American Horror Story 5, The Walking Dead Spin-Off to be ‘Different’

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, as one series is a wholly different entity and the other is founded on the principle of changing with each new season, both American Horror Story’s fifth go and The Walking Dead’s upcoming spin-off are being anticipated as either “very,” or “startlingly,” or another grandiose amount of “different.” 

Speaking to TVLine, FX CEO John Landgraf believes the post-Freak Show season of fan fave AHS will feel like more of an overhaul than usual. “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 says. He hopes the fifth season will be present-set, though I’m curious what else he means. Each season of American Horror Story isn’t simply set in a different time and place, but ultimately dons a different style. “Murder House” jammed haunted house pastiche with ultra-contemporary urban legend; “Asylum” painted with Eurohorror and Nunsploitation colors; “Coven” was of course a sort of pop-art, teen witch party; and “Freak Show”, while recalling the Browning classic, also works in circus horrors and Sirkian melodrama. Perhaps the biggest change could be to theme (being ostracized looms large) and casting. Regarding speculation Freak Show could be series star Jessica Lange’s finale, the network head notes, “Ryan [Murphy, co-creator] is really, really independent in how he makes these shows and what he does. 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.”

Meanwhile, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman talked to EW about the currently developing WD spin-off series, which is slated to be set in Los Angeles and not feature any of the comic or main series’ characters. “I think the look and feel of The Walking Dead spinoff is going to be startlingly different,” he explains. “I will say that this is going to be a show about family, but it’s going to be a show about a different type of family that we haven’t explored in The Walking Dead thus far. So what we’re trying to do with The Walking Dead spinoff is keep the story as familiar as possible for people that love The Walking Dead, so you’ll get the kind of things that you expect from a Walking Dead story. But, at the same time, we’ll want to tell these stories in a completely different way with completely different people in a completely different setting that’s going to make for a fundamentally different show.”

Previously referred to as Cobalt, The Walking Dead’s companion series will star prolific character actor Cliff Curtis as a divorced teacher. 

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Weekend: Jun. 20, 2019, Jun. 23, 2019

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