July 18, 2011 10:22am PT by Lesley Goldberg
FX Picks Up Ryan Murphy's 'American Horror Story' to Series
Ryan Murphy is officially returning to FX, the home of his former drama, Nip/Tuck.
The cable picked up Murphy and Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story to series, ordering 13 episodes of the hourlong thriller with an Oct. 5 premiere planned.
"We are thrilled to welcome Ryan and Brad back to their original home," FX Networks president and GM John Landgraf said in a statement announcing the news. "They have shown an uncanny ability to bring original series to the air unlike any that have come before, and to reconcile 'wildly entertaining' with the 'creative amnitious.' Once again, American Horror Story is a wholly unique and original take on its genre with richly drawn characters."
From 20th Television, the mysterious drama revolves around Ben and Vivien Harmon (The Practice’s Dylan McDermott, Friday Night Lights’ Connie Britton) who move their family from Boston to a haunted San Francisco home in an attempt to rebuild their family after a miscarriage and affair.
Murphy and Falchuk penned the pilot, with Murphy directing. The duo, along with Dante Di Loreto, will executive produce.
"Brad and I are excited to be back at FX where we enjoyed such a terrific relationship working with John Landgraf and his team through 100 episodes of Nip/Tuck," Murphy said in a statement. "The support of John, Dana Walden and Gary Newman on American Horror Story has been nothing short of amazing. Our cast is extraordinary and we can't wait to get started on production."
Murphy is said to be revising the initial script to increase the role of the nosy neighbor once Jessica Lange (Grey Gardens) signed on to the project in April. Denis O’Hare (True Blood) co-stars as Larry the Burn Guy, a former resident of the haunted estate; with Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under) and Alexandra Breckenridge (Life Unexpected) both playing Moira O’Hara, a housekeeper who has worked at the home for years and appears as a young woman to Ben and an older woman to Vivien. Evan Peters (One Tree Hill) and Taissa Farmiga also round out the cast.
Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter in May that the show is a "feel-bad show" as opposed to Glee's "feel-good" show. "I love the look of it; it's very different and there's nothing like it on television," he said. "IT's a psycho sexual thriller."
Falchuk told THR this month that AHS that there's a "thirst for something really fresh and different, which is why I think there's been excitement about AHS."
"I also think the horror genre is something people are intrigued by," he added.
This marks Murphy’s second of three projects to go to series at FX; his Nip/Tuck ran for six seasons and the cable network passed on his previous pilot, Pretty/Handsome.
"Ryan and Brad are two of the most original voices working in television, and their singular vision is evident in every frame of American Horror Story," 20th Television chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman said in a joint statement. "Just as they delivered a brand new take on the musical comedy in Glee, they've completely reinvented the horror genre with this spellbinding series. Their script attracted a cast that is a virtual 'who's who' of award-winning performers and the result is an electrifying piece of entertainment. It has long been our goal to bring this brilliant team back to John Landgraf and FX, where they had such success with Nip/Tuck. In American Horror Story, they are returning with something unlike anything else on the air that is a perfect fit for this channel's brand."
AHS marks the 12th drama at FX to receive a full 13-episode series order and ninth out of the past 10 drama pilots produced by the network to receive a series order.
Murphy and Falchuk co-created Glee, which returns to Fox for Season 3 in the fall.
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit