The third season of FX's horror anthology series American Horror Story, which is subtitled "Coven" for reasons that are immediately obvious just from watching the opening credits, is off to a promising start so far: there's been murder and resurrection, witchcraft and voodoo, a horned familiar and even a Halloween-themed episode, and the new season boasts returning cast members like Evan Peters, Jessica Lange and Taissa Farmiga as well as new faces like Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett.
As far as the TV schedules go, it's a good time to be a horror fan. The Walking Dead was recently renewed for a fifth season following just three episodes of the fourth, and after some deliberation NBC decided to renew its intense and hypnotic serial killer series Hannibal for a second season. As the ratings for American Horror Story: Coven show an increase in audience interest, FX has elected to bring the show back for at least one more season-arching story.
Deadline broke the news today, with the fifth episode of American Horror Story: Coven set to air this evening, that the show has been renewed for a fourth season by FX, with Jessica Lange returning once more as part of her current contract. Lange recently told the LA Times that she is planning on retiring from acting after the next season of American Horror Story, and as one of the mainstays of the series she will be sorely missed.
That's a long way down the road, though, and in the meanwhile there's plenty of time to speculate as to what the fourth season of American Horror Story might be about. The series began with "Murder House," a tale of a family that moves into a house haunted by the many murder victims who had lived there in the past. The second season was subtitled "Asylum" and set in a psychiatric institute in the 1960s, with strange and sadistic experiments taking place alongside demonic possession and alien abductions.
There are countless more horror tropes left to be dug up, but hopefully the fourth season will take the opportunity to explore myths and creatures that aren't already being covered on TV right now. Vampires and werewolves have been flooding the market in shows like True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, Being Human and Hemlock Grove, so American Horror Story would probably be best served staying away from the fanged and furry ones for now.
One interesting way to change things up would be for showrunners Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk to make the next season devoid of supernatural elements and instead focus entirely on a more human horror, like a serial killer or perhaps some kind of cult.
Do you have a great idea for what American Horror Story's fourth season should be about? Tell us in the comments what direction you think the show should take after "Coven."
American Horror Story: Coven continues tonight with ‘Burn, Witch. Burn!’ @10pm on FX.