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TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ & ‘Fargo’, Freshman Renewals, W. Kamau Bell

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:24am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ & ‘Fargo’, Freshman Renewals, W. Kamau BellAt TCA today, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf sent a love letter to creators. “I love artists. I really, genuinely do. I want us to be the wind in their sails,” he said during the network’s executive session. Landgraf also assured critics that he plans to continue to take risks with concepts that are off-mainstream. “We’d rather fail spectacularly & nobly than succeed in a quiet, middling way,” he said. He gave an update on the evolution of FX and its up-and-coming sibling FXX, which has been running only comedy programming since its launch last fall. That may change. “It’s going to take awhile for the two brands to shake out… There wil be drama on both channels I think,” he said.

Related: TCA: The Gritty Reality Of Sex On FX’s ‘Married’ & ‘You’re The Worst’

Landgraf revealed details about the latest installment of American Horror Story, which has been flirting with Neil Patrick Harris for a part. “It will be set in 1950s and has a very different look from a designer standpoint. Some years, the show is big, brash and campy like Coven, some are dark and brooding like Asylum. Freak Show is half-way between these two.”

Related: TCA: Casting Directors Say They’re Color Blind When Choosing Actors

Landgraf gave AHS co-creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy props for introducing the “analogical miniseries” genre that has “created new opportunities for writers and creators” like Nic Pizzolatto with HBO’s True Detective and Noah Hawley with FX’s Fargo. Read More »

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EMMYS: Reactions – Lizzy Caplan, Ryan Murphy, ‘True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto & More

EMMYS: Reactions – Lizzy Caplan, Ryan Murphy, ‘True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto & MoreRefresh for latest ….

Drama Series
Nic
Pizzolatto, executive producer and creator, True Detective
Like a filmmaker, hellbent on making the best independent film ever, before Pizzolatto pitched the project to five TV networks, he went about finding the right director for his doppelganger detective series, selecting Cary Fukunaga. Then they hooked up with Matthew McConaughey, who was so passionate about the project, he called Woody Harrelson to come aboard.  ”Everything a writer writes is from a true place, but I didn’t take any inspiration from any real people per se, rather the job and the culture at the time (during the ’90s and early aughts),” said the Louisiana native about his influences. As far as season 2, Pizzolatto asserts, “we aren’t keeping secrets, there’s just empty rumors out there.”  Switching True Detective from miniseries to drama, “was HBO’s decision and it underscored their passion and enthusiasm for the show,” he adds.  While an episode zig zags between time frames with the greatest ease, Pizzolatto revealed that such parameters were clearly defined in the script. Nothing was discovered in the editing room. “The time jumps were probably more of a challenge for the actors” who had to play the opposite of who they were in 2012.
“(Woody’s) Marty is actually a changed man while (Matthew’s) Cohle has devolved into his worst obsessive quality.” Read More »

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Comic-Con Update: ‘Penny Dreadful’, ‘American Horror Story’ To Make Debuts, 20th TV & FX Panels Announced

Comic-Con Update: ‘Penny Dreadful’, ‘American Horror Story’ To Make Debuts, 20th TV & FX Panels AnnouncedThe cast of American Horror Story is finally coming to Comic-Con after three seasons on the air.  The FX show has skipped the fanboy confab in previous summers partly due to its production schedule, however, the Coven and Freak Show cast will be heading to San Diego including Emma Roberts, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, new addition Michael Chiklis and exec producer Tim Minear.  The panel, which is scheduled for Saturday, July 26 from 7-8 PM in Room 6DE will provide a look back at Coven as well as exclusive secrets from the set of the upcoming Freak Show.

Episode 108Also announced today is Showtime’s plan for Penny Dreadful, which wrapped its first season June 27. It will make its Comic-Con debut on Thursday, July 24th with a 6-7 PM panel session in Ballroom 20, combined with signings and merchandise and a tie-in with the confab that will put Showtime and Penny Dreadful branding on more than 150,000 lanyards worn by attendees. Featured panelists include stars Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney and Harry Treadaway and creator/writer/executive producer John Logan. Aisha Tyler will moderate.

