American Horror Story is a horror-drama television series created and produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. The first season centered on the Harmon family: Ben, Vivien and their daughter Violet, who move from Boston to Los Angeles after Vivien had a miscarriage and Ben had an affair. They move into a restored mansion, unaware that the home is haunted by its former inhabitants. The second season will feature new characters and a new location, thus the series has been called an anthology.
The series is broadcast on the cable television channel FX in the United States. It premiered on October 5, 2011, and has completed its first season. In late-October 2011, FX announced that the series had been renewed for a second season consisting of 13 episodes that may be extended. In December 2011, Murphy announced his plans to change the characters and location for the second season.
American Horror Story was well received by television critics and fans. The cast was generally praised, particularly Jessica Lange. The series drew consistently high ratings for the FX network, ending its first season as the biggest new cable series of the year.
The first season takes place in 2011 and is themed on infidelity. The story follows the Harmon family: Ben (Dylan McDermott), Vivien (Connie Britton) and teenage daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga), who move from Boston to Los Angeles after Vivien gives birth to a stillborn baby and Ben has an affair with Hayden (Kate Mara), one of his students. The family moves to a restored mansion, unaware that the house is haunted. Ben and Vivien try to rekindle their relationship, as Violet, suffering from depression, finds comfort with Tate Langdon (Evan Peters), one of Ben’s new patients. Neighbor Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) and disfigured Larry Harvey (Denis O’Hare) routinely and frequently affect the Harmons’ lives. The Harmons’ lives are further complicated when Hayden comes to L.A. in an attempt to win Ben’s love and is subsequently murdered, and Vivien has sex with both Ben and a mysterious man in a rubber suit, whom she believed to be her husband. It was later revealed to be Tate who resides there as a ghost with a secret agenda. Vivien ends up pregnant with twins, one fathered by each man. Violet commits suicide in fear of Tate’s true nature. Several ghosts in the house, including Tate and Hayden, conspire to acquire the babies, once they are born, and raise them as their own. Vivien gets committed to a mental hospital by Ben once she realizes the truth about the house. After her release, she plans on moving to Florida but gives birth to the twins in the house and dies from labor. The first twin dies moments after birth, but the second one lives. Vivien’s and Violet’s ghosts urge Ben to flee the house. In doing so, Ben is confronted by Hayden, who hangs him. The Harmons are now reunited as a family again and are stuck there forever to scare future residents out of the house. Upon finding Ben’s body, Constance abducts the baby. The series then jumps ahead three years to reveal that Constance has continued to raise her grandson Michael in secrecy. She discovers, however, that he has violently murdered his nanny.
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