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Ryan Murphy on 'AHS: Freak Show': 'This season, once you die, you're dead'

By now, avid TV watchers know that each season of American Horror Story is an entirely new plot but with much of the same group of actors. Each installment also most importantly stems from the brilliant and imaginative minds of co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. For EW‘s Fall TV Preview, on stands now, Murphy offered up some details from the New Orleans set of AHS‘s latest installment, Freak Show—about the titular group of entertainers in 1952 in Jupiter, Florida—which premieres Oct. 8 at 10pm on FX.

EW: Where did this come from? I know it’s something you and Jessica talked about it right?
RYAN MURPHY: It’s something that Jessica she had always talked about it. Jessica’s a photographer so she had always been interested in that carny world. If you look at her photography, she’s always interested in the lost and the forgotten and the beautiful survivor of it all. We talked about it like every couple of weeks. She sent me a book actually. I once I started investigating it I really loved the idea of it because I felt it was such a ripe world. The carny world, the freak show really ended for the most part when television began. So one freak show replaced another so that was always the idea.

I always was very interested in Tod Browning’s Freaks. I loved that movie and Carnival of Lost Souls so there’s a lot of horror tropes to pull from and admire. It’s also our biggest year so I think it took a while and it took success for us to earn the money to do what we had to do. We had to build an entire city. We built an entire huge compound and then we had to build the interior of all those buildings on set. It’s all period. And it’s all based on [production designer] Mark Worthington’s immaculate research. Jessica went she first walked in said she was brought to tears. She kept saying, “It’s like a poem. It’s like a poem.” It’s a very romantic, sad place. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor' host Jeff Probst on importing other reality stars

Something weird happened last year on Survivor. A contestant from another CBS reality show appeared on the program. Previously, CBS had imported stars from Survivor and Big Brother onto The Amazing Race. And it also cast Willie Hantz — brother of Survivor’s Russell and uncle of Survivor’s Brandon — on Big Brother. But Survivor — which is still considered the granddaddy and gold star of reality television, even if it doesn’t have the Emmy awards (or nominations, for that matter) to prove it — had never accepted sloppy seconds from another CBS show.

That all changed when Big Brother 12 champion Hayden Moss showed up on Survivor: Blood vs. Water. But that casting at least made a little sense. Hayden had actually originally auditioned for Survivor instead of Big Brother, and the fact that he was dating Survivor contestant Kat Edorsson allowed him to tag along as her loved one for that Blood vs. Water season. But would that be an isolated incident?

The answer is no. For the second Blood vs. Water go round on Survivor: San Juan del Sur (premiering Sept. 24 on CBS), the show has now gone and imported an Amazing Race duo: twins Nadiya and Natalie Anderson. The “Twinnies” — who appeared on seasons 21 and 24 of Race — are a love it or loathe it duo for fans, and I was curious as to Probst’s thoughts on bringing aboard more contestants from another show. I spoke with the host out on location in Nicaragua on day one of filming to ask him about it, and now you can see his response in the video player below. READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy' star Theo Rossi says it's 'total chaos and full survival mode' coming up for Juice

Ever since he turned on the club back in season 4, Juice Ortiz has been the Sons of Anarchy character you love to hate. Or is it hate to love? Or is it both? Because while Juice is a man that has made some downright terrible decisions as a member of SAMCRO, he also seems like a good guy deep down. As a result, viewers have been left to alternate between wanting to see Juice pay for his sins (like killing a fellow Son) and hoping he can get a fresh start. Theo Rossi, the man who plays Juice, loves hearing the back and forth fans feels about the character, because at least they are feeling. “I believe any character you play on anything…as long as you feel something,” said Rossi when he called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105). As long as you love or you hate.” Rossi also discussed much more and now you can hear the entire chat right here on the InsideTV Podcast. READ FULL STORY

Ben McKenzie previews the 'swift and brutal' world of 'Gotham'

In today’s world of comic-book remakes, it’s rare that an actor gets to portray multiple characters within any given universe. It’s even more rare that an actor gets to take part in a story that hasn’t been told before. But Ben McKenzie has done both.