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EMMYS: As More Shows Straddle Categories, Will TV Academy Tighten Rules?

By | Wednesday June 11, 2014 @ 6:10pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Awardsline logo_use this oneThe Board of Governors of the Television Academy voted to split three more fields heading into this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. That pushed the number of Emmy categories to a record 106. Yet we’ve never had so many shows that don’t seem to fit in any of them.  The problem impacts mainly anthology-style dramas, which straddle the worlds of regular series and miniseries, and the proverbial “dramedies,” which 'True Detective'blur the lines between comedy and drama. The issue came to the forefront with the debate surrounding HBO’s decision to enter the eight-episode True Detective as a drama, Showtime switching Shameless from drama to comedy series after three seasons and Netflix entering Orange Is the New Black as a comedy after submitting it as a drama for the Golden Globes. Read More »

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EMMYS: John Landgraf Calls For Tougher Category Rules, Says ‘True Detective’s Entry As Drama Series “Unfair”

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 9:53am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

FX Networks CEO John Landgraf today threw his hat in the debate over what constitutes a drama series and a miniseries for Emmy consideration and whether an hourlong series american_horror_story_coven_cast_a_lcan enter as a comedy, challenging the TV Academy to stiffen its criteria and create stricter category guidelines.

FX anthology series American Horror Story shook up the Emmy landscape three years ago when it opted to submit itself as a miniseries, not a drama series. The race was jolted again this year when HBO’s True Detective took the opposite stance, identifying itself as a drama series. “In our minds this is a series, and the only reason to enter it as a miniseries was a cynical reason that didn’t feel like the right thing to do,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo told Deadline last week.

2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 6Landgraf today defended the network’s decision to submit AHS as a miniseries, objected to HBO’s decision to have True Detective compete as drama series, and called on the TV Academy to better define its categories. “I don’t think it’s cynical to enter AHS as a miniseries,” he said. “I don’t look at it that way. The definition should be a miniseries has a story that ends, a series has a story that continues on.” Landgraf argued that limited series have the advantage to attract bigger-caliber actors, like True Detective‘s Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as well as Billy Bob Thornton who toplines FX’s limited series Fargo. Emmyslogo_new“It’s unfair for HBO to get actors that you can’t normally get to do a series who would do a close-ended show and pack the (drama actor) category. That is patently unfair to people like (The Americans’) Matthew Rhys who signed for seven years.” Right now, TV Academy defines shows like AHS and True Detective as having “dual eligibility,” with the series producers left to decide in which of the two categories they are eligible for they would compete.

Related: FX & FXX To Double Original Output, ‘Simpsons’ To Debut On FXX With A Bang, ‘Americans’ Nears Season 3 Renewal

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PaleyFest: Michael Chiklis Joining FX’s ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 8:48pm PDT

TFreak Showhe biggest news on the closing night of PaleyFest was the reveal that Michael Chiklis is joining the American Horror Story cast for the fourth season. Series co-creator Ryan Murphy said the Emmy winner will make his AMS debut playing the father of Evan Peters’ character and the ex-husband of Kathy Bates’ character on American Horror Story: Freak Show, the title of which Murphy announced in a tweet this week.

Michael Chiklis“What a way to come back to my home network,” Chiklis told the screaming crowd at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. “We’re going to freak you and scare you!” Said Murphy: “Every person on this stage is coming back,” referring to Bates, Emma Roberts (Madison Montgomery), Angela Bassett (Marie Laveau), Sarah Paulson (Cordelia Grove), Gabourey Sidibe (Queenie), Frances Conroy (Myrtle Snow), Jamie Brewer (Nan), Denis O’Hare (Spalding) and Evan Peters (Kyle Spencer). While most of the castmembers were announced in the press recently, Roberts and O’Hare were known to be holdouts. Prior to the panel tonight, both actors told Deadline that they were still in talks.

