The creator behind FX’s popular horror anthology series American Horror Story and Fox’s comedy musical Glee is making a new horror anthology for Fox — this one a comedy called Scream Queens. Ryan Murphy has been such a successful showrunner for the network that Fox ordered Scream Queens straight-to-series without even knowing who the series’ stars were going to be back in October, but now we know which actresses landed the coveted female leads.
Emma Roberts, who has been a part of American Horror Story‘s ensemble cast in its third and fourth seasons, will star alongside one of the most iconic scream queens of all time, Halloween‘s Jamie Lee Curtis, Deadline reports. As far as horror films go, Curtis has also been in Halloween II, Prom Night, The Fog, and Terror Train. Aside from the third and fourth seasons of American Horror Story, Roberts was also in Scream 4.
At first it sounds like this will just be a repeat of American Horror Story, but instead of being a dark, twisted drama, Murphy has said he wants Scream Queens to be both true horror and comedy. In an anthology format like American Horror Story, each season of the show will have a different storyline and characters. “We hope to create a whole new genre – comedy-horror – and the idea is for every season to revolve around two female leads,” Murphy told Deadline when the show was picked up by Fox. The first season is set to take place at a college campus that is experiencing a rash of murders.
Murphy got the full season order for the new show because he’s one of Fox’s most successful and trusted television creators. Glee and American Horror Story have been two of Fox’s most successful programs. Fox TV Group Chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman said when they gave the 15-episode order that, “We loved every element of the pitch for this show — the genre-bending concept, which blends true horror with big comedic moments; the diverse and unforgettable characters and reuniting the phenomenal creative team that delivered Glee,” per Deadline.
Landing Roberts and Curtis was another huge plus for the show. Roberts is now a familiar face to fans of American Horror Story, as she played the witch Madison Montgomery in Coven and the fortune teller/con-artist Maggie Esmerelda in Freak Show. Aside from the horror stuff, Roberts also has solid comedy chops with movies like We’re the Millers and Jesse and Celeste Forever. After beginning her career on the Nickelodeon TV show Unfabulous, Roberts has built a reputation as a serious up-and-coming actress through taking on very diverse roles. Her parts on the critically lauded American Horror Story have been great for her career, and we’re guessing that Scream Queens will do the same.
As for Curtis, Murphy has already solidified his reputation for giving older actresses great late-career roles on American Horror Story, including Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett. Younger audiences might know Curtis best from her Activia commercials and a hilarious turn as Lindsey Lohan’s mom on Freaky Friday, but aside from a recent guest role on New Girl, the actress has stayed out of the limelight for much of the past few years. If Scream Queens can do for her what American Horror Story has done for Lange, she could be on the brink of a late-career rejuvenation.
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