FX Summons Up a Fourth Season of American Horror Story

Bewitching hit is slaying its broadcast competition

FX today announced it has ordered up a fourth batch of Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology series American Horror Story, signing on for 13 new episodes to air next fall.

Jessica Lange will return in an as-yet undetermined role for the fourth season, which will once again be produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television.

“Put simply, Ryan Murphy is a master television producer,” said John Landgraf, CEO, FX Networks and FX Productions, by way of confirming the order. “Time and time again he reinvents the form. … Every year, [he and the show’s producers] create a riveting and brilliant new miniseries. American Horror Story: Coven is the best yet, and I have no doubt that the next installment will be even better.”

FX has not revealed a title or an overarching theme for the next incarnation of American Horror Story, which has used a contemporary haunted house, a ‘50s-era madhouse and an academy for young witches as its primary settings.

Through its first four episodes, AHS: Coven is averaging 4.39 million viewers and a 2.4 rating in the adults 18-49 demo, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. That marks an increase of 46 percent in overall deliveries versus AHS: Asylum’s first four installments and an improvement of 41 percent from the year-ago 1.7 rating.

Coven has performed so well in its Wednesday 10 p.m. time slot that it not only is beating just about everything on the cable dial—on Oct. 23, a pair of back-to-back episodes of A&E’s Duck Dynasty edged Episode 3 by four-tenths of a ratings point—but the show is also eclipsing its broadcast competition. In its four-week run, Coven has pounded NBC’s now-canceled Ironside and ABC’s Nashville; only CBS’ CSI has been at all competitive, tying it in once the demo with a 2.1 on Oct. 23.

The renewal of AHS comes on the heels of AMC’s equally unsurprising order of a fifth season of The Walking Dead.

Filmed on location in New Orleans and other locations, AHS: Coven stars Lange and series regulars Taissa Farmiga, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe and Evan Peters. The cast also includes such luminaries as Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Patti LuPone and Josh Hamilton.

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