Related: FX’s ‘American Horror Story’ Renewed For Fourth Cycle

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Jessica Lange Formalizes Switch To UTA

By | Saturday January 11, 2014 @ 2:14pm PST
Mike Fleming

jessAs expected, two-time Oscar winner Jessica Lange has followed her agent Brian Swardstrom to UTA from WME. She formally signed this morning. Lange is currently Golden Globe-nominated for her role on American Horror Story and she begins production in February on the Rupert Wyatt-directed The Gambler, opposite Mark Wahlberg. She continues to be represented by Jason Weinberg at Untitled Entertainment.

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Jessica Lange Joins Paramount’s ‘The Gambler’ Remake With Mark Wahlberg

65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - ArrivalsEXCLUSIVE: The American Horror Story star has put her cards on the table for The Gambler. Jessica Lange will play the rich and ostentatious mother of Mark Wahlberg’s in-debt character in the Paramount remake of the 1974 pic. Wahlberg will reprise the role James Caan played in the original of a college professor whose gambling addiction takes over his life even after his debts lead to some nasty new friends. Talks for two-time Oscar winner Lange to get on board with the movie have been going on for a couple of months, as I reported back in October. Brie Lawson is also in the Rupert Wyatt-directed pic from a script from William Monahan. Joining The Gambler comes at the end of a high profile month for Lange. On a career second life rarely seen in Hollywood, the actress recently received both Golden Globes and the SAG Awards nominations for her role as the Supreme witch Fiona Goode on the current AHS: Coven season of the FX horror franchise. Lange, who also published her first children’s book It’s About A Little Bird in October, has previously won an Emmy plus GG and SAG awards for the performances on past seasons of the show. And there could be more – last month FX reupped AHS for a fourth season with Lange. The actress is repped by WME … Read More »

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FX’s ‘American Horror Story’ Renewed For Fourth Cycle With Jessica Lange

By | Wednesday November 6, 2013 @ 10:41am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Four episodes into American Horror Story: Coven run, FX has picked up a fourth season of the horror franchise. Star Jessica Lange, who has been the center of the show since first cycle, is set to return as her current contract is through Season 4. She recently suggested publicly that she would likely depart after that. Because of the show’s format, featuring different stories and characters each season, it is unclear yet who else will come back but co-creator Ryan Murphy tends to find new characters for his core group of actors every year. “Put simply, Ryan Murphy is a master television producer,” FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said. “Every year, they create a riveting and brilliant new miniseries. AHS: Coven is the best yet, and I have no doubt that the next installment will be even better.” Four episodes in, Coven has far surpassed the ratings of both of its AHS predecessors, Murder House (2011) and Asylum (2012). Season-to date, AHS: Coven is averaging 7.74 million Total Viewers, 5.46 million Adults 18-49 and 3.14 million Adults 18-34. That is up +77% in Total Viewers, +67% in 18-49 and +60% in 18-34 over Murder House. Coven is outpacing Asylum by +83% in Total Viewers, +71% in 18-49, and +68% in 18-34. Remarkably, Coven, toplined by mature actress Lange, Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett, is easily on pace to set a record as the highest-rated adults 18-34 program in FX history. Episode 5 airs tonight. Read More »

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

By | Saturday October 12, 2013 @ 2:26pm PDT

Miss some of Deadline’s Top TV stories this week? Check them out here:

‘Boardwalk Empire’ At NY PaleyFest: Tony Soprano As Nucky Thompson? “One Of The First People We Talked About”, Creator Says
By Ray Richmond – James Gandolfini as Boardwalk Empire kingpin Nucky Thompson? It might have happened had the stars aligned differently, the HBO drama’s creator and showrunner Terence Winter said today during the concluding panel of the PaleyFest: Made in NY event at New York’s Paley Center for Media.

