Not content to have a pair of anthology series set up at FX, Ryan Murphy has set up his third current offering within the anthology model, this one at FOX.
FOX announced on Monday (October 20) that it has given a 15-episode series order to “Scream Queens,” from Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan.
Production on “Scream Queens” is set to begin this spring, for a Fall 2015 premiere.
Murphy, Falchuk and fellow “Scream Queens” executive producer Dante Di Loreto all work on FX's “American Horror Story,” which launched its fourth installment, “Freak Show,” two weeks ago to record ratings. That premiere was followed by an immediate fifth season renewal last week, but it was preceded by FX ordering the new anthology series “American Crime Story,” which will focus on the O.J. Simpson trial in its first installment.
So what, exactly, is “Scream Queens”?
Apparently it will focus on a college campus rocked by a series of murders. That sounds familiar. But what's the catch? Well, FOX is differentiating “Scream Queens” by describing it as a comedy-horror anthology series.
“I knew I wanted to work with Brad and Ian again on something comedic, and we are having a blast writing 'Scream Queens,'” blurbs Murphy. “We hope to create a whole new genre – comedy-horror – and the idea is for every season to revolve around two female leads. We”ve already begun a nationwide search for those women, as well as 10 other supporting roles, and we”re very grateful to Dana and Gary for their enthusiastic support.”
The Dana and Gary in question are, of course, Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Chairmen and CEOs for the Fox Television Group. They have a blurb as well.
“One of our top priorities at the network has been to get Ryan Murphy to create a new series for FOX,” Walden and Newman state. “We loved every element of the pitch for this show – the genre-bending concept, which blends true horror with big comedic moments; the diverse and unforgettable characters and reuniting the phenomenal creative team that delivered 'Glee.' 'Scream Queens' will go straight to series. It”s a huge commitment and an expression of our faith in Ryan. We are ecstatic to have him, along with Brad, Ian and Dante as our partners on this exciting ride.”
We'll leave aside Murphy contending that, in “comedy-horror,” he is creating “a whole new genre” — But seriously… A whole new genre? — to note that this is proof that the Newman/Walden administration isn't abandoning some of the big-swing creative commitments that characterized the Kevin Reilly administration, where pilot season was very briefly dead, even if it appears to have been reborn.
But seriously… Do James Whale, Peter Jackson, Wes Craven, John Landis, Edgar Wright, George Romero and the various people involved with the “Scary Movie” franchise know that comedy-horror is a new genre? Heck, haven't some of the “American Horror Story” installments been comedies?
“Scream Queens” comes from 20th Century Fox TV.