The Big Tease Behind American Horror Story's Mysterious Sixth Season

Murder House. Asylum. Coven. Freak Show. Hotel. And... six.

by | September 13, 2016 | Comments

American Horror Story premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 14, and that’s just about all we know for sure about the upcoming sixth season of FX Network’s Emmy nominated anthology series. But that hasn’t stopped the internet from feverishly speculating about what the new season’s theme will be — spurred in large part by a sweepstakes run by the network enticing fans to guess the plot.

American Horror Story Season 6 FX

For the rest of us who weren’t clever or lucky enough to win the contest, here’s what we know — or think we know — about AHS Season 6.

FX Released 26 Teaser Trailers

That’s right — 26 teasers. The number “6” has featured prominently in most of them, which could of course just be a reference to the season number. But fan theories abound suggesting the number could be indicative of a satanic cult (i.e., 666).

Perhaps the most exciting of all these teasers didn’t offer any new video clues, but rather an auditory hint. On Thursday the network released a 30-second trailer compiling elements from all the previous clips, soundtracked by Lady Gaga’s new single, “Perfect Illusion.”

Gaga, who won a Golden Globe for her turn on AHS: Hotel, confirmed in March that she would return for Season 6, but in an unknown role. Is everything released up to now just been a perfect illusion?

Network Promotes a Mystery

It’s a strong possibility.

FX Network CEO John Landgraf told reporters at the Television Critics Association press session in August that only one of the 26 teasers actually reveals the upcoming theme.

“They went out and made many more trailers than you’ve actually seen for hypothetical seasons of American Horror Story,” Landgraf said. “One of them is accurate.”

The folks at FX and AHS “thought it would be really fun” to keep us guessing all year. Yes. Lots and lots of fun.

A Possible Theme

Eagle-eyed netizens noticed the hard copy TV Guide listing for the AHS premiere included “The Mist” as the Season 6 subtitle.

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There is a teaser with the same title, and if Landgraf is to be believed, it could be the needle in the haystack.

(Turns out that subtitle — accurate or not — was distributed with show information supplied by at least one data services company and published in the normal course of business across multiple entertainment news and information outlets, including Rotten Tomatoes.)

But beyond suggesting that it may be a weak theme overall, commenters point out a potential conflict with the Stephen King novella and movie also called “The Mist,” which is coming to Spike as a drama series in 2017. (Though that hasn’t stopped executive producer Ryan Murphy before.)

The AHS Show Will Go On…And Possibly On Some More

At the end of the day, this is all we know for sure, and it may be all the network has known too. Ryan Murphy hinted in March that the writing team has been working on two concepts, with the hope of premiering a seventh season in the spring. It’s possible, though not overly probable, that the writing and shooting schedules have been just vague enough that the folks at FX publicity just haven’t had that much to go on either.

Either way, the intense amount of buzz generated by the utter lack of information will most likely yield another season on top of the ratings chart at FX for American Horror Story.

Speaking of Ratings…

Here’s how each season fared by Tomatometer:

American Horror Story Season 6 premieres Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 10 ET/PT 

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