‘Wizard Of Oz’-Themed Drama ‘Red Brick Road’ In The Works At Lifetime
By Nellie Andreeva – EXCLUSIVE: The year of Wizard Of Oz continues with the sale of another high-profile Oz-themed drama project.

Young ‘Ellen’ Stars Sophia Grace & Rosie To Topline NBC Comedy & Feature Produced By Ellen DeGeneres
By Nellie Andreeva – EXCLUSIVE: Are these the next Olsen twins? Ellen standouts Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, are getting their own primetime show, which will be executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres.

Open Letter To Kathy Bates: Congrats On Skewing-Up NBC
By Lisa De Moraes – Dear Kathy Bates: Remember how NBC cancelled your Harry’s Law drama series in spring 2012, at the end of its second season, even though it was then the network’s most-watched drama series — because NBC suits felt its audience skewed too old and Warner Bros, not NBCU, owned the show? Read More »

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HBO, ‘Behind The Candelabra’ Lead Creative Arts Emmy Awards; Bob Newhart, Dan Bucatinsky, Melissa Leo, Carrie Preston, Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn, ‘Undercover Boss’, ‘South Park’ & Tony Awards Among Winners

By | Sunday September 15, 2013 @ 4:01pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Creative Arts Emmy Awards WinnersThe first 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards were handed out this afternoon at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. HBO led with 20 Emmys, followed by CBS with 15 and NBC’s with 11. HBO’s Behind the Candelabra was the most awarded program with 8 Emmys. CBS’ Undercover Boss won best reality show, South Park was named best animated show, while Project Runway‘s Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn took best reality hosts. The Guest Actor/Actress categories were the highlight of the ceremony with emotional wins for comedy great Bob Newhart, who snagged his first Emmy for The Big Bang Theory, Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal), Melissa Leo (Louie) and Carrie Preston (The Good Wife). A new 45-second rule imposed on winners’ walk to the stage and acceptance speeches created quite a stir at the ceremony, which still ran for almost 4 hours, clocking in at 3 hr 49 min. A two-hour, edited version will air Saturday, September 21st on FXX.

Related: Creative Emmys’ 45-Second Rule Stirs Controversy

Diane Haithman, Ray Richmond and Anthony D’Alessandro were on the scene at the Nokia for Deadline: Balmier weather than last year’s 100-degree heat made for a livelier Red Carpet. Matt Weiner, whose Mad Men suffered a historic shutout last year with 17 nominations and no wins, was optimistic heading into the ceremony. “Ya know what, anything would be great,” he said. “I would love to see one of our (guest) actors recognized. Linda (Cardellini), Harry (Hamlin), Robert Morse. None of our actors have been recognized (with wins). We’ve never won an editing or cinematography award.” Asked whether Mad Men would possibly do a Season 8 if the price was right, Weiner said: “No, no, it’s not about the deal. I want to wrap the show up. I have a good vibe for what we’re doing in this last piece and that’s the way to go. Will there be more TV and film in my life? I hope so. I’ve written a play. I don’t expect this (the Emmy sensation) to happen again. That would be greedy.”

Some 88 awards were given away today. To try to get it done in a reasonable time, Creative Arts Emmys producer Spike Jones Jr. appeared onstage before show time to urge winners to keep it short, announcing a 45-seconds limit from the moment the winner’s name is announced. “You have 45 seconds to get from your seat all the way down the aisle, up the steps, and do your acceptance speech. I’m not kidding. Forty-five seconds. We’ve found that you can say a lot in a very short period of time. Everybody in this room will thank you for it.”

