Eye on Emmy: How FX's American Horror Story Pushed the Miniseries Envelope to the Max

Get More: Emmys

Though Murphy and Falchuk labored to hold their cards close to the vest throughout Season 1, lest they tip their hand as to who survives the Harmons’ haunting, their one and only plan American Horror Story Emmy Nominations 2012from American Horror Story’s outset was to refresh the cast and reset the setting with every cycle of 13 episodes, thus affording the drama miniseries eligibility.

So whereas in the first go-round, a Los Angeles manse hosted modern-day horror, the second run will be set in the 1960s and at an East Coast asylum for the insane. McDermott, Britton, TV daughter Taissa Farmiga and Conroy are gone, but Lange and other Season 1 costars such as Zachary Quinto, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe will be back — though as different characters. New arrivals Chloe Sevigny (Big Love), James Cromwell (Babe) and singer Adam Levine will round out the revamped ensemble.

“Because we are a miniseries, every season we can tell a containable story, which I think is a really cool idea,” Murphy enthuses. “I’m having a lot of fun with that.”

RELATED | Horror Story Season 2 Pits James Cromwell Against Jessica Lange

“It’s exciting,” McDermott says of the seasonal restart, a luxury afforded in large part by Horror Story’s home on FX. “For network television in general, the numbers are dwindling, and it’s time for a new model — and that’s why cable is thriving. People want to have something new, something fresh — and this approach is definitely that.”

This story first appeared in the pages of TVLine’s print sibling Awards|Line. The specialty Awards|Line editions canvass various facets of the Emmy and motion pictures awards season including deep coverage, analysis and interviews with the leading contenders and industry players.

Pages: 1 2 3

Comments (24)

  • Ryan Murphy shows are special alright. They take wonderful actors (Darren Criss, Lea Michele, Connie Britton) and put them in roles that are either obnoxious or bland. Murphy is a sucker of talent.

    Comment by Sam – June 20, 2012 06:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Did you even watch AHS? The show had some phenomenal roles. Violet Harmon, Tate, and Constance were some of the best characters of the television season, and all three actors turned in incredible performances. Lange deserves all the gobs of attention she’s getting for the show, but I’d also really love to see some more buzz for Evan Peters as Tate.

      Comment by DL – June 20, 2012 06:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • “They take wonderful actors (Darren Criss)” LOL. Really? Out of all the talented actors that have worked with Ryan Murphy you listed Darren Criss? And you listed him first?

      Comment by ... – June 20, 2012 07:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • LOL this! I would have put Naya Rivera, Jane Lynch, Mike O’Malley hell, even Chris Colfer (who I think is way over-hyped) before Darren Criss.

        Comment by dude – June 20, 2012 07:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I don’t think it’s possible for there to be anything posted on this website that doesn’t inevitable lead to someone mentioning Glee in the comments. It’s everywhere!

        Comment by B – June 21, 2012 10:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really enjoyed this show. Sherlock will win the category though.

    Comment by AJ – June 20, 2012 06:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have to admit I was enthralled by the show. Not since “Buffy” have I been this addicted to a show… Personally I’m hoping for Emmy gold and not just for Lange.

    Comment by Tommy – June 20, 2012 06:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree Lange is hands down the best actress in a Mini-series. I don’t think it can win the category with Sherlock in there though.

      Comment by AJ – June 20, 2012 06:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t see how the Emmys can take AHS seriously when it was mostly special effects filled with horror and actors in soap opera situations. I just never felt AHS fully developed its characters. Maybe they didn’t have the time because they were too busy filling it with special effects. But it would’ve been nice to understand the characters better. Why did Ben have an affair with the college student? Was it because his wife gave birth to a stillborn baby? Obviously this stillborn baby was an accident because what parents want to go through child rearing all over again when they’re about to send off their daughter to college? What were the ramifications of this “accident”? I hope Season 2 does a better job developing its characters.

    Comment by Lee – June 20, 2012 06:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The husband/wife characters were probably the least fleshed out. I thought Constance, Tate, and Violet were all very well developed.

      Comment by DL – June 20, 2012 06:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ben had an affair because he felt his wife had pulled away from him after the stillborn and mourned by spending time with the dog she got.

      Comment by Miranda – June 20, 2012 08:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • are u kidding????? this has some of the most well developed characters on any show.

      Comment by tim – June 21, 2012 08:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • A feminine horror story is not a unique concept. Take torture porn out of the picture and it almost always is favourable to women as a genre. (Scream, Alien, Halloween, ext.) In fact that’s over half of the demographic that watches horror.I love AHS but RM is not exactly breaking the mold here.

    Comment by michael – June 20, 2012 06:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Alien was most certainly favourable to men, not women. Scream was definitely feminine. But I disagree that more of the demographic is women.

      Comment by Miranda – June 20, 2012 08:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julianne Moore should win for Game Change as Actress in a TV Movie/MiniSeries.

    Comment by Larry – June 20, 2012 06:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This struggle is one that genre tv has been having for years now, AHS’s “struggle” isn’t something new.
    If the Emmy academy is going to throw a bone to a genre show, I’d rather it be Fringe which is far superiour to AHS (and yes, I watch both)

    Comment by mia – June 20, 2012 08:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ryan Murphy & Co exaggerate so much, I mean the show is good but excellent as he is making it appear. It nothing special, just a carbon copy of many things that have been done before. What makes it stand out is Jessica Lange and her character.

    Comment by Gerald – June 20, 2012 08:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have to say that the horror is really brutal especially the second episode of home invasion but what comes after with the halloween episodes — you get some of the best acting you can possibly get from every single actor and a culmination that makes it all so good.

    Comment by tim – June 20, 2012 09:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The show had potential but lost its way pre rubberman. The only two stand outs were the actors playing Violet and Tate.. But Jessica Lange seems to be getting all the buzz, when in fact they deserve it far more.

    Comment by h. – June 21, 2012 06:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed, Evan Peters is so underrated… he really stood out throughout the season!

      Comment by Adriana – June 21, 2012 05:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I believe Jessica is entered in the supporting actress race so she won’t be up against Julianne Moore.

    Comment by Matt – June 21, 2012 06:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great article, Matt.

    Comment by cheers – June 21, 2012 10:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Just bring back Alexandra Breckenridge in the same younger, vixenish roll and I’ll be smiling and happy!!

    Comment by jim – June 21, 2012 11:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

Leave a Reply

Comments on TVLine.com are monitored. So don't go off topic, don't frakkin' curse, and be gone with your offers of discount leather goods. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s