Scream Queens

Ryan Murphy: Scream Queens' Sex Talk, Not Violence, Sparks Fox Censors

Fox’s Scream Queens is one of several horror shows currently competing for TV fans’ eyeballs. But unlike MTV’s take on Scream and FX’s American Horror Story, it’s the only one that can call itself “satirical” and “cartoonish,” its creators argued Thursday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills.

“This genre has really exploded in the years since The Walking Dead came on and made a huge impact,” executive producer Ryan Murphy said. “It brought horror back on television in a major way. I do think the more the merrier.”

Compared to the MTV drama which shares a similar name, “ours is more comedic and satirical, and visually, they look very different,” Murphy continued. “People can easily figure out that there are two different shows with Scream in the title.”

The Fox horror-comedy anthology is also “tonally very different” from Murphy’s other creation, American Horror Story, “which is much more sexualized and darker,” the EP described. “Scream Queens has a much more… cartoonish quality,” not that it doesn’t also include plenty of blood and brutality. But surprisingly, discussions with broadcast Standards & Practices have centered around another subject.

“Violence is cool for the most part,” Murphy explained. “That’s very easy to get through in my job. It’s language, it’s slang, it’s trying to reflect how people really talk. It’s trying to write characters who are open about their sexuality, who talk about their sexuality, that gets the most attention and the most pushback.”

Speaking of language, the series features some very sharp verbal insults, which star Jamie Lee Curtis defended as “social satire.”

“We say what people think,” the actress said. “This show strips away, it flays the imagined behaviors of human beings and shows who we are, which I believe is inherently dark, inherently unhappy, inherently frustrated human beings who are trying desperately to hold it together. You don’t know s—t about any of these characters. They’re all wearing a mask.”

As for who will survive the killer first season, the cast and producers are keeping mum. But “for the most part, everybody has the ability, if they do live, to have a creative discussion to ask, ‘Do you want to come back [in Season 2]?” Murphy revealed.

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16 Comments
  1. abz says:

    Another Ryan Murphy show I’ll be sucked into. You can’t help it sometimes, His shows just have a way of always pulling you in the first few seasons. Anyways, looking forward to this and AHS: Hotel!!
    Is the show following the shortened season format (i.e. 13ish episodes) like AHS and HTGAWM?

  2. Ms Thing says:

    I might watch this one if they promise to kill Lea Michele’s character in the first episode.

    • LOL says:

      They definitely do not and I’d wager she’s most likely to survive along with Emma Roberts.

    • tired of this crap. says:

      Blah blah, blah. Let me guess your fave didn’t get enough time on glee or you are can’t get past her living her life the way she wants?

      • CK2 says:

        Or they could just dislike her acting? I pretty much avoid things with Dane Cook and Adam Sandler in lead roles. It’s not hard to think that people could do the same for Lea Michelle.

  3. MsThing says:

    Yeah more Lea Michele on my tv, couldn’t be happier.

  4. Jared says:

    Ryan Murphy really puts the best casts together for his shows. Scream Queens looks so fun, campy and over the top I cant wait.

  5. Belle says:

    I am hoping Ariana Grande is killed off quick!!! As long as she is in the news for her insane real life crap I’m sure she is safe :( And unfortunately there’s no such thing as bad publicity and all that jazz.

    • Temperance says:

      If she mumbles on screen as much as she mumbles in her sings (seriously. she’s incoherent), they’ll off her right away…

    • abz says:

      lol they should have told her to get rid of that ponytail she’s always wearing, at least for the show. She’s playing a character. Change it up. I mean look at Lea Michele.

      • Kay says:

        I hate that stupid half ponytail style. Do something different. She’s been wearing the same hair style for what 4 years??