(Left to right: Pepper in a 1952 freak show and Pepper in a 1964 asylum.)
TV producer Ryan Murphy (“The Normal Heart,” “Glee,” “Nip/Tuck”) is no stranger to controversy, but this week’s “American Horror Story” news is one of the more shocking to come from his wheelhouse. Despite FX billing “American Horror Story” as a stand-alone anthology series every year, Murphy confirmed today that fan-favorite “Asylum” character Pepper (Naomi Grossman) would return in the upcoming “Freak Show” season, thus making 1952-set “Freak Show” an indirect prequel to “Asylum,” which took place in 1964.
Are you happy that “Freak Show” will be a prequel to “Asylum,” or should “AHS” have continued its stand-alone legacy? Vote in our poll below!
“[We’ll see] what happened to Pepper before she went to the asylum,” Murphy told Entertainment Weekly. But what about the fact that “AHS” is billed as an anthology series? “We thought about it long and hard and we decided that it was interesting to do,” he explained.
Will Peppergate have an influence on the show’s category placement at the Emmys, where “AHS” has found great success by billing itself as a Miniseries? Not likely, as BBC import “Luther” (which produces less than the Drama Series requirement of six episodes) continues to get nominated as Best Miniseries despite the show featuring returning characters and storylines every year.
Besides Grossman, “Freak Show” will feature a slew of returning stars from previous “AHS” seasons who’ll all appear as new characters, including: Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, Angela Bassett and Denis O’Hare. Emmy-winner Michael Chiklis joins the show as the the season’s big-name new addition.
Vote on the “AHS” controversy in our poll below, then watch our exclusive one-on-one webcam chat with Paulson.