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american horror story kathy bates

American Horror Story is known for pulling from a certain pool of talented actors over and over again over the years. The anthology format means that the same performers can tackle different roles each season, and fans have seen a number of actors in wildly varied parts. Not a whole lot is known about the next season of American Horror Story beyond the fact that it's on the way, but co-creator Ryan Murphy has confirmed three cast members who will be back in Season 8:

Kathy and Sarah Paulson have a lot of great stuff to get to do. So, with Evan Peters, the three of them are the leads this year.

Yes, American Horror Story Season 8 will feature Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, and Evan Peters as the three main characters when it hits the airwaves. Two of those names probably won't come as surprises to longtime viewers. Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters are the only two actors to have appeared in every season of American Horror Story so far, and it wouldn't feel right to have a season of the show without these two on board. Besides, Sarah Paulson's still attached to star in an upcoming season of American Crime Story, and Evan Peters is slated to appear in Ryan Murphy's dance musical series Pose. Both clearly have maintained strong relationships with Murphy.

The bigger surprise courtesy of Ryan Murphy's comments to EW has to be the return of Kathy Bates. The Academy Award-winning actress made her American Horror Story debut in the third season, called Coven, as Delphine LaLaurie. Although she followed Coven up with roles in Freak Show, Hotel, and Roanoke, she could not appear in "Cult" due to her commitments to the Netflix series Disjointed. That show got the axe back in February, which was bad news for the Disjointed folks but good news for American Horror Story fans who hoped that Bates would be free to appear in future seasons. (Check out our rundown of other big shows that have already been cancelled.)

The big question now is what kind of characters Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, and Evan Peters will play in the new season. American Horror Story excels at keeping details under wraps and only teasing fans with clues of what may or may not be in the works, and it may be a while before we get confirmation of their roles. That said, rumor has it that Season 8 will be called American Horror Story: Radioactive.

20th Century Fox reportedly filed a new trademark for the name American Horror Story: Radioactive, which could be a big hint that the studio has plans for a project under that title. There's no guarantee at this point, but Radioactive seems like something American Horror Story could explore. The show has already done ghosts and clowns and witches, and last season's Cult proved that the show isn't afraid to get somewhat outlandishly topical. Perhaps Radioactive could explore a reality in which nuclear war has broken out.

We can only wait and see. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in American Horror Story news. If you're now in the mood for some old school AHS, you can find the first six seasons streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. For your current TV viewing options, take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide.