American Horror Story has spent five seasons finding new and terrifyingly creative ways to scare the crap out of viewers, serving up everything from ghosts to witches to clowns to haunt our nightmares, with the sixth season set to premiere soon. The show is still going strong, but it's hard not to wonder how much mileage is left in the anthology after six years. According to FX CEO John Landgraf, the future of the series depends entirely on executive producer Ryan Murphy. When asked about the future of American Horror Story, Landgraf had this to say:
All good things must come to an end, but, so far, as long as Ryan keeps coming up with inventive and original and new ideas... [we] can keep going. By definition, it has a beginning, middle and end each season. It's only the limits of your stories and your imagination that ends the show. So only time will tell.
John Landgraf revealed how FX is looking at the future of American Horror Story at the TCA summer press tour (via TVLine). The anthology nature of the series, combined with the FX attitude that AHS can keep going for as long as Ryan Murphy can keep going, could mean a show never really has to end. Standard series may run out of steam by the sixth or seventh season as the original premise wears out; AHS can just reinvent itself every season. As well AHS can go out with a bang rather than fizzle for an entire season, rather than just a single episode.
Of course, there is the question of just how long Ryan Murphy can remain creatively creepy. He's already used some of the scariest supernatural beings of horror lore. Even he is bound to run out of originality sooner or later. For all we know, Season 6 won't be original at all. FX is going to some pretty extreme lengths to keep us from figuring out what the sixth season will be about. The most we had to go on for a while was a handful of very short teasers, but John Landgraf has revealed that all but one of the Season 6 teasers are misdirects. Season 6 could be the most inventive season to date, but it could also be the most derivative. We can only guess.
Season 5 of American Horror Story earned decent enough ratings, so diehard viewers haven't yet tired of Ryan Murphy's ideas for horror. Lady Gaga also somewhat unexpectedly won a Golden Globe for her work in Season 5, and both Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates are up for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series at the 68th Emmy Awards. Critics clearly are still finding aspects of AHS to praise.
Only the future will show us how long American Horror Story will remain on FX. Check out our breakdown of what we know so far about American Horror Story Season 6 for a peek ahead, and take a look at our fall TV premiere schedule for what else you'll be able to watch on the small screen in the near future.