In 2011, McKenzie got the chance to voice an animated Bruce Wayne in Batman: Year One, and three years later, he’s playing a young James Gordon in Fox’s upcoming series, Gotham. And despite the fact that Gotham is a prequel and therefore telling a new story, McKenzie is very aware of the “high bar” that exists for his character. But thankfully, McKenzie wasn’t asked to do what Gary Oldman did in Christopher Nolan’s films or what Bryan Cranston did in Year One. Instead, when McKenzie went to lunch with DC Comics chief creative officer Geoff Johns, they talked about McKenzie’s responsibility to the character, part of which was making Gordon “fresh.” So the next question was: How does one do that? READ FULL STORY

'Faking It' boss, star reveal why Lauren's popping pills

Faking It fans won’t have to wait long to discover the truth behind one of the first season’s big cliffhangers as the MTV series reveals why Lauren has been popping pills in the upcoming season 2 premiere.

However, because the premiere was screened Friday night at the PaleyFest Fall TV Previews, moderated by this reporter, EW has the scoop early. Want to know what the pills are for? Keep reading. Want to stay blissfully unaware until the Sept. 23 premiere? Turn back now! Spoilers ahead…

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The Bundy family may return in 'Married... With Children' spinoff

Over 25 years after Married… With Children helped launch Fox into a major player in the network television arena, the Bundy family may finally see a return to TV.

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'Sleepy Hollow' gets the comic-book treatment

The world of Sleepy Hollow—and, most importantly, Tom Mison’s hair—no longer exists only on the small screen. BOOM! Studios has created new prologues to the series in the form of digital comics, the first of which are available on the show’s Facebook page and BOOM!’s Tumblr page.

The first two prologues focus on Ichabod Crane and Jenny Mills (who we now know survived her ordeal at the end of season 1). Both pieces, which take place before the first season of the Fox show, are written by Bad Robot‘s Mike Johnson and illustrated by Matias Bergara.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a total of five shorts are planned. And then, BOOM!’s full Sleepy Hollow comic, written by Marguerite Bennett with art by Jorge Coelho, will debut Oct. 15. The comic will also feature shorts by Noelle Stevenson.

As for the show, Sleepy Hollow returns Monday, Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. on Fox.

Spoiler Room: Scoop on 'SVU,' 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,' 'The Blacklist'

Welcome to the Spoiler Room, a safe place for spoiler addicts to come on a weekly basis to learn what’s coming next on their favorite shows and, hopefully, get a few of their own questions answered. If you want scoop on a specific show, send your questions to spoilerroom@ew.com.

How is Liv handling motherhood on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit? — Sarah
Well, it won’t be easy raising baby Noah since the cartel that murdered Noah’s birth mother sets their sights on killing anyone and everyone connected to the case, including Benson and her new bundle of joy. Liv will actually find help from detective-turned-beat cop Amaro, who puts himself in danger by going undercover in the hopes of making his way back to SVU.

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Storybrooke gets 'Frozen' over in new 'Once Upon a Time' poster

In case you’ve been living under a rock all summer, Frozen’s Elsa is coming to Once Upon a Time.

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Shohreh Aghdashloo heads to 'Scorpion'

Shohreh Aghdashloo has landed a guest-starring role on CBS’ new drama Scorpion, EW has learned exclusively.

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'Survivor' host Jeff Probst defends the casting of John Rocker

Survivor has had its fair share of villains over the years. But it has also had a few people that have gone past that line of villainous play into something far more distasteful. There have been productive conversations about race relations —like when Jeff Probst (in one of his finest moments) mediated a dispute between Phillip and Steve on the Redemption Island season — but there have also been insensitive remarks hurled that have made viewers as uncomfortable as the contestants.

Keeping that in mind, I asked Probst if he was concerned that bringing in baseball pitcher John Rocker — who made controversial remarks in the past — might lead to more of that type of behavior. I had already asked Rocker himself if he thought that infamous Sports Illustrated article would follow him into the game, and now I wanted to see the host’s logic for casting someone with such a background. Probst was resolute in his support for bringing in the former Atlanta Braves closer, and you can now see and hear his complete thoughts by clicking on the video interview below. READ FULL STORY

See 'Survivor' contestant get 'Naked and 'Afraid'

naked-and-afraid

Apparently deciding that one stint out in the wild was not enough, a former Survivor contestant has returned to rough it out in the elements, but he forgot one thing: his clothes. That’s right, a former Survivor player will be appearing on this Sunday’s episode of Naked & Afraid on Discovery at 10pm. Who’s the adventurous chap of which we speak? READ FULL STORY

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