FX Boss Explains Why American Horror Story: 1984 Had to "Clean the Slate"

When the full cast of American Horror Story: 1984 was revealed last month while there were a few familiar faces, there were more who were missing. Sara Paulson and Evan Peters, who have been part of the series for nearly every season, were specifically absent. Now, FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf is explaining why.

Speaking with The Wrap at the Television Critics Association press tour Tuesday, Landgraf revealed that the reason there's been such a shakeup with the cast of the series is that the horror anthology series simply needed a clean slate after Apocalypse.

"Remember, he did something really interesting, which is he decided to weave multiple different cycles through the eight seasons, and so it was the biggest cast ever," Landgraf said. "You had actors that were playing 2-3 different characters. You had to bring back all the cast from prior seasons. It was a monster in terms of the size of the cast, cost of that cast. You can't do that all the time."

He went on to explain that that meant in Season 9, series co-creator Ryan Murphy had to refresh.

"Part of what he needed to do, which is what he did, was clean the slate, start over."

The result is a cast that features some familiar faces, but plenty of new to the series ones as well. In the casting video Murphy shared last month, the full cast is revealed in their '80s era costumes in the guise of a screen test. Emma Roberts is the first actor seen in the video, which makes sense given that she's the most recognizable name in AHS lore confirmed for the season so far. Perennial stars Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters won't be appearing this year, at least not in any major roles.


As far as returning actors go, Leslie Grossman, Cody Fern, John Carroll Lynch, and Billie Lourd are all featured in the video, each of whom have appeared in prior seasons. However, the most talked about members of the cast will likely be the newcomers.

Glee star Matthew Morrison headlines the least, completely stealing the show when he walks into the cabin. Morrison previously worked with Murphy on Glee but has yet to appear in any season of AHS before this. Pose standout Angelica Ross is also featured in this new season, alongside Dear White People's DeRon Horton and Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy. As for how it all comes together, fans will get to see that soon enough. American Horror Story: 1984 premieres on Wednesday, September 18th at 10pm ET on FX.