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Things are chugging right along with the development of Season Four of ‘American Horror Story‘, producer Ryan Murphy’s frightening anthology that changes its storyline each cycle.  It was previously rumored that the next season would be subtitled ‘Circus’ but it appears that the producers have pushed even further and dubbed it ‘Freak Show’.

At this year’s PaleyFest, it was announced who would be returning for the latest installment of horror. Returning for her final season is grand dame Jessica Lange, who plans to retire from acting altogether afterward.  Also joining her are regulars Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy and Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates, both of whom were new additions to the ensemble during this past season ‘Coven’.  Two other newcomers, Dennis O’Hare (Spalding) and Emma Roberts (Madison Montgomery) are also in talks to return for the new season and Gabourey Sidibe (Queenie) and Jamie Brewer (Nan) are set to come back in some capacity.  Lily Rabe who played Misty this past season may still appear during the new season.  Murphy also suggested that some cast members from Seasons One and Two will return as well.  (Lange was also not present at the PaleyFest panel, but she’s Jessica F*****g Lange, so deal with it.  Diva had other bizznazz to attend to.)

Despite the full roster, one more big name is going to be added to the mix, fan favorite and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Michael Chiklis (‘The Shield’, ‘Fantastic Four‘).  ‘American Horror Story’ airs on FX, the same network that aired Chiklis’ acclaimed series ‘The Shield’ so this marks a homecoming of sorts.  Chiklis took the stage in a surprise appearance on Friday during the ‘American Horror Story’ panel at PaleyFest as Ryan Murphy announced his addition.  Chiklis will play Kathy Bates’ ex-husband and both will be Evan Peters’ character’s parents.

The new season of the show will be set in 1950 in Jupiter, Florida, where Lange’s character runs one of the last “Freak Shows” in America.  The majority of the returning cast will serve as the “freaks” that she rescues.  It’s also been revealed that there will be a “Cold War” subplot to the series.  Unfortunately, the majority of the PaleyFest panel was spent reminiscing about ‘Coven’ with few details spilled about ‘Freak Show’.  Chiklis did exclaim, “My heart was pounding like it is right now. It is a Freak Show, oh man!”

We’ll just have to keep an eye out for news about the new season as it develops.  Considering that it doesn’t sound as if casting is even finalized, I’m sure things could change and evolve over time.

What do you want to see in ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’?

Source: THR