American Horror Story is an American horror drama anthology television series created and produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk in which each season is conceived as a self-contained miniseries, following a disparate set of characters and settings and a storyline with its own beginning, middle and end.
The first season takes place in the present day and follows the story of the Harmon family, who move into a restored mansion, unaware that the home is haunted by its former inhabitants.
The second season, titled American Horror Story: Asylum, takes place in 1964 and follows the stories of the patients, doctors and nuns who occupy an institution for the criminally insane.
The third season, American Horror Story: Coven, tells the secret history of witches and witchcraft in America.
The fourth season, titled American Horror Story: Freak Show, follows a struggling freak show led by Elsa Mars in which decades have passed since the public have looked upon such shows as a form of entertainment, but Elsa dreams of finding a home for her "monsters", as well as her own fame.
Murder House revolves around the Harmons, a family of three who moved from Boston to Los Angeles as a means to reconcile past anguish.
The all-star cast features Dylan McDermott as Ben Harmon, a psychiatrist; Connie Britton as Vivien Harmon, Ben's wife; Taissa Farmiga as Violet, the Harmon's teenage daughter; Jessica Lange in her first-ever regular series TV role as Constance, the Harmon's neighbour; Evan Peters plays Tate Langdon, one of Ben's patients; and Denis O'Hare as Larry Harvey.
Guest stars for the season include Frances Conroy as the Harmon's housekeeper; Alexandra Breckenridge as a younger version of the Harmon's housekeeper; and Jamie Brewer as Constance's daughter.
The pilot episode of American Horror Story, shot in Los Angeles, was written by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, and was directed by Murphy. In addition to Murphy and Falchuk, Dante Di Loreto also serves as Executive Producer of the series.
Set in 1964, American Horror Story: Asylum takes us into a Church-run haven for the criminally insane, ruled with an iron fist by Sister Jude (Jessica Lange), a nun with a troubled past.
Inside this locked down facility, danger lurks around every corner. From Nazis and serial killers to mutants and aliens, no one is safe inside these walls.
Starring Jessica Lange as Sister Jude, Sarah Paulson as Lana Winters, James Cromwell as Dr. Arthur Arden, Evan Peters as Kit Walker, Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice, Lizzie Brocheré as Grace, Zachary Quinto as Dr. Oliver Thredson and Joseph Fiennes as Monsignor Timothy Howard.
Guest stars for the season include Frances Conroy, Chloë Sevigny, Adam Levine, Dylan McDermott, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Mark Consuelos and Ian McShane.
American Horror Story: Coven tells the secret history of witches and witchcraft in America.
Over 300 years have passed since the turbulent days of the Salem witch trials and those who managed to escape are now facing extinction. Mysterious attacks have been escalating against their kind and young girls are being sent away to a special school in New Orleans to learn how to protect themselves.
A young girl, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga), is shattered to discover she possesses a strange genetic affliction tracing back to the dark days of Salem.
Zoe is whisked away to Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, a mysterious school in New Orleans devoted to safeguarding the few remaining descendants who share this unique bloodline.
Alarmed by the recent aggression and harboring a secret agenda, Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange), the most powerful witch of their generation, returns to town hell-bent on decimating anyone who gets in her way, reigniting old rivalries with the Coven's deadly enemies, the Voodoo.
American Horror Story: Freak Show begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida.
The year is 1952. A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike.
One of the only surviving sideshows in the country struggles to stay in business during the dawning era of television. When police make a terrifying discovery at a local farmhouse, the eccentric purveyor of the freak show sees an opportunity that will lead her troupe either to their salvation or ruin.
This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.
American Horror Story: Hotel begins with detective and family man John Lowe investigating a chain of gruesome murders in Los Angeles. A mysterious tip points him to the enigmatic Hotel Cortez.
Season 5 features an all-star cast of Lady Gaga, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Wes Bentley, Matt Bomer, Chloë Sevigny, Denis O'Hare, Cheyenne Jackson, Evan Peters and Finn Wittrock.
Ryan Murphy serves as Co-Creator, Showrunner, Executive Producer, Writer and Director of American Horror Story: Hotel and Brad Falchuk is Co-Creator, Executive Producer and Writer. Tim Minear, Brad Buecker, Jennifer Salt, James Wong and Alexis Martin Woodall also serve as Executive Producers.
The American Horror Story franchise is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television.
The series premiered in the USA on FX on 5 October, 2011.
American Horror Story premiered in South Africa on M-Net Series on Friday 2 December 2011, at 22h30. It moved to M-Net Series Showcase for Season 3, when the former channel became defunct in July 2013, and also aired on M-Net Series Zone, beginning with Season 2. It moved again to M-Net Edge for the fourth season, when the channel debuted in October 2014.