the haunted (?) mansion. What’s up with Denis O’Hare vanishing up in flames and who’s that stalker-ish man (?) in the black latex suit grabbing at Connie Britton? This same question can be asked about the bizarre poster pasted above. The teaser video is after the break.
I will certainly give this show a try, and I think you should too. I trust Murphy and Falchuk’s creative vision and so I expect AHS will find its groove at some point during its first season run. The cast is stacked and the intrigue is there. Tune in to see what American Horror Story is all about when it premieres October 5 at 10PM on FX.
[Via FX; Deadline 1, 2] READ MORE FX ready to tell ‘American Horror Story’ (poster & teaser inside)