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Will 'American Horror Story' be cursed at the Emmys?

August 22, 2011 | 12:55 pm

'American Horror Story'

Ryan Murphy's new FX series is no laughing matter. While his current project "Glee" just racked up 12 Emmy nominations in various comedy races, Murphy's newest venture, "American Horror Story," is a frightening, sexual thriller -- and not the Michael Jackson kind of "Thriller" that the "Glee" kids sang about.

Murphy is no stranger to risky content. His previous FX series, "Nip/Tuck," constantly pushed the envelope in regards to sex and gore. That show was rewarded as best drama series at the Golden Globes in 2005, but didn't fare too well at the Emmys. It never received a series nod, nor any recognition for its main actors. Will "American Horror Story" have what it takes to break into the tough race for drama series?

Typically, genre shows have had a hard time being recognized by the Emmy Awards, but in recent times, things have started to shift slightly. Just this year, fantasy series "Game of Thrones" made it into the top race, and last year sci-fi series "Lost" and "True Blood" were both contenders. "Lost" even won the top drama prize for its first season (2005).

If "American Horror Story" can't make it into the drama race, perhaps some of its award-worthy performers can. Previous nominee Dylan McDermott ("The Practice") leads the cast alongside Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights"), who received her second consecutive nomination for lead actress this year. Also among the cast are four-time Emmy nominee Frances Conroy ("Six Feet Under") and two-time Academy Award winner Jessica Lange ("Tootsie" and "Blue Sky").

After screening the pilot, critics are having mixed reactions to Murphy's newest series. Matt Roush (TV Guide) described the series as "a hot mess, a berserk and luridly overstuffed mash-up of hyper-sexualized and psychologically perverse haunted-house jolts." Conversely, while Linda Holmes (NPR) saw the pilot as "very, very over-the-top," she also found it "wildly entertaining."

Though the Oct. 5 premiere date is still months away, check out this just-released trailer below for "American Horror Story."

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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: "American Horror Story." Credit: FX

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