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American Horror Story: Roanoke

American Horror Story: Roanoke is the sixth season of the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story. It premiered on September 14, 2016, marking the first time the series has debuted outside of October, and concluded on November 16, 2016.

American Horror Story:
Roanoke
American Horror Story Season 6.jpg
Promotional poster and home media cover art
Starring
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 10
Release
Original network FX
Original release September 14 (2016-09-14) – November 16, 2016 (2016-11-16)
Season chronology
← Previous
Hotel
Next →
Cult
List of American Horror Story episodes

Prior to the premiere, series co-creator Ryan Murphy stated this season of the series would be "more rogue" and "dark" in contrast to its previous cycle, Hotel. Details about its plot and cast were kept secret until the first episode aired, an unusual approach to publicity for the series. As such, it became the first iteration of the series to not release a subtitle prior to the season premiere since its debut. Several potential themes were theorized based on various promotional material produced by FX. After the release of pictures taken from the set in Santa Clarita, it was widely speculated that the season would incorporate the infamous 1580s Roanoke Colony disappearance. The premiere episode revealed the season to be depicted as a paranormal documentary entitled My Roanoke Nightmare which reenacts the experiences of a married couple who relocate to North Carolina.

Returning cast members from previous seasons include: Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Denis O'Hare, Kathy Bates, Frances Conroy, Angela Bassett, Wes Bentley, Finn Wittrock, Lady Gaga, Cheyenne Jackson, Leslie Jordan, Adina Porter, Robin Weigert, and Taissa Farmiga. New additions to the cast are Cuba Gooding Jr. and André Holland. Paulson also reprised her role as the Asylum character, Lana Winters, for the season finale. Roanoke has received positive reviews, with critics noting its subdued aesthetic and pacing in comparison to earlier seasons of the series.

Contents

PlotEdit

Presented as a paranormal documentary series titled My Roanoke Nightmare, the story follows a married couple whose experiences are reenacted by actors. Shelby (Lily Rabe) and Matt Miller (André Holland) move from Los Angeles, California, to a house in North Carolina following a brutal assault which left Matt temporarily hospitalized and caused Shelby to have a miscarriage. As soon as the couple settles into their new home, set in the Roanoke Island, strange and paranormal occurrences begin to haunt them and Matt's sister, Lee Harris (Adina Porter). In the five-episode documentary, Shelby is portrayed by the extravagant English actress Audrey Tindall (Sarah Paulson), Matt by the conceited Dominic Banks (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and Lee by the alcoholic Monet Tumusiime (Angela Bassett).

The leader of Roanoke's colonists, Thomasin White, known as The Butcher, is potrayed by the schizophrenic actress Agnes Mary Winstead (Kathy Bates), while her son, Ambrose, by Dylan (Wes Bentley). The builder and first owner of the house, Edward Philippe Mott, is played by Rory Monahan (Evan Peters) and the previous owner, before the arrival of the Millers, by William van Henderson (Denis O'Hare).

The second half of the season presents the follow-up series entitled Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell, which places the reenactors and their real life counterparts in the Roanoke house for three days during the Blood Moon, designed by My Roanoke Nightmare's producer Sidney Aaron James (Cheyenne Jackson). The assembled found footage displays how all but one of the participants die as they face the true horrors within the Roanoke house.

Cast and charactersEdit

MainEdit

Sarah Paulson, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Angela Bassett (left to right) portray lead roles Audrey Tindall, Dominic Banks, and Monet Tumusiime, respectively.
Lily Rabe, Kathy Bates, and Leslie Jordan (left to right) portray Shelby Miller, Agnes Mary Winstead, and Ashley Gilbert, respectively.

Special guest starsEdit

RecurringEdit

Guest starsEdit

^1 These actors portray their characters solely in the My Roanoke Nightmare re-enactment.

