There’s nothing stopping producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk in their quest for complete domination of the alternative TV docket. The pair first made waves when they introduced the world to the destructive lives of plastic surgeons in Nip/Tuck before they redefined serial television with the hugely popular American Horror Story for FX.
For their mainstream musical venture at Fox, the duo rounded out their “sound” by bringing in producer Ian Brennan for teen comedy Glee. With that show currently tying up its final season, Fox isn’t letting their winning trio slip through their fingers, as they’ve just given Murphy, Falchuk and Brennan’s next project, Scream Queens, a 15-episode straight-to-series order.
Slated to be a comedy-horror anthology, the show will debut in fall 2015 and revolve around a similar framework to American Horror Story. Each season will begin with a brand new story, set in new locations with entirely different characters. The only similarity will be the introduction of two new female leads per season. For the first instalment, the story will revolve around a college campus which is “rocked” by a series of murders. Urban Legend meets Scream, anyone? It seems Murphy has high hopes for creating a new horror subgenre that’s in fact been in existence for decades:
“I knew I wanted to work with Brad and Ian again on something comedic, and we are having a blast writing SCREAM QUEENS,” said Murphy in a statement. “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.”
First of all, the idea of female leads in a continued series is huge. The staggering success of American Horror Story is certainly proof enough that Murphy and Falchuk can write compelling and interesting roles for women in popular television – without them having to pander to dated stereotypes. That’s a major selling point and the recent ratings shenanigans of the season four opener likely contributed to Fox wanting in on TV’s hottest production team.
Secondly, by its very title, Scream Queens already possesses self-awareness; and that’s been done to death in horror since Wes Craven’s New Nightmare paved the way for an era of meta-scares headed up by Scream in 1996. Don’t get me wrong, I love Murphy and Falchuk’s approach to breaking apart horror and making it truly frightening. And I’m excited as all get out for their slasher take. But really, where else is there to go in the well-traversed terrain of horror comedy?