Oh boy, here we go. In news which may or may not have anything to do with American Horror Story: Freak Show‘s rocky fourth season, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf says that the fifth installment of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series is going to be “very different” than previous seasons. It’s also unclear if Jessica Lange, or any of the rotating cast of regular players for that matter, will be back for the fifth season.
For a series that already jumps through time with varying tone and subject matter from season to season, it’s hard to understand what to take from that, but Landgraf says they’re going to let Murphy keep “doing his thing.” He told TV Line at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Sunday:
Landgraf went on to say of the franchise, “One of the things I love so much about that is that it can be radically, radically reinvented in terms of tone, setting, period, characters, cast.” And along those lines, “I think there’s going to be an unusually large reinvention in between Book 4 and Book 5 relative to, say, between Book 3 [Coven] and 4 [Freak Show].
The only Season 5 clue Landgraf perhaps let slip was when asked about the show returning to the present day (as it thus far has done with odd-numbered seasons). “That’s my hope, yeah,” he answered.
Interesting. In an interview with EW last October in which Ryan Murphy stated that all seasons of American Horror were connected, he dropped a hint regarding a close up shot of a coffee cup with a picture of a top hat on it which was supposed to be a clue about season five. Theories online suggest that it could have something to do with Operation Top Hat, a biological and chemical weapons testing exercise that took place in Alabama in 1953.
Whether or not that hits the mark, it wouldn’t be the first time Ryan Murphy has contradicted himself, so he could be on to something completely new by now. The recently announced American Crime Story could somehow factor into this news as well. At this point, nothing would surprise me.