EpisodesEdit

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
64 1 "Chapter 1" Bradley Buecker Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk September 14, 2016 (2016-09-14) 6ATS01 5.14[1]
Shelby and Matt Miller are a married couple being interviewed for a documentary called My Roanoke Nightmare. Through a combination of dramatic re-enactment and testimonials, the couple reveal that they fled to North Carolina from Los Angeles, after they were assaulted as part of a gang initiation that caused Shelby to miscarry their baby. While in North Carolina, the couple find an abandoned colonial farmhouse that they purchase in attempt to start over again. After moving into the house, strange and violent events begin to unfold that threaten the couple. When Matt leaves on business trip, he asks his sister Lee to stay and guard Shelby. Lee and Shelby do not get along which puts them in jeopardy, as the house is invaded by a group of people wielding knives and carrying torches. The mob leaves behind creepy totems and a video of a man being killed by a creature who has the head of a pig and the body of a man. When Matt wants to stay in the house, rather than flee, Shelby escapes in Matt's car. After hitting a woman on the road, Shelby witnesses a ritualistic murder in the woods.
65 2 "Chapter 2" Michael Goi Tim Minear September 21, 2016 (2016-09-21) 6ATS02 3.27[2]
Shelby assumes the ritual she witnessed was staged; she and Matt resolve to stay in the house. After discovering a burning totem in the woods near the house, Matt and Shelby finally secure the help of the local police. Unnerving and mysterious events continue to affect the residents of the house, this time including Matt, Lee, and her daughter Flora. Shelby and Matt discover a storm cellar under the back yard; there, they view a recording created by the man killed in the first video. He was a previous resident who came to the house to research it; he details the house's previous use as a nursing home where two sisters committed multiple murders. Shelby and Matt realize that they are trapped because all their money is tied up in the house and they have no way out. Meanwhile, Lee violates her custody agreement with her ex-husband, and brings Flora to the house in an attempt to spend time with her. Flora encounters an entity, "Priscilla", who tells her that everyone in the house will be murdered. Flora then disappears, and the adults find her hoodie atop a massive pine tree.
66 3 "Chapter 3" Jennifer Lynch James Wong September 28, 2016 (2016-09-28) 6ATS03 3.08[3]
While searching for Flora, Lee's ex-husband is found dead. Shelby suspects Lee and the security cameras show that she followed him out of the house during the night. Meanwhile, the hillbilly family vanishes, leaving behind their two feral sons. Cricket, a psychic, claims to be able to locate Flora, and Lee pays him $25,000. In the documentary interview, Lee reluctantly discusses the disappearance of her first daughter, many years earlier. Cricket reveals that Priscilla is a dead 16th-century child, and the area is haunted by spirits led by "The Butcher", formerly Thomasin White, the first lady of the Roanoke Colony. The colonists rebelled against Thomasin in her husband's absence and left her for dead. In desperation, she gave her soul to a mysterious woman and violently retook control of the colony, forcing them to relocate to what is now Shelby and Matt's property. During a confrontation with the spirits, Matt disappears and Shelby finds him copulating with the same mysterious woman. Matt doesn't recall these events and as they argue the police arrive to arrest Lee, tipped off by Shelby.
67 4 "Chapter 4" Marita Grabiak John J. Gray October 5, 2016 (2016-10-05) 6ATS04 2.83[4]
