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'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy talks the Angel of Death's arrival to Briarcliff and teases season three -- EXCLUSIVE

Michael Becker/FX


The Angel of Death, in the form of American Horror Story season one star Frances Conroy, visited AHS: Asylum last night but ended up only taking a few cast members with her, most notably Grace (Lizzie Brochere). Meanwhile, Jude discovered that she did not actually kill the little girl in the blue coat and realized that Sister Mary Eunice was possessed by the devil. EW talked to co-creator Ryan Murphy about all these developments, Dylan McDermott’s Bloody Face role and details on season three.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where did the inspiration come from for this episode?
RYAN MURPHY: Well the episode is one of my favorites because I think it just has great performances and I really love what it’s about. I love Franny and she and I were presenting at the Creative Arts Emmys and I said, “I think I have something really good for you, sort of the opposite of what you did last year.” She and Jessica loved working together. So we came up with this character and I like that she’s around in all the individual stories at that pivotal moment of are you going to fight or are you going to die.

But when we were coming with the idea of it, I was meeting with hair and make up and Lou Eyerich, the costumer, and we at first came up with this idea that she was the black version of Miss Havisham. But I didn’t like that. I thought let’s do something unexpected. So our inspirations were very bizarre. We took sort of like 1940s , hard-boiled noir women and mixed it with a sort of Comme de Garcon meets Japanese thing. I was very proud of that look and I thought Franny was very yummy. You could see why people would want her to kiss them.

Was her name and the idea based on fact?
Yes we took things from several religions. I also love the Angel of Death’s relationship to the Devil. And Franny will come back in several episodes.

I loved the scene in the diner with Jude and the Angel of Death. So Jude has tried to kill herself several times before?

Will we meet the man she was going to marry?
No. He was sort of her backstory. I really wanted to see how did Jude get to the nunnery. I love Jessica as the faded chanteuse in the run down hotel room. She really loved doing that stuff. What was her dark night of the soul that got her to the nunnery? And I love that literally she drank herself into a stupor and woke up and there she was outside the Cloisters nuns.

And the twist with the girl being actually alive was great.
I know! I felt so bad for Jude. I think so many people run from secrets and I thought what happens if the thing you’re running from turns out to be completely a lie?

The Lana storyline is just like a sad train to Sadtown. She escapes Bloody Face and then gets in a car with that crazy guy. Is there any happiness in sight for her?
Well I don’t wanna give too much away.

Will she at least get some kind of comeuppance?
Oh yeah. I mean Sarah and I talked about that when we first started to write this stuff. I didn’t wanna do something that was just so awful and then there’s your bad ending. There are many characters in the show and most of them don’t survive. But I thought the Lana story was really about the power of the spirit to survive any and all horrors. I thought that there’s great scenes in the one after Dark Cousin which is the most f****ed up Christmas episode of all time where instead of praying for Lana, you’ll be cheering for Lana. It’s a script I think Sarah loved playing. We’re writing the ending right now so I think people will love what happens to Sarah and what she ultimately does.

Lily Rabe is just having a ball clearly.
Yeah next week has my favorite that Lily Rabe’s character does where she decorates the Christmas tree. It’s sort of like Well how would the devil decorate a Christmas tree? So that’s just a laugh riot.

The fun thing in doing a show like this is for the most part I just hire my friends and I say Well what have you always wanted to play and haven’t played? In Lily’s case, I think people know her for her Broadway ingénue Tony nomination stuff but she’s very f***ing funny.

Is this the last we’ve seen of Grace? Will she appear in ghost form?
Well there are no ghosts. The big question with Grace is what happened to her body?

And that’s answered next week?

So now that Jude knows Mary Eunice has been possessed, is she basically going to go back to Briarcliff and battle the devil?
Yes and it’s all wonderfully contained in our fabulous Christmas episode. The Christmas episode is a very interesting episode because when we were plotting out the season I really wanted to do a Christmas episode because I always thought, based on my research, that 1964 was a very interesting year in terms of the secular and the commercial. That episode has a scene where it’s Santa Claus vs. Sister Jude.

And Santa is Ian McShane right?
Yes! I can’t believe that he did it. We wrote it and I kept saying, “We need an Ian McShane sort of guy for this.” He was a fan of the show so I’m like, “Well I wonder if he would do it?” So we sent him the first five pages, which is the darkest Santa Claus story of all time, and he thought it was great. He and Jessica have this amazing scene together.

