Exclusive: American Horror Story Season 3 Pits Jessica Lange Against... Kathy Bates!

American Horror Story Season 3 Kathy BatesAmerican Horror Story is ratcheting up the Misery in Season 3.

Oscar winner Kathy Bates is nearing a deal to join FX’s hit spookfest as a nemesis to Jessica Lange, TVLine has learned exclusively.

Bates will play the best friend of Lange’s new character, who turns into her enemy.

RELATED | American Horror Story Season 3 Scoop: Evan Peters Will ‘Probably Be Playing a [Spoiler]’

Details on Horror Story‘s third season remain scarce, but series cocreator Ryan Murphy previously confirmed that Lange will play a “glamour cat leading lady,” in stark contrast to her gloomy Asylum wardrobe. Ryan also teased that the new season will be “more historical in nature” and take place in modern day. But just like past seasons, we will see different “time periods” and “there [will] also be different cities.”

Horror Story vets reuniting with Lange in Season 3 include Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Taissa Farmiga and Bates’ former Six Feet Under co-star Frances Conroy.

Bates is coming off a two-season run on NBC’s Harry’s Law.

Thoughts? Does the idea of a Lange-Bates showdown make your spine tingle? Got any new theories about the setting and premise of Season 3? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. kate says:

    I’m excited! two great actresses!

  2. Sam says:

    HUGE get for AHS! Kathy Bates is incredible and would make an awesome addition to this show. Lange-Bates back and forths would just be so great to watch!

  3. Tracey says:

    No Zachery Quinto?

  4. Mark says:

    Great casting! :)

  5. snowballx350 says:

    OH MY GOD!!! YASSSS!!!

  6. Suzanne McGee says:

    Extremely smart move! Love how we are seeing some powerful actresses pair up on TV. Reminds me of Maggie Smith and Shirley Maclaine on Downton Abbey – only very horrifying.

  7. Spencer says:

    I didn’t know Taissa was officially confirmed to come back! This is looking up to be a great season! Can’t wait.

  8. m says:

    Wow, I do not understand how Ryan manages to snag all these fantastic actresses for such a horrible show. But even with terrible writing, I’ve seen some episodes and Jessica kills it. I’m sure Kathy can make it work too (as opposed to the awful Harry’s Law, not even Bates saved that one).

    • snowballx350 says:

      The show isn’t horrible Stay pressed!

      • m says:

        Lmao, I’m not pressed… Being pressed means that I hate something so much that it actually affects me. I think the show is absolutely awful but I do not care. I’ve seen a few episodes bc I love Jessica and Sarah Paulson. But cute response from a stan. Stay delusional. Xo.

        • L says:

          The show is laughably bad, especially season two. Too much. Lange, Farmiga and Conroy will keep me watching.

        • Wouter says:

          Pffff, like your opinion is the only one that matters. I love AHS and IMO it’s one of the best shows on tv right now.

        • Jon says:

          Season 1 was terrible, but s2 was quite good. The writers seemed to think more about what they were doing and delivered solid scripts, and the cast and directors were 100%. I’m cautiously optmistic about s3.

        • dee123 says:

          Zzzzzzzz. The show isn’t perfect but at least it’s different. Go back to watching 90210 or whatever you watch.

        • Freckles says:

          I think you’re horrible and ignorant. You really have nothing better to do then bitch about a show you dont like to people who do? Get a life. The show is awesome!!

  9. majamababe says:

    I liked Harry’s Law! I bet she will do great in whatever role they have planned for her. Awesome!

  10. OMG this could be the best season yet, two of the best actresses ever, together! As Charlie would say, EPIC!!!

  11. Mark says:

    Who’s crazier? Ryan Murphy or Katy Bates in Misery? Bahahahahah

  12. phoofy cat says:

    Just gets better and better…what a duo!!!!!!
    Can’t wait….b – )

  13. Kris Neumann says:

    I love Kathy Bates! I was very disappointed when “Harry’s Law” was canceled. Can’t wait for new season of “American Horror Story”.

  14. susie says:

    Going to be epic!!!

  15. Cheo says:

    I hope it’s more like S1 than S2. Looking forward to it.

  16. Jeremy says:

    They played off each other really well in Men Don’t Leave. This is going to be a killer season.

  17. Lauren says:

    Wow that is such awesome news!! So excited for the new season, especially Taissa coming back!

  18. Sam says:

    OH MY GOD. Awesome (first new) casting. Has it been revealed weather this she’s a regular or recurring cast star (like Chloe Sevigny last season)?

  19. Jay says:

    OMG YES!!!

  20. mrspansas says:

    Kathy Bates… Wonderful choice. Very disappointed Harry’s Law was cancelled. Fan of both actresses.

  21. Cat says:

    Love Kathy Bates! She and Jessuca will rock! I do however hope Quinto returns. It won’t be AHS without him!!!!