Following Matt's tryst with the mysterious woman, Shelby thinks that Matt and Lee are conspiring against her. Later that night, Shelby is attacked by the Piggy Man and is saved by Dr. Cunningham. Dr. Cunningham reveals the history of the paranormal activity of the house to the Millers. He reveals that Thomasin is responsible for all the disappearances in the house and all of them occur on the same 6 day lunar cycle in October. Dr. Cunningham leads the Millers to Flora but is killed by Thomasin's men. As the Millers rush home, they encounter Cricket. Cricket heads back into the woods and comes face to face with the mysterious woman who is revealed to be the true leader of the Roanoke Colony. She shows Cricket what really happened to the lost colony of Roanoke. Through his own experience with the mysterious woman, Matt learns some of her backstory. Before Matt can finish learning her backstory, he is interrupted by Shelby's screams. Thomasin's mob surround the house with Flora in their possession but Priscilla helps to free her. All the Millers flee into the house and Shelby and Matt witness the mob disembowel Cricket.
68 5 "Chapter 5" Nelson Cragg Akela Cooper October 12, 2016 (2016-10-12) 6ATS05 2.82[5]
Doris Kearns Goodwin reveals the backstory of one of the owners of the Roanoke House, Edward Philippe Mott, and his subsequent ownership of the property. Mott used the property as a storage house for his art collection and to conduct clandestine homosexual affairs with a member of his staff. During the blood moon, he was sacrificed by Thomasin and her men. In the present, Thomasin's mob surrounds the house ready to kill the Millers. The mob attacks the house and just when all seems lost, Edward Philippe Mott arrives and leads the Millers to safety. However, he abandons the Millers out in the woods leading to them being kidnapped by the Polk family. Meanwhile, Lee is released from prison due to lack of evidence. The Millers attempt to escape, which leads to Mama Polk breaking Shelby's leg. The Polks return the Millers to Thomasin as revenge for the loss of their two children. Just as Thomasin is about to sacrifice the Miller family, Ambrose stops her from completing the ritual and pushes her into the fire in penance for the colonies sins. Then, Lee arrives back to the house and the Millers flee the property in her car.
69 6 "Chapter 6" Angela Bassett Ned Martel October 19, 2016 (2016-10-19) 6ATS06 2.48[6]
My Roanoke Nightmare was a massive success during its run, attracting 23 million viewers. Spurred by its success, Sidney, the network executive who produced it, pitches a new idea entitled Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell where the reenactors and the real world counterparts are brought together under the roof of the Roanoke house for three days during the blood moon. Sidney reveals that his motive for producing the follow up is to expose Lee for the murder of Mason. The real Shelby Miller is reluctant to participate in the new series but is convinced to do it by a chance to reconnect with her estranged husband. As part of the new series, the lives of the reenactors who portrayed these events are explored. As the crew prepares the house for filming, strange events begin to unfold. As the series commences, the reenactors begin to get a taste of the true horrors within the house. It is revealed that that over the course of the new series, all but one of the participants died in the house and that the series never made it to air. The first victim was Rory, the reenactor who played Edward Philippe Mott, who was murdered by the two nurses.
70 7 "Chapter 7" Elodie Keene Crystal Liu October 26, 2016 (2016-10-26) 6ATS07 2.62[7]
Following Rory's murder, Agnes, who is completely consumed by her role as Thomasin, murders Sidney and his entire production team. Meanwhile, tensions in the house continue to rise as Matt, Shelby and Dominic argue about Shelby's infidelity, and Lee and Monet go back and forth about her alcoholism. The fighting is interrupted when Agnes appears and attacks Shelby, forcing Lee, Audrey, and Monet to go into the woods to find help. On the way to find help, Audrey and Monet begin to encounter various supernatural occurrences that frighten them. Eventually, the three women are kidnapped by the Polk family, and are taken back to their farm, where the Polks proceed to cut Lee's leg off and feed it to Audrey and Monet. Meanwhile, inside the house, Dominic and Shelby come across Matt having sex with Scathach. Matt admits he came back to the house for Scathach, causing Shelby to murder him in a violent rage. Then, Agnes lights a fire outside the house, demanding satisfaction from the occupants of it. Just then, the real Thomasin and her mob surround Agnes and Thomasin kills Agnes by thrusting her cleaver into Agnes' face.
