Currently, Ryan Murphy’s making a killing for FX thanks to his hit anthology series, America Horror Story, but AHS isn’t the only horror anthology the Murphy's got in the pipeline these days: enter Scream Queens.
While remaining very quiet during development - as the series isn’t expected to hit television screens until a year from now - things appear to be heating up as Scream Queens has officially cast its first set of leads for season 1.
According to a statement released by Fox, Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis and Scream 4 star Emma Roberts have both landed roles on the anthology drama’s first installment; however, their roles are currently being kept under-wraps. As for the plot of the first season, the network stated:
“The first installment in the new anthology series revolves around a college campus which is rocked by a series of murders. Fifteen one-hour episodes have been ordered.”
It’s no surprise Fox went to Murphy to create a new anthology series, considering the genre is currently all the rage and the writer’s already in the News Corp family thanks to his work on AHS and Glee. It’s also not surprising that Roberts has been cast, considering her work for the last two seasons of AHS, Coven and Freak Show.
What does intrigue us is the return of Curtis to the horror genre. It’s certainly been awhile since the original scream queen did a horror project, but if there’s one thing Murphy’s great at, it’s convincing actors to work with him on almost anything. This is something we’ve learned time and time again not just from American Horror Story, but also Glee and Murphy's HBO film, The Normal Heart.
That said, before anyone starts questioning the capability of Fox to pull off a horror show, we are going to note what Scream Queens has going for it is the comedy aspect of the “horror-comedy” genre. While AHS does feature laughs, it’s in no way a comedy. However, a true horror-comedy could work excellently for a broadcast network, because the one thing it needs to be is somewhat light in order to avoid getting into the realm of “you can’t show/do that on broadcast,” and thus watering things down.
Supernatural seems to be doing just fine with its comedy elements, and Scream Queens seems to be the right move, on the right network, with the right cast going for it. The only thing we will say that has us potentially worried is the date.
If the series is set to premiere in the fall of 2015, it’s going to be running right up against the next season of American Horror Story, and that could stretch Murphy (whose already got another FX anthology show in the works) a bit thin - considering he has to recreate the series from scratch every season. It does help he has a solid team behind him, but there’s only so much one writer can pull off at once without wading too far into the deep end of laziness.
Scream Queens premieres in Fall 2015 on Fox.