Well, this is definitely a setback for those of us who were digging that whole "all of the 'American Horror Story' seasons are connected" thing -- FX Networks CEO John Landgraf told TVLine that season five will be "very different" from what we've seen this year.
“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," Landgraf said at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Sunday (January 18). "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']."
Landgraf also said that he knows what next year's setting will be, and that it will be "very different" from what we're seeing now. Also, regarding whether the show will return to the present day as it has in previous odd-numbered seasons, Landgraf said, "That’s my hope, yeah."
Now, as an "AHS" fan, I would argue that the biggest "reinvention" between "Coven" and "Freak Show" was the fact that the former was supernatural, while the latter is -- while absurd -- mostly grounded in reality. Basically, when characters are dead in "Freak Show," they stay dead. Now it seems like Landgraf is promising a return to the modern-day norm as well as this "large reinvention," so my guess would be that he's ditching the nostalgic camp of "Freak Show" for a type of evil we haven't seen yet, or even just a different style of horror. (Might they go the slasher route, or will that be reserved for Ryan Murphy's new FOX show, "Scream Queens?")
Of course, the reinvention could also be in regards to cast -- with Emma Roberts headed to "Scream Queens" and Sarah Paulson to "American Crime Story," it looks like some of Murphy's key players will be leaving the freak show. And Jessica Lange's rumored departure has been breaking fan hearts all season, though Landgraf refused to weigh in on that particular piece of info.
"Ryan is really, really independent in how he makes these shows and what he does," Landgraf said. "So I know the setting, I know something about the characters and something about the tone and the time period, but I don’t actually know the cast yet."
Let's just hope it includes this guy, am I right?