Emmy winning actor Michael Chiklis is the latest big name to sign on to Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story: Freak Show. Chiklis was a surprise participant in Friday’s PaleyFest American Horror Story: Coven event that closed out the 16 day celebration of television shows past and present. Chiklis joined returning cast members Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Denis O’Hare, Emma Roberts and suprise guest Kathy Bates.. Friday’s event introduced Chiklis, who will be playing Evan Peters father and Bate’s ex-husband, and gave a few more hints about the season to come. It has already been revealed that the next season of the FX horror hit will take place in 1950s Florida and will follow the travels of a carnival type troupe of freaks, led by Jessica Lange.
Lange, who is on vacation with her grandchildren, did not attend the PaleyFest Coven event, but series co-creator Ryan Murphy shared that Lange had a good deal of input in her character’s development. Lange will play a German ex-pat who has somehow come to be a ‘collector of freaks’. Murphy did not elaborate much on the new season, but did explain the premise:
“The thing we’re working on now is the opposite of what we did last year. It’s not a circus and it’s not a carnival. It’s a freak show, which is very unique.”
Murphy is not only keeping the audience in the dark about a lot, but he also keeps his stars in the dark, as well. Each member of the cast of American Horror Story: Freak Show said that all know is that they will be ‘performers’ in the Freak Show, and agreed that Murphy liked to keep a few tricks up his sleeve.
Chiklis, best known for his Emmy Award winning role of Vic Mackey on the FX drama The Shield, was thrilled to be going back to FX and joining the Freak Show:
“I can’t think of a better way to come back to my home network then to join this magnificent cast. It’s going to be creepy and we’re going to scare you. I’m ready and I’m up for it whatever comes my way.”
Chiklas last series Vegas, co-starring Dennis Quaid, was cancelled by CBS after only one season. The show had a strong fan base, but CBS was disappointed by the shows lackluster ratings. Murphy was apparently happy to catch Chiklis between series:
“This is somebody who I have loved for many, many years and courted for many, many years and we finally found the right role for him,”
Chiklas and the rest of the Freak Show will be pitching their tents on FX this fall.