Ryan Murphy's content multiverse is always growing, but there's some discrepancy about how to define American Horror Story, which is arguably the producer's most popular cash cow. While technically an anthology series, there are some through lines that connect all eight seasons. American Horror Story: Apocalypse is a prime example of how the seasons cross over: Jessica Lange reprised her Murder House character and Lily Rabe brought back her Coven witch. Moving forward, though, AHS will no longer be allowed to compete at the Emmys as a limited series.
Per IndieWire, in the eyes of the Television Academy, a limited series will be defined as “a program with two or more episodes with a total running time of at least 150 program minutes that tells a complete, nonrecurring story, and does not have an ongoing storyline and/or main characters in subsequent seasons.” Because a few main characters from prior seasons showed up in its eighth installment, American Horror Story: Apocalypse will have to compete as a drama series this fall.
As for the next season of AHS, just a few things are clear. This series had seemingly already done it all, from haunted houses to witches to aliens to haunted hotels to the end of the world, but now, thanks to the showrunner's Instagram, we know that the ninth installment of the anthology will be called American Horror Story: 1984. It will be somewhat of an homage to the teen slasher films of the '70s and '80s, likely drawing from Friday the 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and other classics of the genre. 1984 will star both Gus Kenworthy and Emma Roberts, but Evan Peters, who has appeared in all of the previous installments, reportedly will not return for season 9. Whether or not this season will be connected to previous installments—or if it will be eligible to compete as a limited series in 2020—remains to be seen. We should expect all of this to be teased out incrementally until the premiere, in typical Murphy fashion.
And that's not the only way the Murphy multiverse will expand. He's moved officially from FX to a deal with Netflix, and has a September 27 release date set for The Politician, his first splash into the streaming content pool. He's also just announced a plan to adapt The Prom, an uplifting Broadway musical about a lesbian teen in Indiana who is prevented from taking another girl as her date to the prom. Murphy cited his own Indiana upbringing as a catalyst for his involvement in turning the stage musical into a "Netflix movie event," telling The Hollywood Reporter that he was not allowed to bring another guy as his prom date and ended up going with his best female friend instead, and "protested by wearing six-inch yellow platform boots." Murphy plans to debut The Prom in 2020, just in time for the next presidential election.
Speaking of 2020, Murphy has decided that politics is another arena in which his sphere of influence will expand, as he reportedly told Variety that he'll fundraise for Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg, whom he hopes to see partner up on a 2020 ticket. While speaking about the benefit he plans to hold for Harris at his home this month, he also told the publication he'll host one for Buttigieg, the first openly gay contender, in June. “I always make a joke that I’m running for gay president, so I’m thrilled,” Murphy said. “I think the party and the voters will say who’s the best, but my job is to support, and I believe in both those candidates. In a dream world, they’d unite. I think that’d be a great ticket.”
While he's busy dipping his toes into the world of movie musicals, and fundraising for Democratic politicians, there is at least one more FX project that demands Murphy's attention, and no, it's not Feud (no one really knows what's going on with that show, but we do know the Princess Diana versus Prince Charles season has been scrapped) nor is American Crime Story (again, the future of that anthology series remains unclear). It's also not Fosse/Verdon (that one just happens to look like it has all of the trappings of a Murphy production, but it actually belongs to Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tommy Kail). Pose, the underdog of the television landscape, is one of the final FX series created by the showrunner under his contract with the network, and will officially return on June 9, just in time for Pride month.