It feels like a changing of the guard. In early April, Evan Peters announced that for the first time since the first season, he would not appear in the upcoming ninth installment of ‘American Horror Story’, subtitled ‘1984’. Now Sarah Paulson, who was the only other cast member to appear in every season, has also announced that she will also be sitting ‘1984’ out. Well, maybe not entirely. Paulson “will not appear in a significant role,” meaning that she could cameo. And while she has appeared in every season, she was not a series regular in the first season, ‘Murder House’. She only appeared in three episodes that year.
Paulson portrayed medium Billie Dean Howard in S1 ‘Murder House’, undercover journalist Lana Winters in s2 ‘Asylum’, witchy headmistress Cordelia Goode Foxx in s3 ‘Coven’, conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler in s4 ‘Freak Show’, dead prostitute Sally McKenna in S5 ‘Hotel’, actress Audrey Tindall (who happens to have married Peters’ Rory Monahan) in S6 ‘Roanoke’, phobia-plagued restauranteur Ally Mayfair-Richards in S7 ‘Cult’, and the sinister Wilhemina Venable in S8 ‘Apocalypse’. In addition, she has reprised various roles on multiple seasons.
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Paulson has been nominated for five Emmy’s thanks to her work on ‘AHS’, for Season 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. Though she has never won for ‘AHS’, she did win for ‘American Crime Story’, also created by Ryan Murphy. Similarly, she is fronting Murphy’s new series ‘Ratched’ (inspired by the novel ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’) for Netflix. ‘Ratched’ has been given a two-season order. That could explain why she is stepping away from ‘AHS’.
Similarly, Peters also starred on the first season of Murphy’s other FX series ‘Pose’, while another ‘AHS’ regular, Angela Bassett has stepped away from ‘AHS’ to star on Murphy’s FOX series ‘9-1-1’.
At this time, there are only two cast members that have been announced for ‘1984’– returning regular Emma Roberts and Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy, who plays her boyfriend. This installment will pay tribute to slasher flicks of the ’80s.
Beyond ‘1984’, ‘American Horror Story’ has already been renewed for a tenth season to arrive in 2020. After that, it is unknown whether the show will return. While it is a critical and ratings hit for FX, Murphy signed a lucrative deal with Netflix and is likely to want to focus on projects for that service.
Are you disappointed that both Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters will be absent from Season 9?
‘AHS: 1984’ will premiere on FX on Wednesday, September 18 at 10 pm EST.