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‘American Horror Story’ to explore the real-life horrors of the 2016 election

Why it matters to you

Next season's premise is a departure from the usual supernatural themes and could polarize viewers like never before.

Donald Trump naysayers have often referred to the 2016 presidential election as a horror story. And now, American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy is taking that idea and running with it by confirming that the seventh season of the popular FX series will indeed be inspired by the political events that transpired late last year.

Murphy noted on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live that while he doesn’t yet have a title, the season will be about “the election that we just went through … I think that will be interesting for a lot of people.” His answer to if there would be a Trump character in the series: “Maybe.”

This marks a major shift for the series, which has typically centered on science fiction and supernatural-type themes. It’s easy to argue that delving into the election would make far more sense for another Murphy series, American Crime Story, which highlights real-life events, like the O.J. Simpson trial. But perhaps Murphy wanted to make this seem more far-fetched and less like reality. So we still might see demons, vampires, and other sinister, supernatural characters.

Interestingly, both Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters are confirmed to return as leads for the upcoming season. Might the former make a good Hillary Clinton-type character? And the latter a Jared Kushner-inspired character, or maybe even a young Trump-esque presidential candidate?

Filming is set to start in June, and season seven of American Horror Story will premiere this September. Murphy had previously said it would be connected in some way to the fourth season, called Freak Show. Actors who appeared in that season include Angela Bassett (who would make a great Michelle Obama), Kathy Bates and Jessica Lange (Hillary, perhaps?), and Grace Gummer, a great option for Ivanka Trump. None of these actors, however, are confirmed for season 7, and Lange, who was absent from season 6, has said in the past that she would not return to the franchise.

The anthology series, which debuted in 2011, has garnered consistently good ratings, and racked up tons of accolades, including winning 59 of its 230 award nominations, with 28 Emmy Awards in all, and nine Golden Globe nominations. The direction for this season, however, might be a risky — and polarizing — choice for Murphy.