71 8 "Chapter 8" Gwyneth Horder-Payton Todd Kubrak November 2, 2016 (2016-11-02) 6ATS08 2.20[8]
After Agnes' murder, Dominic and Shelby begin to devise a plan to escape the house. They first decide to flee out of the secret passage but are foiled by the ghosts of the Chen family attacking them. This forces the pair to flee upstairs and lock themselves in a bathroom, but not before being attacked by the Piggy Man, the skittering creature, and Thomasin's mob. Once the pair are safely inside, Shelby slits her throat out of guilt for murdering Matt. Meanwhile, the three women continue to be tortured by the Polk family, with Lee losing more of her flesh, and Audrey having one of her teeth ripped out of her mouth. Eventually, the women manage to escape, killing two Polks in the process. However, only Audrey and Lee make it back to the house, as Monet is being hunted down by the two remaining Polks. Back at the house, the two women come across the dead body of Matt. Then, the two find Shelby's body and Dominic in the bathroom. The two blame Dominic for the death of Shelby and Matt, forcing him out into the hall where he is murdered by the Piggy Man. The next morning, Dylan arrives at the house to the two women's surprise.
72 9 "Chapter 9" Alexis O. Korycinski Tim Minear November 9, 2016 (2016-11-09) 6ATS09 2.43[9]
Sophie, Milo, and Todd, three fanatics of My Roanoke Nightmare, head out into the woods in search of the Roanoke house. The three stop to take pictures of the tree that Flora's hoodie was found on but are interrupted by a bloodied women who begs for help. The three bloggers chase after the woman, only to come across her dead body in an over turned car. When the three report what they found to the police, the police tell them that they found no dead body and that the three of them need to stop making things up. Meanwhile, Audrey, Lee, and Dylan return to the Polk compound to recover Lee's taped confession and Monet, as well as to escape. Dylan is murdered by Ishmael and the three women succeed in escaping the incoming mob, only to be separated in the woods. The three bloggers return to the woods under the cover of night to expose the real truth, only to be murdered by Lee (possessed by Scathach), Thomasin, and her mob. Lee also murders Monet and attempts to murder Audrey. The next morning, the police arrive to find the carnage. Audrey, having survived her wounds, goes to shoot Lee in vengeance, but is gunned down by the police.
73 10 "Chapter 10" Bradley Buecker Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk November 16, 2016 (2016-11-16) 6ATS10 2.45[10]
Following Lee's murders, three series, Crack'd, The Lana Winters Special, and Spirit Chasers, attempt to understand what could have driven her to kill. On Crack'd, Lee's trial and subsequent acquittals for her murders are covered. On The Lana Winters Special, famed reporter Lana Winters interviews Lee about the disappearance of her daughter, believing that Lee took her once again. The interview is interrupted by the arrival of Lot Polk, who threatens violence against Lee until he is shot. On Spirit Chasers, a group paranormal investigators, including Ashley Gilbert (Cricket's reenactor), trespass into the Roanoke house during the blood moon in order to capture the spirits on film. They are interrupted by Lee, who bursts in looking for Flora. All of the Spirit Chasers crew and Ashley are murdered by the ghosts. Lee is able to reunite with Flora, and, following an emotional reunion, decides to sacrifice herself so she can protect Priscilla and give Flora a chance at life. Flora leaves the house and watches as her mother walks off into the woods with Priscilla. From a hilltop, Thomasin watches over her mob as they begin to surround the house once again.

