Last year's "American Horror Story" panel at PaleyFest saw creator Ryan Murphy introducing last year's season 3 theme Coven. This year's announcement of the upcoming season 4 theme Freak Show came before tonight's Paley panel, which ended just minutes ago. But there were a couple of other big announcements.
First, the addition of Emmy-award winning "The Shield" and "The Commish" actor Michael Chiklis. Murphy announced that Chiklis will portray the ex-husband of Kathy Bates and father of Evan Peters. After reading about the role, Chiklas said, "I'm terrified and I'm going to do it. My heart was pounding. It IS a freak show. Oh, man."
Murphy also announced that all the actors at the Paley panel would be back in some capacity next season. In addition to Peters and Bates, these include Angela Bassett, Jamie Brewer, Frances Conroy, Denis O'Hare, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, and Gabourey Sidibe. Jessica Lange wasn't at Paley - she is spending spring break with her grandchildren - but she will be back next season, for what she is saying will be her last on the show. She will play the German woman who runs the show.
As previously announced, Freak Show will be filmed in New Orleans (as was Coven) but is actually set in Jupiter, Florida, in 1950. The new season premieres in October.