FX Moves Into Ryan Murphy's Haunted House With American Horror Story

By David Wharton 2011-07-18 15:52:00 discussion comments
FX Moves Into Ryan Murphy's Haunted House With American Horror Story image
Ryan Murphy and his Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk are returning to the house that helped establish them with their long-running soapy take on plastic surgery, Nip/Tuck. Deadline is reporting that FX has given American Horror Story from Murphy and Falchuk a full 13-episode series order. The things-going-bump-in-the-night drama pilot focuses on a therapist (Dylan McDermott) and his wife (Connie Britton) who move their family into a new home. Apparently McDermott's character cheated on his wife, and the couple hopes the new set of digs will also help give them a fresh start. Unfortunately, with a title like American Horror Story, you can guess that the house is going to be more trouble than the adultery ever was. Especially when the series' inspirations include The Shining.

While I've never jumped aboard the Glee train, I watched Nip/Tuck from start to finish, and despite that show's uneven track record, there's no question that Murphy and Falchuk can put together solid television. I'm also excited to see them tackling a different genre, especially since shows like Twin Peaks and American Gothic have proven that slow-burn horror can work remarkably well in a series format (whether or not it finds an audience is an altogether different question). While the haunted-house concept has been thoroughly strip-mined, American Horror Story still has the potential to be something special given the talent involved. At the very least, FX seems confident, having targeted the show for a fall 2011 launch even before the show had any actors attached. Between this and Powers, FX's upcoming slate definitely has my attention.

Look for American Horror Story this October, and in the mean time, here's the full press release.

LOS ANGELES, July 18, 2011 -- FX has placed a 13-episode order for its next original drama series, American Horror Story, co-created by former Nip/Tuck executive producers and current Glee co-creators/executive producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, announced John Landgraf, President and General Manager, FX Networks. American Horror Story begins production in Los Angeles on July 27 and will premiere on FX in October.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Ryan and Brad back to their original home,” said Landgraf. “They have shown an uncanny ability to bring original series to the air unlike any that have come before, and to reconcile ‘wildly entertaining’ with the ‘creatively ambitious.’ Once again, American Horror Story is a wholly unique and original take on its genre with richly drawn characters. The ability to put together a cast of stars such as Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, Denis O’Hare, Frances Conroy and Oscar®-winner Jessica Lange speaks to the quality of the writing and storytelling. This series is going to blow audiences back in their seats, and we can’t wait to have it on our air.”

The pilot episode of American Horror Story, shot in Los Angeles, was written by Murphy and Falchuk, and it was directed by Murphy. In addition to Murphy and Falchuk, Dante Di Loreto will also serve as Executive Producer of the series.

“Brad and I are excited to be back at FX where we enjoyed such a terrific relationship working with John Landgraf and his team through 100 episodes of Nip/Tuck,” said Murphy. “The support of John, Dana Walden and Gary Newman on American Horror Story has been nothing short of amazing. Our cast is extraordinary and we can’t wait to get started on production.”

American Horror Story is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television.

"Ryan and Brad are two of the most original voices working in television, and their singular vision is evident in every frame of American Horror Story," commented TCFTV Chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman. "Just as they delivered a brand new take on the musical comedy in Glee, they've completely reinvented the horror genre with this spellbinding series. Their script attracted a cast that is a virtual 'who's who' of award winning performers and the result is an electrifying piece of entertainment. It has long been our goal to bring this brilliant team back to John Landgraf and FX, where they had such success with Nip/Tuck. In American Horror Story, they are returning with something unlike anything else on the air that is a perfect fit for this channel's brand."

American Horror Story revolves around The Harmons, a family of three who move from Boston to Los Angeles as a means to reconcile past anguish. The All Star cast features Dylan McDermott (The Practice) as “Ben Harmon,” a psychiatrist; Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) as “Vivien Harmon,” Ben’s wife; Taissa Farmiga as “Violet,” the Harmon’s teenage daughter; Jessica Lange (Tootsie, Blue Sky, Grey Gardens) in her first-ever regular series TV role as “Constance,” the Harmon’s neighbor; Evan Peters (One Tree Hill) as “Tate Langdon,” one of Ben’s patients; and Denis O’Hare (The Good Wife) as “Larry Harvey.” Guest stars for the series include Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under) and Alexandra Breckenridge (Dirt) as the Harmon’s housekeepers; and Jamie Brewer as Constance’s daughter.

American Horror Story is FX’s 12th drama to receive a full 13-episode series order, and ninth out of the last ten drama pilots produced by the network to receive a series order. Other FX dramas include the Golden Globe Award winning Sons of Anarchy, the highest-rated series in the network’s history; the acclaimed Emmy Award nominated hit Justified; the critically acclaimed series Terriers, and Lights Out; Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Damages; Emmy Award nominated The Riches; Dirt; the acclaimed Over There; Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominated hit Rescue Me; Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Nip/Tuck; and Emmy and Golden Globe Award hit The Shield. FX is currently in production on two other drama series pilots, Outlaw Country, starring John Hawkes, Mary Steenburgen, Luke Grimes and Haley Bennett, and Powers, starring Jason Patric.

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