American Horror Story: 1984 has been a bit of an adjustment for fans of the popular FX horror anthology series. Not only is it the first season after the general American Horror Story universe got something of a reset after the Coven witches undid the end of the world and killed Michael Langdon before he could go full Antichrist in last season's Apocalypse, but it's also the first season to be without one its "anchor" stars, Sarah Paulson. It was originally announced that Paulson wouldn't be appearing in 1984, but comments she made before the season's premiere in September teasing a possible "pop-up" appearance had fans hopeful. Unfortunately, it seems that hope was for nothing -- Paulson will not be appearing this season.
During an appearance at the 2019 New Yorker Festival last week, Paulson confirmed that she will not be appearing in the ninth season of American Horror Story, the currently-airing 1984 season (via The Hollywood Reporter). This confirmation is particularly disappointing considering that the series will air its 100th episode in the upcoming week and many fans had hoped she'd appear briefly to mark that milestone, something that was a major fan theory following her comments to ET at the Toronto Film Festival in September.
"It's a little bittersweet because I have a lot of friends who are still on the show," Paulson said. "So I'm getting updates about how it's all going and what they're doing, and I'm like, 'Wait what? You worked until two? Oh, I remember working until two on that show.' And then I'm also very glad that I can wake up at a decent hour because I'm not cross-eyed from having worked insane nights.
Paulson went on to explain that despite a more regular schedule being an advantage of not being involved in 1984, she's really excited for the season.
"But it'll be hard," Paulson said. "I'll be watching and cheering everybody on. I'm really excited for this season. I think it's a really cool idea for the show this year. And you never know, I may pop up. You never know. No promises though."
American Horror Story: 1984 marks the first season in which Paulson has had no role. After a brief appearance in American Horror Story: Murder House, Paulson has played a major part in every season since. Despite not having a major role in 1984, Paulson is continuing to work with Murphy on other projects. The actress is set to star in Murphy's upcoming Netflix series Ratched, which tells the story of Nurse Mildred Ratchet from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
American Horror Story: 1984 airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.