2013 Creative Arts Emmy Winners

The never-shy Community showrunner Dan Harmon and star Joel McHale set an outrageous tone at the outset as presenters of the first four awards, channeling infamous Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais. “Tonight we honor all of the people in primetime television who are contractually obligated not to make eye contact with me,” said McHale. Harmon, the combative fired and then reinstated boss of Community, then made a quip about how he’d soon be fired by FXX, the new network telecasting a truncated edition of the ceremony. “We’re going to show those frauds (in TV) that these people (here tonight) are the real celebrities,” he said.

Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series
House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix
Laray Mayfield, CSA, Casting Director
Julie Schubert, CSA, Casting Director

Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or Special
Behind The Candelabra • HBO • Jerry Weintraub Productions in association with HBO Films
Carmen Cuba, CSA, Casting Director

Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series
30 Rock • NBC • Broadway Video and Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Television
Jennifer McNamara-Shroff, Casting Director
Blichfeld + Daniels, Casting Directors Read More »

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‘American Horror Story’ Adds Danny Huston

Danny Huston is joining the cast of FX‘s American Horror Story. Showrunner Ryan Murphy made the announcement Sunday via Twitter: “Jessica Lange’s got a sexy (and dangerous) BF this year: welcome to Coven Mr. Danny Huston!” The upcoming third season, American Horror Story: Coven, centers on a group of witches headed by Lange’s character Fiona. Coven is set to premiere October 9. Huston is repped by ICM.

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EMMYS: FX Heats Up The Race, Going For Major ‘Louie’ Win

By | Friday August 9, 2013 @ 2:34pm PDT
Pete Hammond

FX is turning up the heat as Emmy voting kicks into high gear with a large campaign war chest designed to show off their prime contenders American Horror Story, which leads all shows with a whopping 17  nominations in the movie/miniseries categories,  and Louie which nabbed 6 nods including Best Comedy Series. Last Friday FX and Fox TV threw a summer barbeque and cast and crew conversation on the Fox lot for American Horror Story Asylum, and last night FX rented out the TV Academy’s Goldenson Theatre for a screening of Louie  and a rollicking on-stage conversation with Louis C.K. and moderator, comedian David Steinberg. The place was packed to the rafters, presumably with Emmy voters though in this phase of voting members sign up for specific panels and at-home viewing, so exactly how many of the 600 or so who crowded into the theatre can actually help the Emmy chances of Louie is questionable.

None of that seems to matter to FX President John Landgraf who told me at the lavish post-reception the hefty outlay of funds for billboards, trade and newspaper ads and events like this is worth it, not only because they might be hitting some of those relatively few mystery voters (he estimates there could be about 1000-plus who vote for Best Comedy Series) but also to make a public and industry statement that FX is indeed a major player now in the Emmys and proud of their shows. Certainly AHS which also nabbed 17 nominations last year too and Louie would seem to confirm that. Incidentally FXX, the brand new spinoff network is the broadcast partner for the Academy’s Creative Arts Primetime Emmy show this year and Landgraf is glad they landed it. Read More »

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TCA: Kathy Bates Tackles Serial Killer Socialite, Angela Bassett Plays Voodoo Priestess In ‘American Horror Story: Coven’

By | Friday August 2, 2013 @ 4:05pm PDT

Kathy Bates will play Louisiana-born socialite and serial killer Marie Delphine LaLaurie in Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story: Coven debuting in October. Bates’ character was a big wheel in New Orleans until a fire broke out in her house in 1834 and people responding to help discovered bound and tortured slaves inside. Angela Bassett, meanwhile, will play Marie Laveau, a Louisiana Creole and Voodoo priestess who also lived in New Orleans in the 19th century. Jessica Lange will play a witch named Fiona, and Sarah Paulson will play her daughter, Cordelia. And no, it’s no coincidence Paulson’s character has the same name as King Lear’s good daughter — the one who winds up dead after Dad goes mad, AHS exec producer Tim Minear told TV critics at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013 this afternoon. Minear appeared onstage with Lange, Paulson, Bates and Bassett, and noted this is just part of the Coven cast, which he described as a “murders’ row of actresses.”  Other names reportedly signed on for the coming season include Patti LuPone, Francis Conroy, Gabourney Sidibe, and Lily Rabe.

