Will ‘American Horror Story: Asylum’ make another killing at Emmys?

Last year, the first incarnation of FX’s spooky “American Horror Story” made off with 17 total nominations, tying “Mad Men” as the year’s most-nominated program.

That number could actually grow this year if the new season, dubbed “American Horror Story: Asylum,” continues to scare off the competition in the Movie/Miniseries races.

While the first season received a Metacritc score of 62 based on TV reviews, the second season rated slightly better with a score of 64. Even some critics who panned the first season’s “Murder House” storyline came full circle and admitted to enjoying the “Asylum” chapter much more. TV Guide’s Matt Roush declared that the first season of “American Horror Story” left him “cold, more appalled than terrified at the overindulgent mishmash of psychosexual poppycock ensnaring unpleasant characters.” However, of the new season he noted, “When it comes to delivering graphic chills, ‘American Horror Story’ is more than living up to its billing this year. So far, I’m mad about it.”

The generally positive critical response, coupled with the fact that there’s one extra episode in contention this year (13 episodes instead of last year’s 12) could be great news for Emmy’s newest darling. After all, we know that the Movie/Miniseries categories aren’t nearly as competitive as the races for Drama and Comedy.

The anthology series will likely clean up with the creative branches, where it’ll probably receive nods for hairsyling (which it won last year), make-up, costumes, art direction, cinematography, editing, sound, etc. But the real prestige will come in the acting categories.

With Jessica Lange at the helm, and names such as Sarah Paulson, James Cromwell, Joseph FiennesLily Rabe, Evan Peters, Zachary Quinto and Dylan McDermott playing supporting roles in the newly-reinstated Movie/Mini Supporting categories, “Asylum” could very well build upon the four acting nods it received last year. In 2012, Lange won the Movie/Mini Supporting Actress race, with Connie Britton, Denis O’Hare and Frances Conroy also scoring nominations.

The miniseries currently stands in second place amongst Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users as Best Movie/Miniseries, coming in just behind HBO’s still-unseen “Behind the Candelabra.” Rounding out the Top 6 are “Top of the Lake,” “Parades End,” “Phil Spector” and “Political Animals.”

Just how many nominations will “American Horror Story: Asylum” scare up this year? Find out when Emmy nominations are revealed July 18. The 65th Primetime Emmys will air on CBS Sept. 22.

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