October 5th, 2011
04:05 PM ET
After the wildly successful "Glee," what does one do for an encore?
A twisted, not-for-the-kids horror television series, of course.
Before "Glee," executive producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk were best known for the FX series "Nip/Tuck," and anyone familiar with that knows it wasn't exactly family viewing, either.
Murphy and Falchuk make their return to the network on Wednesday night with the premiere of "American Horror Story," which has already built up a lot of buzz online after a sneak peek at the disturbing opening credits sequence,and a series of videos where horror fans voluntarily get the willies scared out of them.
"I just always like to do the opposite of what I've done before," Murphy explained to reporters earlier this week. "[Actress] Connie [Britton] just came off of 'Friday Night Lights,' where she played a very sort of beloved character. We had just done 'Glee.' [Britton's co-star] Dylan [McDermott] had just done another show. And I think we all just wanted to change it up and do something very adult and do something very sort of challenging and maybe not so happy, something that was a little bit more psychological and ambiguous."
McDermott plays a husband recently caught cheating by his wife (Britton) before they move into a picturesque home with their rebellious daughter. As one might guess from the show's title, the house has a history of violence to say the least - there's a pattern, going back centuries, of people getting murdered there.
Murphy and Falchuk said that classic horror films like "Rosemary's Baby" influenced them.
"Growing up, I think Ryan and I both were obsessed with that genre of horror," said Falchuk. "And the idea of putting something like that on TV was very intriguing to us, and also finding a different angle on it."
Murphy explained, "We had this idea, before we even had the horror genre idea, to do a show about infidelity and the breakup of a marriage. So we just sort of put it into the world of horror, which we both have loved."
Oscar winner Jessica Lange also has a mysterious role as the family's new neighbor. "Jessica is just somebody who's always been sort of interested in stuff that I was working on, movies, projects, and things that I didn't move forward with," said Murphy. "And when we came up with this part, we just went to her."
However, don't expect "Glee's" Lea Michele or Chris Colfer to end up on the show anytime soon.
"Those kids are terrified of 'American Horror Story,'" said Murphy. "Brad and I had a screening for them, and they all went. They're obsessed with the show. But many of them reported that they didn't sleep after they watched it. They've been very supportive, and we're supportive of them. And without naming names, a couple of them had to not watch the show. It was too intense for them, which I also quite enjoyed. We were doing this sort of 'scare people' thing, and to do that, you have to sign up and be scared. And all of them, much to our horror, were too scared to sign up. So we're busting their chops about that, that they're all a bunch of wimps. They're just song and dance wussies. They love it, though. They've all seen it, and they all really enjoy it."
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