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

"We just thought it would really be fun to keep it a mystery, so we are; we just thought that would be a nice change after doing things one way for five years."
– FX president and CEO John Landgraf on the marketing strategy for the sixth season[11]

On November 10, 2015, the network renewed the series for a sixth cycle;[12] which premiered on September 14, 2016.[13] In August 2015, co-creator Ryan Murphy commented on the sixth year, stating, "The next thing we're crafting up is very very different than [Hotel], not smaller. But just not opulent. More rogue and more dark."[14] In October 2015, when questioned about clues and hints alluding to the sixth season (as has been the status quo since the first season of the series) in Hotel, Murphy revealed he had yet to definitively decide on a theme, "This is an interesting year in that the idea that we’re dealing with I've mentioned in several seasons. It's been there before. We've actually talked about it a lot on the show. I might do that for season 7 but I'm leaning towards that for season 6." In January 2016, FX president John Landgraf revealed that the season will be "principally set in the present", with a dual timeline in "echoes of the past". He also confirmed a fall 2016 premiere.[15] At the 2016 PaleyFest, Murphy divulged that the two previous ideas [the writers] had been considering had been merged into season six, saying it will involve children and operatic themes.[16] The season will consist of 10 episodes, the least in a given cycle, in the show's history; with the finale scheduled to air November 16, 2016.[17][18] On September 1, 2016, it was reported by Entertainment Weekly that the season was possibly subtitled The Mist, as a Rotten Tomatoes page and TV Guide magazine had printed; which was later proven untrue.[19] There is a direct connection to Freak Show with an exploration of the Mott family origin.[20]

In a late September issue of Entertainment Weekly, Falchuk and Murphy revealed there would be a major twist coming to the series in "Chapter 6". Murphy said of the matter, "You'll see starting in episode 6, the show has a huge turn and the thing that you think you're watching is not what you're watching, It's a hat on a hat on a hat on a hat that we've had to protect." Falchuk added, "No matter what you think it is, it's not that. Then, episode 6 comes and you're like, 'Wait! What happened?' It's like [episodes] 1–5, 6–9, and 10 is its own thing."[21] Murphy went on to confirm the turn in the season being a behind-the-camera look at the production of the faux documentary My Roanoke Nightmare.[22] He also stated that the final episode will feature characters, and their mythologies, that will continue on in the overall series.[23]

Set designEdit

Colonial ware and design are incorporated into the season, which is theorized to be, at least partially, set in 1590 Roanoke, North Carolina. A pioneer cottage is incorporated in Santa Clarita, California. The set is fully dressed in time-period appropriate dressings, including an etched tree.[24] The production designers constructed an entire colonial house, that serves as the season's chief setting. The house was constructed in an undisclosed California forest, over the course of four months. The abode is completely functional, furnished, and finished inside and out. This is the first time in American Horror Story history that a complete home has been built, and is quite unprecedented for film and television productions in general.[25] A three-story set built in Malibu Canyon was not permitted properly, and after being torn down in October 2016, FX "will be required to do extensive restoration."[26]

CastingEdit

In October 2015, Murphy tweeted that he had asked Hotel star Lady Gaga to join the untitled season, but did not expect an answer anytime soon.[27] She later confirmed her involvement in March 2016.[28] Coven star Emma Roberts has stated that she and Murphy have talked about a "devilish" role for her in the season.[29] Murder House and Coven star Taissa Farmiga was heavily rumored to be involved with the season in some form.[30] Murphy later confirmed Farmiga would appear late in the season.[22][31] In February 2016, Angela Bassett confirmed her return to the series during an interview on Larry King Now, being the first cast member added to the season 6 roster. She portrays Lee Harris, a re-enactor of the documentary's horrific events.[32][33] At PaleyFest, Murphy invited Kathy Bates, Denis O'Hare, Sarah Paulson, Finn Wittrock, Cheyenne Jackson, Wes Bentley, and Matt Bomer to return to the show for its sixth season. In May 2016, Jessica Lange stated, in an interview with Charlie Rose, that she would not be returning for the sixth or any other future season of the series; saying, "No, I had four years with that, four seasons, and each year was a marvelous character, everything changed from one year to another which made it very interesting to me. But no, I think sometimes you come to the end of something..."[34] However, Variety published an article in September 2016, reporting Lange would appear.[35]

