The next season of American Horror Story will be set in the future, a first for Ryan Murphy's FX anthology.
Murphy traditionally keeps details surrounding the upcoming season close to the chest, but the co-creator and executive producer offered up that first detail of the forthcoming eighth cycle when speaking to the press at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour on Friday night.
“It's set in the future, but not the theme," the showrunner later clarified, adding that the time period will be within the next 10 to 20 years. "The near-distant future. It's a projection story.”
The most recent seventh season, AHS: Cult, jumped slightly back in time to chronicle the immediate aftermath of the 2016 presidential election and explore the cult of personality. Previous seasons have taken place in the more distant past — the 1950s and 1960s with Freak Show and Asylum, respectively — and some have taken episodic leaps into the future to wrap up the story, but none have time-jumped ahead for a futuristic season.
During the panel, Murphy said the theme will once again be topical, promising, "It’s different from what we’ve done before.”
He also confirmed the next season will not be the anticipated Murder House-Coven crossover, which will probably happen in season nine. (The series has been renewed through 2019.) After revealing Lady Gaga's Witch of the Woods character to be the original supreme (meaning she created the witches of Coven) in season six's Roanoke, Murphy had promised a future season would see the cycles' stories merge. For season eight, Murphy said not all of the castmembers were available, but they have already outlined the crossover season.
The eighth season, expected to air in the fall, will star Sarah Paulson. No other castmembers have been confirmed.