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American Horror Story is a horror-drama television show created and produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. It is an anthology, with each season taking place in a new setting. The series is broadcast on FX Networks and premiered on October 5, 2011. The Pilot garnered the best ratings FX had ever seen for a series premiere and its popularity continued to rise with the second season premiere marking the show's highest numbers at the time.[1] The pilot episode of its fourth installment, Freak Show, broke FX ratings records when it drew in roughly 12.64 million views.[2] The show has received positive reactions from critics and fans alike. It has received several nominations for Primetime Emmy Awards under the miniseries category.[3]


Conception

Ryan Murphy

Creators Murphy and Falchuk began working on American Horror Story before their Fox series Glee began production. Murphy wanted to do the opposite of what he had done previously and thus began his work on the series. He stated, "I went from Nip/Tuck to Glee, so it made sense that I wanted to do something challenging and dark. And I always had loved, as Brad had, the horror genre. So it just was a natural for me."[4]

Falchuk was intrigued by the idea of putting a different angle on the horror genre, stating that their main goal in creating the series was to scare viewers. "You want people to be a little bit off balance afterwards," he said. The dark tone of the series is modeled after the ABC soap opera Dark Shadows, which Murphy’s grandmother forced him to watch when he was younger to toughen him up.[5]

Murphy and Falchuk drew inspiration from real life crimes. Murphy noted tour buses that go by Sharon Tate's house and clubs devoted to murder re-creations. He stated that the series explores people's general obsession with crime and murder. "It’s a way to circumvent your own anxiety in very anxious times," he said. "In times of economic anxiety, if you look at the template, two genres flourish: horror and musicals. I think people want to either be scared or completely forget about their troubles. As we go further into the series, we get into the economic anxieties."[6]

Murphy's other inspiration for the show came from the AMC series The Walking Dead, which premiered in 2010. He called it "the greatest TV viewing experience" of his life that year. Falchuk noted that American Horror Story's scariest moments to him come from the emotional drama that the Harmons must contend with, as opposed to the violent scenes.[7]

Production.jpg

In February 2011, FX officially announced that it had ordered a pilot for a possible series from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, with both Murphy and Falchuk writing and Murphy directing. Dante Di Loreto was announced as executive producer. Production on the series began in April 2011. In July 2011, FX officially announced the project had been picked up to series.[8]


Critical Reception

  • The show has received very varied responses, verging from the enthusiastic to complete rejection from critics. Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly gave it a score of B+[9] Chuck Barney of the San Jose Mercury News said "Most TV shows, after all, quickly fade from memory. This one will haunt your dreams." However, some critics, such as Alan Sepinwall, feel that the show just has scenes and sounds that people will want to forget[10]. Some critics gave mixed reviews, such as Mary McNamara of The Los Angeles Times who said  "Because even with all the zombies and vampires, there is always room for a good "American Horror Story". The first season scored a 62 out of 100 from the review site Metacritic  from 30 reviews by critics.


Production

From the beginning (though obscured from the viewers), Murphy and Falchuk planned that each season of the series would tell a different story. After the first season finale aired, Murphy spoke of his plans to change the cast and location for the second season. He did say, however, that some actors who starred in the first season would be returning. "The people that are coming back will be playing completely different characters, creatures, monsters, etc. [The Harmons'] stories are done. People who are coming back will be playing entirely new characters," he announced. Although there is a new story with every season, there are still actors who appear in the new story, with a new character. They are usually called repeating players. The only players to appears in all six seasons are: Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Lily Rabe. There are also players who have made more than one appearance in a single season but have not appeared in all of them, such as: Jessica Lange, Frances Conroy, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Denis O'Hare, Zachary Quinto, Dylan McDermott, Taissa Farmiga, Jamie Brewer, and Alexandra Breckenridge.


Murder House

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Production for the show began in February 2011, with Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk generally composing the show.[citation needed] Casting began in late March and extended to late May, with the first cast member being Connie Britton as Vivien Harmon, Denis O'Hare as Larry, and Dylan McDermott as Ben Harmon. In April, Jessica Lange joined as Constance, and Taissa Farmiga and Evan Peters were cast as Violet Harmon and Tate Langdon, respectively. Alexandra Breckenridge and Frances Conroy were later cast as Moira O'Hara. The actual 'Murder House' used in Season 1 is called the Rosenheim Mansion and has been used in various TV shows and movies such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ghost Whisperer, Spiderman etc.


