Jessica Lange, who’s returning for a second season, will play the woman running the sanitarium. Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Zachary Quinto, James Cromwell, and Joseph Fiennes will join her this season when the show premieres on FX in October.
FX was careful to call it “the show” and, once, “the miniseries”; there’s much talk about creator Ryan Murphy and FX having decided, after competing the show as best drama series at the Golden Globes and other trophy show competitions, to instead put it up for best miniseries consideration at Emmy time.
In the miniseries categories, where “AHS” would no longer be competing against perennial winner “Mad Men,” the first season of the TV Show Formerly Known as a Drama Series earned 17 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, trying for the most noms of any program this year and setting a record for the most Emmy noms for a miniseries in basic cable history. Because, as this year’s Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel noted at Press Tour, “it’s not a miniseries — let’s be honest.” “I’m going to try to qualify as a miniseries next year,” Kimmel joked.
“When we launched the show last year, we kept quiet about the closed-ended nature of the show because we didn’t want to tip off the audience that the characters were not going to survive,” explained co-creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy. “Now that it has been established that each year is a closed-ended story, the time seemed right to reveal what we’re calling the new installment.
“We picked ‘Asylum’ because it not only describes the setting — an insane asylum run by Jessica Lange’s character which was formerly a tuberculosis ward — but also signifies a place of haven for the unloved and the unwanted. This year’s theme is about sanity and tackling real life horrors.”