So is he the devil?
No he’s like this crazy psychotic. No more devil-jumping this season. No Ian McShane plays a crazy person who was victimized so badly in prison that he made a psychotic break and decides he’s Santa Claus and he knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. But the next episode also has a lot of hilarious Lily Rabe/What does the devil want for Christmas?

Where does Thredson go from here now that Lana knows his secret?
Well that’s in the next episode. In this episode, Lana comes back in the insane asylum just like Kit goes back. No one knows yet that they’re back there. The question in the next episode is what happens to Thredson and obviously he has to shut Lana up because she holds the keys to the kingdom.

It sounded like Dylan McDermott’s voice as modern day Bloody Face. Is he modern day Bloody Face?
Yes. Dylan is modern day Bloody Face. So the question is Why is he the modern day Bloody Face? What is he doing? And that’s revealed in episode nine.

Is the previous episode the last we see of Mark Consuelos’ Spivey?
Oh God no! No no no! He has a very romantic scene coming up with Sister Mary Eunice. Mark wrote me after that and he said, “Well I just busted my no nudity cherry.” No I love Mark. I think he did such a great job and he was so unexpected and he really got down and dirty with that part.

You got greenlit for a season three so does that mean you have a plot already for it?
Yes. I do. I have an idea and I went to Jessica and she was very excited about the idea and possibly where it would film and how we would make it. I did the same thing last year—we almost work a year ahead. It’s a very dense script and it’s a lot of prep time. I do—I know what next year is.

Last year, Billie Dean gave that speech in the finale about asylums, which was a clue to this season. Are you planning on putting clues in the finale this year?
I think so. We haven’t decided what lead actors are coming back. I know what it is and I know that there will be clues in the final episode. Last year we didn’t announce what it was about—we waited til the summer to do it. I think we’ll announce it earlier this year.

Read more: 
‘American Horror Story’ scoop: Does this mean [SPOILER] is Bloody Face too?!?
‘American Horror Story’ recap: The Untouchables
‘American Horror Story': Sarah Paulson talks about last night’s shocking episode and what will be revealed next week

Follow Tim on Twitter: @EWTimStack

'American Horror Story' scoop: Does this mean [SPOILER] is Bloody Face too?!?

Byron Cohen/FX


Last night’s episode, titled “The Origins of Monstrosity,” delivered some major surprises for AHS fans, notably the return—at least in audio—of original castmember Dylan McDermott. Now, the actor didn’t physically show his face but it was definitely his voice heard teasing homicide detectives in the modern day Briarcliff storyline and it appears that McDermott is the Bloody Face of the present; the final moments of the episode revealed that, while Adam Levine’s Leo is definitely dead, McDermott’s Bloody Face has kidnapped Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s Teresa. McDermott’s role in this latest installment of AHS has been cloaked in secrecy so a major role like Bloody Face would make sense.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, we won’t have our usual Ryan Murphy post Q&A but our AHS: Asylum post-mortems will return next week (Jeff Jensen still recapped last night’s episode so don’t fret). But here are the major developments of tonight’s episode and things that EW will definitely discuss with Murphy next week:

  • Aside from the modern Bloody Face info, we learned that old school Bloody Face, aka Dr. Thredson (Zachary Quinto), has some really bad mommy issues and has been murdering as a result; he also had chosen Lana (Sarah Paulson) specifically because he overheard her express sympathy for Kit (Evan Peters) when he was first arrested for the Bloody Face murders.
  • Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) murdered Sister Jude’s private investigator who was looking into the Nazi past of Dr. Arden (James Cromwell); Jude (Jessica Lange) found the detective near death but was able to hear him say he was killed by one of her nuns.
  • Shelley (Chloe Sevigny) was given last rites/strangled by the Monsignor (Joseph Fiennes), who has known all along about Arden’s “experiments”
  • Spivey (Mark Consuelos) appears to be the latest victim of Arden’s mutations

Read more:

‘American Horror Story': Sarah Paulson talks about last night’s shocking episode and what will be revealed next week
‘American Horror Story': Zachary Quinto on this week’s shocker and ‘the most brutal, unsettling, affecting stuff I’ve ever done’ — EXCLUSIVE
‘American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy on the Bloody Face reveal and a major clue about the aliens — EXCLUSIVE

Follow Tim on Twitter: @EWTimStack

'American Horror Story': Sarah Paulson talks about last night's shocking episode and what will be revealed next week