Asylum

Main page: Category:Asylum (story)/Production

The second miniseries premiered on October 17, 2012 and ran for thirteen episodes. Cast members returning from the previous season include Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters, Jessica Lange, Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe and Frances Conroy along with new notable cast members Joseph Fiennes, Lizzie Brocheré, James Cromwell and Chloë Sevigny.


Coven

Main page: Category:Coven (story)/Production

A third story was announced on November 15, 2012.[11] It was announced at the 2013 PaleyFest panel that the story title would be "Coven".

Jessica Lange was the first actor announced to be remaining in the troupe.[12][13] Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters were also announced to be joining Jessica for season 3. Kathy Bates, Frances Conroy and Taissa Farmiga were also announced as part of the cast. Ryan Murphy teased actors from season 1 reprising a role for season 3 as well.[14] Later Gabourey SidibePatti LuPone, Angela Bassett, and Emma Roberts were confirmed to have joined the cast. Denis O'Hare, who played Larry Harvey, was also added to the cast of Coven, and Alexandra Breckenridge, Jamie Brewer, Christine Ebersole  and Grey Damon were seen in pictures or announced soon after.

The cast was named one of EW's Entertainers of the Year in November 2013.[15]


Freak Show

Main page: Category:Freak Show (story)/Production

A fourth story was announced on November 6, 2013, which featured 13 episodes. It was announced on Ryan Murphy's Twitter account on March 24, 2014 that the story title was "Freak Show."[16]

The story relied on the ensemble cast from the previous season with Finn Wittrock joining as a prominent actor in the role of Dandy Mott, the season principal villain.

Featuring Lily Rabe and Naomi Grossman reprising their role as Sister Mary Eunice and Pepper, respectively, Freak Show established a shared universe and continuity among the series.


Hotel

Main page: Category:Hotel (story)/Production

Lady Gaga first announced the fifth story's name "Hotel" on February 25th, 2015 by publishing a short promo on her Twitter account.

During PaleyFest of that year, it was announced that Matt Bomer and Cheyenne Jackson would co-star.

Afterwards, more series regulars were confirmed, including Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett. Chloë Sevigny, who starred in Asylum, will return to the series for Hotel. On May 25, 2015, Ryan Murphy announced that Max Greenfield would also be joining the cast.

Emma Roberts and Denis O'Hare were also added to the cast list. It was announced that Roberts would be starring in a few episodes before the finale to do "something special" with her ex fiancé Evan Peters. However, Roberts was ultimately unable to take part in the fifth season due to the demands of Roberts' existing schedule.[17]


Roanoke

Main page: Category:Roanoke (story)/Production

On August 2015, co-creator Ryan Murphy stated "The next thing we're crafting up is very very different than Hotel, not smaller. But just not opulent. More rogue and more dark." [18] Roanoke premiered on FX on September 14, 2016 and wrapped up on November 16, 2016.

Playing with the concept of a "show-within-a-show", Roanoke featured several of its notable cast members portraying fictional actors involved in the reenactment of gruesome history of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.


Cult

Main page: Category:Cult (story)/Production

The seventh season premiered on FX on September 5, 2017 and ran for 11 episodes. It's the first season not featuring supernatural elements.

Notable AHS Repertory Company members were Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Adina Porter and Cheyenne Jackson with Frances Conroy, Jamie Brewer and Emma Roberts appearing as guest stars.

Leslie Grossman, Billy Eichner, Billie Lourd and Colton Haynes joined the show.

The story's title and more plot details were released at San Diego Comic-Con 2017. In the wake of the Presidency of Donald Trump, characters reacted in very different ways and fear wreak havoc in the fictional city of Brookfield Heights, Michigan.

On August 2nd, 2017, a campaign was launched to support Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, home to the Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases. Through donations, it was possible to win a lunch with Evan Peters along with the chance to get a role in an episode of the seventh season. In addition, it was possible to have lunch with Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, and Billie Lourd too.


