Is American Horror Story season 7 a.k.a. Cult? the end of the road for the franchise? Far from it; FX announced earlier this year that the FX anthology series has been renewed for a season 9.
In terms of the reasoning for this for the network, it makes the most sense out of anything they could have announced. This show draws tremendous ratings — even if they’re always significantly better at the start of their seasons than the end, they do a great job of marketing the show, getting huge premiere numbers, and then being okay with some of the falls that come after that. They have famous casts, creepy ideas, and are able to routinely bring in new viewers year after year. It helps that you’ve got people like Billy Eichner, Colton Haynes, Lady Gaga, and Cuba Gooding Jr. who have the ability to bring new people into the franchise along the way. It’s a show that markets itself, and then FX goes ahead and markets it using who we personally believe to be the best marketing team in all of television.
Creatively is where you start asking some more questions in regards to the future of the franchise. American Horror Story: Coven got super-messy near the end, Freak Show was good then bad then good again, Hotel was awful following the first episode, and Roanoke proved to be a bounce-back year. There are some who may not like it, but we appreciated the season playing with form and trying something very unique and interesting.
Now, we come to Cult, which is supposedly inspired by the Presidential Election and almost sure to be polarizing because of it. This is a show that is getting riskier every year, and with that is likely to scare away a few viewers as things go along. It may get some others because of the drama, but can it actually keep them? When you sell based on hype, you run the risk of Michael Phelps racing against a CGI shark. It’s not always a good look.
When it comes to ratings, the show’s in no danger and the renewal for multiple seasons proves that. In terms of the cast, we don’t think that they’ve got an issue, either. Everyone under the sun has an interest in working with co-creator Ryan Murphy, so he never has to worry about there being a lack of interesting people.
Our biggest concern is simply that sooner or later, the franchise could start running out of interesting ideas that aren’t just regurgitations of things that they’ve already done already. Our advice is that if they start to sense that the story ideas are a little stale, they take a year or two off to recharge the batteries. There are sometimes with seasons (see Hotel) where we think premiering a new season a year led them to put a half-baked idea on the air.
Realistically, American Horror Story could go on forever since there’s a new story every time. Whether or not it should is a different story. With there only being one good season in the past three, the pressure remains on for Cult to deliver.
Do you feel like American Horror Story has a life for another six seasons to match the three that are already out? Share below! (Photo: FX.)