Byron Cohen/FX


Last night’s American Horror Story: Asylum, ended with Lana (Sarah Paulson) trapped in the basement lair of Dr. Thredson/Bloody Face (Zachary Quinto) and there’s not exactly a light at the end of the tunnel for the intrepid reporter (For more, read EW’s exclusive interviews with co-creator Ryan Murphy and Quinto). EW talked to Paulson about the major twist, last week’s truly disturbing de-programming scene, and what’s a head for Lana.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This episode was soooo good. And Ryan told me how he keeps saying, “Pray for Lana.”
SARAH PAULSON: I know! It’s what he does. He kept coming up to me and this is before I really even knew what was coming and he was like, “Oh pray for Lana.” And I would be like, “What do you mean?!”

When I was on set back in July, I remember you told me that Lana was going to some really dark places.
I think I was referring to the aversion/conversion therapy. I think you were there when we were shooting episode one and we only had through episode four. So I thought THAT was bad and that was like going to a beach in Ibiza or something. That’s like nothing compared to what’s going to happen to her. Like I said before it’s the crazy train to Murphytown and I’m on it and there’s no getting off.


'American Horror Story' renewed for third season


American Horror Story is getting a third season.

The FX horror anthology shock-fest has ordered 13 more episodes from executive producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. “With American Horror Story: Asylum, Ryan and Brad have raised the bar in every way from Murder House, the first American Horror Story miniseries,” said FX president and general manager John Landgraf. “And their original idea—the notion of doing an anthological series of miniseries with a repertory cast—has proven groundbreaking, wildly successful and will prove to be trendsetting. We can’t wait to see what deviously brilliant ideas they come up with for their third miniseries.”

AHS is averaging 5.2 million viewers when you include DVR, up 19 percent from last season. The series wraps up the current season on Jan. 23. Season three will get underway next fall.

Assuming the shows format is Etch-a-Sketched a third time, what do you think the setting should be for season three? Haunted hotel? A ghostly cruise ship? A sinister Outback Steakhouse? All we know is many of the actors will return in different roles next year — including Jessica Lange.

'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy on the Bloody Face reveal and a major clue about the aliens -- EXCLUSIVE

Byron Cohen


Have you caught your breath yet, American Horror Story fans? The concluding installment of Asylum‘s two-part episode “I Am Anne Frank” was a roller coaster ride that saw Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) regress to drinking, the aliens attack Grace (Lizzie Brochere) and Lana (Sarah Paulson) in chains in the basement of Bloody Face’s lair. Oh, and Dr. Thredson (Zachary Quinto) is Bloody Face!!! EW talked to co-creator Ryan Murphy about this brilliant episode, Bloody Face’s backstory, and a major clue about the series’ alien encounters.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This episode in particular just felt like a tribute to your production design. This one felt really big.
Interestingly enough, this was not one of the more expensive ones but the thing we had in this episode is [director] Alfonso Gomez-Rejon who is such a great director and really gets the sensibility of the show. We have a great, great team and I do remember on this episode we had really long production meetings and we redid things. I remember one of the writers said, “I think the lamp needs a second nipple.” That is the attention to detail! Sometimes you get lucky with a great script, great cast. Our production designer Mark [Worthington] is so talented. I think it was an interesting episode because there were three things in it: Briarcliff which is very claustrophobic and dark and gothic; Thredson’s house, which is the beginning of the post-modern thing; and then there was the Anne Frank thing which was very suburban. So I think there was a lot of life in the episode. READ FULL STORY

'Duck Dynasty' ratings beat 'American Horror Story'


The most-watched TV show on cable Wednesday night was … Duck Dynasty?

Okay, let’s try that again.

The highest-rated TV show in the adults 18-49 demographic last night was … READ FULL STORY

'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy on the arrival of Anne Frank to the 'Asylum' -- EXCLUSIVE

Byron Cohen


You think you’ve seen everything as a TV viewer...and then American Horror Story: Asylum comes long and has an episode with a woman (Copper‘s Franka Potente) claiming to be Anne Frank. Yep, THE Anne Frank. Well, let me tell you AHS fans: Things only get wilder. In fact, next week’s twist-revealing masterpiece (MAJOR secrets are revealed) represents probably the best hour the mini-series has ever done for pure terror and acting prowess. But there’s tons to discuss in this week’s installment, including the brutal deprogramming of Lana (Sarah Paulson) by Dr. Thredson (Zachary Quinto) and, of course, the arrival of Ms. Frank. EW chatted with co-creator Ryan Murphy about this epic, two-part AHS: Asylum.

