Two months after American Horror Story was renewed for a seventh cycle, to air later this year, FX has picked up two more installments, adding an 8th and 9th season of the horror anthology series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
“American Horror Story launched the modern limited series revolution and – as evidenced by the most recent installment ‘Roanoke’ – it remains as vital today as when Murder House stunned audiences six years ago,” said FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. “Each new chapter is a cultural event, beloved for every new twist in imagery, style, cast and plot.”
While FX brass know “explicitly what next season is about” — though they wouldn’t say — the early Seasons 8 and 9 pickup is being done without any information on the potential premises. It was done based on “good numbers and faith,” “out of trust and good will” after Murphy had committed to run the extra seasons and be involved in every major facet of their production, Landgraf said.
The American Horror Story franchise, produced by 20th Century Fox TV, has won 15 Emmy Awards and dominates FX’s top telecasts of all time; in adults 18-34, 12 of the Top 15 most-watched FX telecasts ever are AHS telecasts. In adults 18-49, each of the last five installments of American Horror Story has ranked among cable’s Top 5 scripted series in the year in which it aired.
The sixth installment, AHS: Roanoke, which tried a different marketing strategy, keeping the plot and some of the cast under wraps until the premiere, was 2016’s #1 Limited/Mini-series in cable among Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34, and ranked #3 among all 215 cable scripted series in 2016 in those same demos. Roanoke delivered a combined linear and non-linear audience of 10.91 million Total Viewers. In Live+7, Roanoke was up +5% in 18-49 over prior installment AHS: Hotel (4.37 million vs. 4.16 million) and +3% among total viewers (6.31 million vs. 6.16 million).
“When Ryan and Brad came to us seven years ago with the idea for a horror series structured as an anthology, with a group of actors returning year after year, in different roles, settings and time periods, we were in awe of the sheer originality and ambition of their vision,” said Fox TV Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “They’ve since delivered six fantastic installments which have rightfully attracted millions of viewers, critical raves and dozens of awards.”