“Murder House” tells the story of the Harmon family — mom Vivien (Connie Britton), dad Ben (Dylan McDermott), and daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga). After being rocked by a tragic miscarriage and a nasty infidelity revelation, the Harmons move into a gorgeous old home that proves to be teeming with spirits. Jessica Lange played the boozy belle neighbor Constance, Evan Peters played an edgy ghost in an Edward/Bella-core situationship with Violet, future household names like Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe were in the mix — with its self-conscious pulp and sincere desire to shock, “Murder House” was truly one of a kind.
Murphy remarked to Entertainment Weekly that his favorite episode of the franchise is the pilot — “Always number one in my heart, for several reasons.” Once “AHS” proved to be a hit, greenlighting spinoffs with increasingly bold ambitions became easy. But Murphy fondly remembered the challenge of convincing the folks at FX to take a chance on their passion project:
“From rough idea to day one of filming took four years. It was a huge risk at the time, creatively and financially. Dana Walden (co-head of 20th Century Fox) has said to me several times it was one of the most out-of-the-box ideas in the history of modern television, and I think she’s right.”
When Murphy presented FX CEO Jon Landgraf with their twist on the anthology format, he recalls him saying, “‘Wait a minute … you’re going to burn down the sets every year and start over every season?’ I said, ‘Yes.'” The rest is television history. Fans of the series know that it’s had its share of wild ups and downs. And though the TV landscape is populated with quite a few series clearly indebted to it, there will always and only be one “American Horror Story.”