'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy talks the shocking fate of [SPOILER] and reveals Franka Potente's super-secret role -- EXCLUSIVE

Byron Cohen/FX


'American Horror Story': Mark Consuelos on stepping out of the box for Spivey

If Mark Consuelos had his choice, he would have shaved his head to play a mental patient on American Horror Story: Asylum.

That idea may have been nixed, but it’s a testament to how willing and eager the former All My Children star was to physically transform for his role as Spivey, a patient at Briarcliff Manor, the institution at the center of this season.

In fact, it was creator Ryan Murphy’s desire to change up the actor’s look that made him even more excited to take on the role. “I said, ‘Yes, I’ll do it. You had me at dark and demented,'” he recalls. “Kelly [Ripa, his wife] was with [us] and she said, ‘No you don’t understand. [Murphy]‘s really dark and demented. More than any other person.'”


'NCIS: LA,' 'Arrow,' 'Hawaii Five-0,' 'Bones,' 'Scandal': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room


But I’m not going to let pesky wind, rain, or Frankenstorms get in the way of giving you some scoop on your favorite shows. (It did, however, royally poop on some fun in-person chats I had set up. #NCIS #Revolution) However, we solider on.

Enjoy your offerings today. Make sure to keep sending questions to and if you’re in the path of the storm, be careful, friends.

I have been loving the flirting between Eric and Nell this season, it has been adorable to witness! Can we hope to see more of it this season and see that relationship continue?  — Cheryl

Remember the almost-kiss between Nell and Eric earlier this season? Remember how bummed you were that it didn’t happen? Well, be sad no longer: There’s a KISS COMING! “I won’t tell you which episode,” teases executive producer Shane Brennan. “But there is a kiss coming. It’s nerd love!” (Extra hints because I like you: It will air before December and they are NOT on a mission.)

Now, before Kensi and Deeks fans cry foul and claim they’ve been waiting for a love connection longer, Brennan is quick to point out that the two couples are on very different paths. “Nerds don’t hang around when it comes to love. They jump right in,” he jokes. “It certainly has developed. It’s an intellectual relationship that sometimes struggles to find its physicality, but that’s the nature of the characters. Whereas Kensi and Deeks there a playfulness and sexy tension.” Look for Nell and Eric to continue to sizzle this season, and, Brennan predicts, “If it’s a race to the end, I think they’re leading Kensi and Deeks.”

For much more on NCIS: LA, keep an eye out for my November sweeps preview tomorrow!


'American Horror Story' scoop: Ryan Murphy talks 'Trick and Treats,' the return of Dylan McDermott, and clues to the backstories of [SPOILER] -- EXCLUSIVE

Michael Becker/FX


The second episode of American Horror Story: Asylum upped the stakes even further with not only an epic old-school exorcism — with a possessed nun! The Sound of Music this ain’t! When the Briarcliff staff failed to save a young man possessed by Satan, the spirit instead forced itself into Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe), although no one knows that yet. Viewers also met new psychiatrist Dr. Thredson (Zachary Quinto), who seems nice but naturally that can’t be the whole story since this is AHS. EW talked to co-creator Ryan Murphy about clues within the episode to the mysterious pasts of Thredson and Arden (James Cromwell), as well as the return of Dylan McDermott later in the season.  READ FULL STORY

'American Horror Story' ratings rise


Is this why ABC’s Nashville and NBC’s Chicago Fire ratings dropped so sharply last night?

FX’s American Horror Story came roaring back for its second season debut. Asylum delivered 3.9 million committed viewers for its first airing at 10 p.m. That’s up 21 percent from the show’s series premiere last year and represents a series high. With a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49, AHS ranked #2 in the hour behind only CSI.

Also, see Tim Stack’s interview with Ryan Murphy about last night’s premiere.

'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy on the 'Asylum' premiere, his inspirations, and if [SPOILER] is dead -- EXCLUSIVE


Nuns! Aliens! Bloody Face! Adam Levine! No one can accuse American Horror Story: Asylum of playing it safe in its wild premiere. A complete reboot of the previous season, AHS: Asylum took viewers inside Briarcliff Manor for a roller-coaster hour that saw Jessica Lange’s Sister Jude getting sexy in red lingerie and Adam Levine’s Leo losing an arm to something sinister. EW talked to series co-creator Ryan Murphy about the jam-packed hour, his inspirations, and what this means for Levine on the series.  READ FULL STORY


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