Warning: This article contains spoilers for Scream Queens.
As the Scream Queens debut draws closer and more is revealed, it seems fans anticipating the Scream Queens premiere episode have more questions than answers, most of which focus on how Scream Queens will differ from Ryan Murphy’s other horror anthology, American Horror Story. Murphy recently revealed that of the 25 characters he has incorporated into the first season of Scream Queens, only a sparse few, four to be exact, will survive beyond the first season finale. That, the Scream Queens creator explains, is where it begins to differ from American Horror Story.
“It’s similar to American Horror Story in that it’s anthological but different in that at the end of the first season there will only be four characters out of 25 left,” Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter. “And those four in season two will go on to a new horror genre — like a sorority is a horror genre to me, it’s a place where there were horror movies in the ’80s like Sorority Row— and they will go on. That’s the format of the show.”
The surviving characters the Scream Queens showrunner mentioned will reappear when and if a second season is ordered. In the case of American Horror Story, only one performer -Lily Rabe- has played the same character in multiple seasons of the series.
“It’s sort of like a twist on American Horror Story: every season is a new season, a new setting, a new establishment — the difference being you will know some of the characters who will live,” said Murphy. “That’s the fun to me; the reason I love writing it and being a part of it is it’s like an Agatha Christie mystery where every week it’s who’s going to live and who’s going to die. We do kill off a huge amount of people every week. It’s a whodunit at its core.”
Speaking of mysteries, the Scream Queens creator warns fans to pay attention to each episode if they expect to unmask the Red Devil. Aside from plot clues, Mr. Murphy adds that horror fans will see nods to some of their favorite 80s classics throughout Scream Queens‘ season.
“In the first episode, you’ve met the killer and there’s a big clue dropped in the first episode as to who the killer is, so you’d have to go back and really watch it,” says Murphy. “But we [don’t] tell you who it is so you have to figure it out.”
“We’re paying tribute to all the things we loved as kids: Heathers, Halloween, Friday the 13th; but the girls shooting now don’t know Heathers; they know Mean Girls,” Murphy says of the series. “Every generation has their own version of that so hopefully Scream Queens will become this generations of that.”
Scream Queens will premiere on Tuesday, September 22 at 8 p.m. EST on FOX, before moving to its regular time slot of 9 p.m. EST, the following week.
[Featured image courtesy of FOX/Scream Queens]