Ryan Murphy said Wednesday on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” that the upcoming season of his critically acclaimed FX anthology series “American Horror Story” will focus on the 2016 presidential election.
“I don’t have a title, but the season that we begin shooting in June is going to be about the election that we just went through, so I think that will be interesting for a lot of people,” he told host Andy Cohen.
“Wow,” Cohen said. “Will there be, like, a Trump?”
It appeared that Murphy wasn’t ready to talk specifics: “Uh, maybe,” he said.
Murphy is the prolific producer behind “Nip/Tuck,” “Glee” and another anthology series, “American Crime Story,” which revisited the O.J. Simpson trial in its first season and won the Golden Globe for best limited series. FX has already confirmed that two more “American Crime Story” installments are underway — the second, slated to air in 2018, will focus on Hurricane Katrina. The third will revolve around the 1997 murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace. A fourth is expected to tackle the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Murphy’s “American Horror Story” comments come as a surprise because the show’s past seasons have been about fictional events — usually of the supernatural variety. Viewers knew almost nothing about the show’s most recent season before it premiered in September. The move certainly fueled fan theories and generated buzz for the show’s sixth season, which was eventually revealed to be about a couple whose paranormal encounters in a rural North Carolina mansion inspire a documentary called “My Roanoke Nightmare.”
Aside from Murphy’s recent comments, all we know about Season 7 is that two of Murphy’s frequent collaborators — Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson — will return to the franchise. Paulson won an Emmy for her portrayal of beleaguered prosecutor Marcia Clark in “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” and has logged four nominations for her various “American Horror Story” roles.
Paulson pulled triple duty in “Roanoke,” playing the actress who helped re-enact the couple’s horrific ordeal in the documentary before experiencing her own frightening series of events. Paulson also reprised her role as journalist Lana Winters, who first appeared in the anthology’s second season, “American Horror Story: Asylum.”
Lana is one of several “American Horror Story” characters to appear in different installments. In 2014, Murphy confirmed long-standing fan theories that the seasons were somehow connected, which makes the prospect of an election-themed season even more alluring. How would “American Horror Story” connect President Donald Trump to tales of haunted mansions, an insane asylum, witches, a troupe of so-called freaks and a creepy hotel?