Related: TCA: Kathy Bates Blasts NBC Over ‘Harry’s Law’ Cancellation  Read More »

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Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond, Episode 35

By | Thursday July 18, 2013 @ 2:58pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Listen to (and share) episode 35 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond. Deadline’s awards columnist talks with host David Bloom about today’s Emmy nominations announcements, looking at the big winners and some surprises, including American Horror Story, 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory, Behind The Candelabra, Mad Men, Phil Spector, Homeland and the Netflix newcomer House Of Cards. Pete and David also discuss the week’s movies, a very full slate of major releases that includes the geezer spy action-comedy Red 2, old-school chiller The Conjuring, Nicholas Winding Refn’s violent reunion with Ryan Gosling Only God Forgives, the unscreened-for-critics R.I.P.D. and sweet-natured snail tale Turbo.

Deadline Awards Watch, Episode 35, (MP3 format)
Deadline Awards Watch, Episode 35, (MP4a format) Read More »

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Emma Roberts Joins FX’s ‘American Horror Story’

By | Wednesday May 22, 2013 @ 12:08pm PDT

Emma Roberts, who most recently starred in Fox pilot Delirium, is nearing a deal to join American Horror Story: Coven, our sister site TVLine reports. Roberts (Scream 4) will play a self-involved party girl named Madison. She’ll join previously announced Oscar winner Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy, Taissa Farmiga, Angela Bassett, Patti LuPone and Gabourey Sidibe for Season 3.

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Gabourey Sidibe Joins ‘American Horror Story’, Alex Saxon Added To ‘The Fosters’

By | Monday April 29, 2013 @ 10:54am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The Big C co-star Gabourey Sidibe is joining the cast of American Horror Story: Coven. Ryan Murphy announced the casting on Twitter this morning. In his typical fashion, he didn’t disclose any details about the character Sidibe will be playing. The Oscar-nominated actress joins another heralded new AHS addition, Oscar winner Kathy Bates, in addition to returning cast members Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson and Taissa Farmiga. The final installment of The Big C premieres tonight. Read More »

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‘American Horror Story’ Casts Kathy Bates

By | Tuesday February 26, 2013 @ 8:45pm PST

Kathy Bates AHSFX’s American Horror Story has enlisted Oscar-winner Kathy Bates for its third season, Deadline has confirmed. TVLine first reported the casting. Bates joins the show after earning a pair of Emmy nominations for the first two seasons of NBC’s Harry’s Law, which was cancelled last May. American Horror Story series alums Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Taissa Farmiga, Frances Conroy, and Lily Rabe are set to return for the horror anthology’s third cycle.

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Taissa Farmiga & Frances Conroy Set To Return To ‘American Horror Story’

By | Wednesday February 6, 2013 @ 5:54pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE: American Horror Story co-creaor Ryan Murphy announced on Twitter that Frances Conroy too has been signed for Season 3. She appeared in both the first and second installment.Taissa Farmiga

PREVIOUS: Taissa Farmiga is now officially on board for the upcoming third installment of the FX series American Horror Story. She has closed a deal to rejoin the series after co-starring as Violet in Season 1. Other cast members previously confirmed for Season 3 are Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Lily Rabe, all of whom appeared in both previous cycles. Season three of AHS will be be a romance set in modern times, with Farmiga expected to play a key part in the romantic storyline. “I missed her this season,” AHS co-creator Ryan Murphy said about Farmiga to EW last month. “There wasn’t really a role for her… So I thought well ‘I want Taissa to be one of the leads next year’.” On the feature side, Farmiga, repped by ICM Partners and Authentic, is starring alongside Emma Watson in the upcoming Sofia Coppola drama The Bling Ring and recently wrapped production on Mindscape.

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