Last night’s season finale of American Horror Story closed out the Harmon family’s story, but not the end of the series; not by a long shot. In fact, fans of the Golden Globe-nominated show can expect future seasons to have a complete story arc contained within the twelve episode run. In a conference call earlier today with American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy (Glee, Nip/Tuck) and FX President and General Manager John Landgraf, the duo filled us in on not only the phenomenal success of their first season, but also what we can expect to see (and not see) in the second season. Though Murphy and the writing team are in the early creative stages, we can expect to hear an announcement about season two’s cast and theme sometime in February. Murphy also suggested that there is a clue in previous episodes as to what season two’s theme might be. Hit the jump for much more on the next season of American Horror Story.
Touting a strong and consistent showing of fan support and two Golden Globe nominations (one for the show itself and one for the fantastic Jessica Lange), FX wisely ordered a second season of American Horror Story as the series proved to be a Halloween ratings treat. Viewers can expect the next season to air around the same time, possibly starting in late September and continuing until just before Christmas. Murphy had remarked that he would like the show to become a “Halloween tradition” for fans. Here’s a look at some other things you can expect in future seasons:
- Each season of the show will feature a different haunting: a new home, building, prison, etc.
- Each season will feature new principal actors, but previous actors may make appearances as completely different characters with different looks.
- Each season will showcase new creatures and monsters.
- Each season will answer the question of what an American horror can be.
- Each season will explore a new theme, as in the theme of infidelity for season one. (Murphy also commented that a hint to season two’s theme was hidden within the last three episodes of season one. Any thoughts? Check out our recaps to refresh your memory!)
- A DVD boxset of season one will be available, allowing fans to watch the series from the beginning and pick up on clues to the Harmon family’s fate that were present from the outset.
- Stories of true crimes in American will continue to be featured in future episodes.
- Each season will feature a new title sequence that is relative to the theme of that particular season. Murphy commented that he is trying to keep the same music team to keep consistency through the score.
Now, equally important is what (and who) you won’t see in season two of American Horror Story:
- There won’t be a second “haunted house.”
- The story won’t be set in L.A. and the setting will be very different from the California home.
- You won’t see Connie Britton or Dylan McDermott as the Harmons, though there is a chance they may appear as secondary characters. (Murphy commented on his fondness for the Mercury Theater, which had a cast of rotating actors performing different characters for different plays.)
- There won’t be any vampires! (Murphy expressed this explicitly.)
While no names were dropped due to the fact that they’re still in negotiations, Murphy also commented that movie stars who had toyed with the idea of starring in television have been contacting him to star in American Horror Story due to its unique structure. Set as an anthology piece with seasonal storylines, American Horror Story can sign actors to three or four month shooting commitments rather than a five-year-plus contract; this is ideal for movie stars with a taste for the small screen. While you may also hear rumors that some of the younger actors had signed contracts longer than a year for season one, Murphy explained that they have not picked up the options on any of them as a commitment longer than a year was never their intention.
As for themes for the second season, Murphy alluded to various other “horrors” he’d like to explore, including: ghosts, demons, prisons, serial killers, etc. He’s looking forward to developing new creatures, much as he did with the Rubber Man and Infantata. I’ll have to go back over the last three episode recaps to see if I can ferret out a common theme that we can expect to see next fall. In the meantime, I guess we’ll just have to wait until February to see who the next fantastic actors will be and what awaits them in season two of American Horror Story.
(As a bit of trivia for the fans, the original house that the pilot was shot in is apparently up for sale. Murphy is honored to be tied to a piece of Americana, as he called it a “West coast version of the Bates Motel.” And for all the knocking the show did on the housing market, it’s nice to see that they’re doing their part. Perhaps the next location they haunt will be in your neighborhood!)