American Horror Story has officially cleared a decade on air, but the series shows no sign of coming to a close. The seasonal anthology series is arguably more prominent than ever, with a renewal all the way through Season 13, a new FX on Hulu spinoff American Horror Stories, plus two more spinoffs in the overall franchise, American Sports Story and American Love Story. So what’s in store for the upcoming AHS Season 11?
For the first seven seasons of AHS, the series arrived like clockwork every fall with a new theme and story that was always wholly unrelated to what came before. But with Season 8’s “Apocalypse” tying back to Season 3’s “Coven,” the AHS stories suddenly began taking turns that people didn’t expect. That stayed true in Season 9’s “1984,” which added a significant twist in honor of the show reaching its 100th episode.
And then there was Season 10. Due to the Hollywood shutdown of 2020, the series was delayed by a year, and Murphy went in a totally new direction. Instead, the anniversary season became a “Double Feature” of two completely unconnected shorter stories.
With all this upheaval, fans are a little nervous about what’s to come with Season 11. Will the series return to single, standalone stories? Will there be a season that ties back to earlier iterations? Or will the show go in a completely new direction once again? Here’s what we know so far.
AHS Season 11 Teaser
Part of the reason for fans’ trepidation is the way creator Ryan Murphy may be going about picking this season’s theme. In April 2021, Murphy put out a tweet taking the temperature of the fandom’s appetite for various story ideas. The tweet included the phrase “Expanding the Universe,” suggesting that whatever was to come, it would not be part of earlier stories.
AHS Season 11 Plot
There are several plot options, depending on which of the suggested storylines Murphy decides to pursue. One theme fans are pretty sure might be out of the running: aliens, which was the subject of Season 10’s second story. But everything else seems as if it could be on the table, including a historical take on the original Black Plague of the Middle Ages. (Too soon? Remember, AHS is the series that did “Cult” a year after the 2016 election.)
But given their druthers, fans on Twitter seemed to favor either a period piece on Bloody Mary or a water-based fantasy horror story about sirens. Whether or not Murphy agrees with them or decides to go his own way remains to be seen.
AHS Season 11 Cast
Although AHS is technically an anthology series with new cast lineups every year, Murphy has his favorites, who comprise a loose set of Murphy-verse players. Evan Peters, for instance, has been in every AHS season save one, as has Lily Rabe, and both will most likely find themselves offered roles for Season 11. Murphy also has current faves he likes to use, like Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman, and Angelica Ross. Then there are very special A-listers who Murphy invites back regularly, though not every year, like Kathy Bates and Emma Roberts. Fans would not be surprised to see any or all of these actors back for another season.
But one actor who doesn’t seem to be on next season’s roster: Sarah Paulson. Like Rabe and Peters, Paulson has been a Ryan Murphy staple, not only starring in nearly every season of AHS, but also American Crime Story, Ratched, and others. But according to her recent interviews, Paulson is not yet contracted for Season 11 and does not believe she will be offered a role this time.
AHS Season 11 Premiere Date
With Season 10 having only recently wrapped up, FX has not yet revealed a premiere date for American Horror Story Season 11. But assuming the series stays in its usual spot on the fall lineup, fans can expect the new season to arrive on the second Thursday of September in 2022 at 10 p.m. ET.
All 10 seasons of American Horror Story are streaming on FX on Hulu.