  22. Annie Wilkes comes to AHS. PERFECT.

  23. I’m still holding out for the return of Alexandra Breckenridge…

  24. tahina says:

    Throw Jack Nicholson and James Caan in for the tripleta. :]

  25. Great match up, love both and AHS. Heard they will be shooting in New Orleans!!! Hope so, saw Lange at an art openning here of her photography. Come on AHS, we welcome you to the Crescent City.

  26. Justin Dingman says:

    I’m thinking witches and Salem, MA with all the females they are already signed on

  27. sara says:

    Wow, S3 is going to be SO awesome :)

  28. Nikki Trivette says:

    As long as Jessica Lange is on AHS, I will watch every episode…I honestly feel that she steals the show. She is just such a fantastic actress, and IMO, the show just gets better & better! : )

  29. aleksa says:

    And the acting master class will begin in October.

  30. F. Marx says:

    whatever happened to sarah michelle gellar? ryan murphy went crazy after her on that watch what happens show. would love to see her guest star on ahs at some point.

  31. Michael says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised with this casting news if the storyline somehow will follow this friendship/rivalry between Kathy Bates and Jessica Lange throughout the ages.
    Witches who move from Salem to New Orleans and then to modern times somewhere else, and have some sort of male in their way.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Bates is the good, yet creepy person this season, and Lange is playing the “evil glamour lady” as quoted by Ryan.
    It’ll be about their coven,and Paulson, Rabe, and Farmiga will be apart of it too.

    Still kind of hoping for some major African American actor/actress to be on this season if the New Orleans rumors are true.

    • Emily says:

      I have the same theory. And Evan will be Taissa´s muggle boyfriend who her witch coven family (Paulson etc) will not allow her to be with, or something like that.

  32. Jake says:

    I guess this makes me feel slightly better about Harry’s law cancellation.

  33. Colleen says:

    Jessica Lange can do it all! She rocked it out with The Name Game episode in Asylum!

  34. lydiakj says:

    I find them both terrifying so this should be excellent.

  35. Cheyenne says:

    These two could be the scariest combo since Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Bring it on!

  36. Anna says:

    You can tell Ryan Murphy is a big Six Feet Under fan. First Frances Conroy, then James Cromwell, and now Kathy Bates, I wonder who will pop up on the show next? My vote is for Michael C. Hall, but since he’s tied up on Dexter, I’ll settle for Lauren Ambrose.

  37. In a past interview about season 3 a “great, true-life character that’s the most horrible woman ever created” was mentioned. When I think of that coupled with New Orleans I think of the Lalaurie house. Evil stuff that woman did. Wonder if that could play into things at all?

  38. XML says:

    Umm obviously the best part of this show is s1e1 with Dylan McDermott !!!

  39. Jade says:


  40. Tina says:

    Wow! Like Bates.Very strong actresses paired here.Hope they get along!

  41. kelly says:

    Wow!!! What a great addition for the show. This is huge news. I could not be more excited for season 3.

  42. yvonne says:

    I cant wait i love jessica and now kathy its going to be one great season! Kathy is sure to bring this amazing show that extra cherry on top!!!

  43. Sandy says:

    I doubt this past season can be topped….the story line was top knotch. Writing was great, as was the acting!

    • Nikki Trivette says:

      That’s what I thought about season one Sandy, and then season two came along and just blew that theory right out of the water. (Made season one seem MILD!) However, I do have to agree with you in a sense-season two may always be my favorite. There was just something about it that kept me totally glued to the set every wednesday night. In fact, Asylum made it my favorite show EVER. (I was glad to hear that Ryan Murphy is done with the aliens though!)

  44. Rai says:

    I heard season 3 happens in Salem, Mass

  45. Mikael says:

    I don’t get the hate for season 2. I thought it was great except for the alien thing. That seemed to come out of nowhere and had little to do with the actual plot of the season.

  46. Wood says:

    Season 3 is gonna be about witchcraft. I hope there are flashbacks to Salem :-)

  47. moiraFAN says:

    YES!!! I LOVE HER!!!! shame they haven’t asked Alexandra Breckenridge

  48. mgblan10 says:

    I enjoyed both seasons in different ways. They were very different and that is the genius! I love the consistency of brilliant talent and believe the all of the characters portrayed. I would be ecstatic if they used identical cast each year. RYan is an incredible writer/producer I will continue to savor his work!

  49. Reblogged this on HORROR BOOM and commented:
    Jessica Lange was dropping hints earlier about a female Oscar-winning actress joining their cast, which only narrowed it down to about fifty women, so I forgot about it. Now we know!

  50. Janet says:

    Kathy Bates has proven how scary, intense and creative she can be in Misery. I’m really hoping she will be in the next season to take this show to the next level of horror! I love the anticipation of the showdown between Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates!!!