The Paley Center for Media concluded its Paleyfest 2014 in Los Angeles last week with a panel for a show it has hosted every year of its existence, American Horror Story. Between that panel and other info released elsewhere, we have a much better idea of what, and who, is to be coming our way this fall on American Horror Story: Freak Show.

First of all, co-showrunner Ryan Murphy announced during the panel that it is about a freak show, not a circus, and not a carnival. It will be set in 1950 in Florida, “where all great things happen,” although it will be shot in New Orleans, and “every person on this stage will be coming back in some capacity.”

That means we’ll be seeing Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Kathy Bates, Lily Rabe, Angela Bassett, Denis O’Hare, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, and Jamie Brewer, and that co-showrunner Brad Falchuk and executive producers Dante Di Loreto, who oversees much of the pre-production and production aspects, and Tim Minear, who has written many of the best episodes of the series, will be returning behind the scenes. And although she wasn’t on the panel, Jessica Lange will of course be in the Freak Show season.

Murphy added that he loves the idea of the Orson Welles Mercury Theater Players, and that once you’re “in,” you’re “in.” He speaks often with Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton and hopes to have them back, but that it’s usually a matter of scheduling.

There will also be a new addition to the merry AHS troupe, someone with whom Murphy has wanted to work for years, and they’ve finally found the right role for him: the part of father to Evan Peters‘s character and ex-husband to Kathy Bates‘s character will be played by Michael Chiklis (No Ordinary FamilyThe Shield). Kind of fun that the cast on the stage didn’t even know about this until Murphy announced it from the stage and brought him out to join the panel, much as he did with Kathy Bates at last year’s panel.

Chiklis says he’s seen the show, he knows how it could be pretty wild, but “I’ve done the face cast, I played The Thing” (in Fantastic Four) and “I’m up for it!”

EW also recently broke the news that Lange will be playing a German ex-pat who is managing one of the last freak shows in the U.S., and that the troupe will do anything to keep their business around.

Here are some clips from the PaleyFest panel, via Shine On Media:


American Horror Story: Freak Show, starring Jessica LangeSarah PaulsonFrances ConroyKathy BatesLily RabeAngela BassettDenis O’HareEvan PetersEmma RobertsGabourey Sidibe, and Jamie Brewer, premieres this fall on FX.

Erin Willard
Written by Erin Willard

Erin is the Editor In Chief and West Coast Correspondent for SciFiMafia.com