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'American Horror Story' season 4 - where, when, what and who?

First ladies (witches) of Coven Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett all slated to return for season 4 of 'American Horror Story.'
First ladies (witches) of Coven Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett all slated to return for season 4 of 'American Horror Story.'
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

"American Horror Story" season 4 - where, when, what and who? As the anthology show's third season Coven winds down for its two remaining episodes, creator Ryan Murphy already revealed next season will take place primarily in 1950, and that Jessica Lange will have a German accent (according to Entertainment Weekly). Back in October, a Huffington Post article said Lange will play a Marlene Dietrich-type character. Dietrich starred in Hitchcock's "Stage Fright" in 1950, so a movie set presents a possibility for next season.

As done previously, Coven's last episodes will contain hints about the upcoming season which are sure to keep fans guessing. One theory already circulating revolves around Myrtle (Frances Conroy) playing the theramin in last night's episode 3.11 Protect the Coven, with fans speculating a theme around a sci fi/horror movie set. The year 1950 may mean the Cold War and the accompanying McCarthyism. With actual clues now surfacing, initial speculation regarding a circus theme, which spawned faux season 4 posters, seems to have died down.

Fans now wonder about how random in terms of Coven and how specific as perhaps a hint to next season that, in last night's episode, Myrtle sends Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) and Kyle (Evan Peters) to Disney Orlando, specifically EPCOT. Disney's theme parks didn't even exist in 1950. How could Disney World possibly fit into season 4? According to Wikipedia, EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, a Utopian city of the future. "AHS: Utopia"?

Murphy also said the show may shoot in New Orleans again, or Santa Fe (according to EW). Roswell, famed site of supposed alien crash landing in 1947, is less than 200 miles from Santa Fe. Fans voiced complaints that 'AHS' left season two's alien subplot hanging. Might they tie up some of the plot holes from Asylum with season four? Also, Santa Fe lies about 200 miles north of Alamogordo, site of the first atomic weapons testing in 1945 (according to Wikipedia). Maybe a monster created from radiation attacks Santa Fe - very 1950 sci fi. And wouldn't the theramin sound great with that?

Lange headlined the previous seasons but told EW next season will be her last. And Murphy said she won't be starring but "she'll have this great juicy part." According to a HuffPost article published today, Angela Bassett (Coven's Marie Laveau) and Kathy Bates (Coven's Delphine LaLaurie) will both return. Wikipedia reports that Murphy has also made an offer to Patti LuPone, who played Coven neighbor Joan Ramsey, and to series veterans Conroy, Peters and Sarah Paulson.

So, the rundown:

When: 1950. At least primarily - thus far each season has moved back and forth in time.

Where: Santa Fe or New Orleans. 'AHS' likes to mix things up between the seasons, so Santa Fe seems more likely.

Who: Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates. Probably Patti LuPone, Frances Conroy, Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson. (Because who could possibly turn down that offer?)

What: Sci-fi, Aliens, Nuclear Testing, Radiation, Mutations, Circus, Communism, McCarthyism, Cold War, Utopia, Movie Set, Marlene Dietrich, Hitchock's Stage Fright?

Tune in to Coven's last two episodes, 3.12 Go to Hell on January 22 and 3.13 The Seven Wonders on January 29, likely to produce more clues and more conjecture.

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