Apocalypse

Main page: Category:Apocalypse (story)/Production


Apocalypse premiered on FX on September 12, 2018 and ran for 10 episodes. The season is the highly anticipated crossover between Murder House and Coven, bringing back fan-favorite characters from both seasons along with new characters.

On August 7, 2018, Ryan Murphy revealed that Stevie Nicks, Lily Rabe, Gabourey Sidibe, Frances Conroy and Taissa Farmiga will all return to their role as the witches from Coven. Farmiga and Conroy also reprised their first roles as Violet Harmon and Moira O'Hara, respectively, alongside Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott and Evan Peters.

After years of absence from the series, Jessica Lange accapted to return for a single episode marking the crossover between Apocalypse and Murder House. The episode was directed by Sarah Paulson.

New prominent additions to the cast were Cody Fern, Joan Collins, and Billy Porter.


1984

Main page: Category:1984 (story)/Production

The ninth season was announced by Ryan Murphy on April 10,2019.

After the previous season that tied all the seasons together, AHS 1984 will be a clean slate according to FX Productions CEO John Landgraf.

This is the first season not to feature Evan Peters and most if not all of the earlier cast members, with Sarah Paulson stated to return in a minor role.

Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman and Cody Fern are the prominent Repertory Company members to return.

The theme of the season about a "slasher summer camp" was originally a draft of Scream Queens, later dropped off by Murphy.


Double Feature

Main page: Category:Double Feature (story)/Production

The tenth season was announced on August 03, 2018.

The cast was announced on February 26, 2020 being composed by Kathy Bates, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Adina Porter, Lily Rabe, Angelica Ross, Finn Wittrock and the newby Macaulay Culkin.

Main photography would have started in March of the same year, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, the season premiere was delayed to August 25th 2021 and Kathy Bates withdraw due to health concerns. Frances Conroy replaced her.

The title of the season was announced by Ryan Murphy on March 19, 2021, presenting it as "Two horrifying stories... One season. One by the sea... One by the sand".


Episodes by Crew



Hotel has no known episode titles. "Roanoke" has no known episode titles. Cult has no known episode titles. Apocalypse has no known episode titles.



Seasons

American Horror Story presents an anthology of stories for each new season.


Web Story: You're Going to Die in There

Season 1 also contained a parallel story that also took place in Murder House, with familiar situations, titled: You're Going To Die In There.


Season 2: Asylum

In a New England sanitarium, presided by ministers of faith and science, the innocent and the mad run from greater dangers and their own pasts. Bookended by modern day explorations of the ruins, a darker mystery lies in wait for new victims.


Season 3: Coven

Coven is the subtitle for the third season, or miniseries, of American Horror Story.

Over 300 years have passed since the turbulent days of the Salem witch trials and those who managed to escape are now facing extinction. Mysterious attacks have been escalating against their kind and young girls are being sent away to a special school in New Orleans to learn how to protect themselves. Wrapped up in the turmoil is new arrival, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga), who is harboring a terrifying secret of her own. Alarmed by the recent aggression, Fiona (Jessica Lange), the long-absent Supreme, sweeps back into town determined to protect the Coven and hell-bent on decimating anyone who gets in her way.


Season 4: Freak Show

Freak Show is the subtitle for the fourth season, or miniseries, of American Horror Story.

American Horror Story: Freak Show begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952. A troupe of human curiosities has just arrived in town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.


Season 5: Hotel

Hotel is the subtitle for the fifth season, or miniseries, of American Horror Story. The fifth miniseries premiered on October 7, 2015 and ran for twelve episodes.

The season was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film for Lady Gaga. In addition, Hotel was also nominated for eight Emmy Awards, winning two.


The season's story is set in the Hotel Cortez, an enigmatic, six-storey, art-deco hotel based in Los Angeles. The plot follows The Countess (Lady Gaga), the owner of the hotel, as she tries to protect herself and her children from the fury of her past lover (Angela Bassett) that seeks revenge on her, as well as John Lowe (Wes Bentley), a Los Angeles homicide detective on the task-force for a series of grisly murders that lead him in the direction of the hotel.










Season 10: Double Feature

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References


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