In June 2016, Coven alum Leslie Jordan announced his return to the series, stating he had been approached to appear in Freak Show, but declined. He was surprised to get a call from Murphy again.[36] Later in the month, Bomer, Jackson, and Evan Peters confirmed their involvement with the sixth season.[37][38][39] O'Hare stated he would return in some capacity in a May 2016 interview.[40] Us Weekly has reported the returns of Bentley, Bates, and Wittrock.[41] In an early August 2016 interview with Glamour, series veteran Sarah Paulson announced her return for the sixth year. She said of the show, "I just think I have the greatest job on the planet because my TV show [American Horror Story] is going into its sixth season and I'm playing an entirely different character, like nothing I've ever played."[42] She plays the featured re-enactor in the horrific documentary. On Halloween 2016, Murphy announced the return of Paulson's Asylum character, Lana Winters.[43] TMZ reported the casting of The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story star Cuba Gooding Jr.[25] Gooding Jr. himself later went on to confirm his presence in the season, also announcing that he will share most screen-time with former co-star Paulson, stating, "It's really been a treat to finally engage with her on camera, because when we did The People v. O. J. it was more about my scenes and then her scenes and us being in the courtroom but separate, but we're not separate no more!"[44] He plays the co-lead of the My Roanoke Nightmare documentary. In September 2016, Glee alum Jacob Artist announced his involvement with the sixth season.[45] On the same month, the main casting was announced after the first episode with the addition of André Holland and series veteran Lily Rabe portraying the real-life couple, Matt Miller (Lee's brother) and his wife Shelby from the documentary's interviews. Adina Porter, after a small guest appearance on an episode of the first series, portrayed the real Lee Harris. [46][47]

FilmingEdit

In March 2016, the series received a major tax credit for filming of the season in Los Angeles, California.[48] Cast alum Angela Bassett, along with Jennifer Lynch, Marita Grabiak, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, Elodie Keene, and Alexis Korycinski were set as directors during the season, marking the first time women have served in the capacity on the show.[30] In June 2016, cast member Jackson stated that the season had already clandestinely begun principal photography earlier that month.[49] On August 1, 2016, TMZ published photographs of the American Horror Story set in Santa Clarita, California; that consists of a small Pioneer home, and a tree with the word "Croatoan" carved into its center. Both of these things are attributed to the 1590 colony of 117 people, in Roanoke, North Carolina, that disappeared without a trace, and the only clue left was the carving – the name being a nearby island and tribe of Native Americans.[24] Later, TMZ unveiled more set photos from an unknown California forest.[25]

MarketingEdit

CampaignEdit

"After all the breadcrumbs, you are definitely going to get the sandwich. There's no bait and switch here. It was about celebrating the building and worshiping the anticipation."
– FX Head of Marketing Stephanie Gibbons on the fear that the publicity wouldn't materialize a quality season[50]

The marketing campaign for the season was one of mystery. On June 6, 2016, all of the series' social media pages displayed a teaser image of a red number six, with a question mark superimposed. Little was known about plot details or casting before the premiere, which seems to be a deliberate ploy of publicity. The following months saw a virtual reality experience at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International,[51] a multitude of motley teaser trailers and posters,[52] a Mercedes-Benz sweepstakes;[53] and no casting or plot announcements. At the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, on August 9, 2016, FX chief John Landgraf announced that all, but one, of the teaser trailers released thus far have been deliberate misdirects by the network. Explaining, "[Murphy and Stephanie Gibbons, FX head of marketing and on-air promotions] went out and made many more trailers than you've actually seen for hypothetical seasons of American Horror Story, meaning different genres and different places". Landgraf also reiterated what had been previously reported, that the official theme of the cycle will not be revealed until the airing of the first episode.[11]

A week before the premiere FX released a trailer featuring Lady Gaga's new single "Perfect Illusion", speaking to the anonymity of the season.[54] In a September 13, 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, marketing chief Stephanie Gibbons spoke at length about the risks and idea behind the seasons complete anonymity. Explaining the origin of her campaign, "I felt we would play on two aspects of the human helix: Desire to know, the curiosity to find out what you don't know; and perhaps more importantly, the notion of how powerful withholding is to the human psyche. Often wanting is more fulfilling than having."[50]

Plot theoriesEdit

One of the earliest season hypotheses was that of Slender Man, the 2009 phenomenon, a man with a blank face, tractable arms, and killer of children. However, sources working on the show confirmed to Entertainment Weekly, in January 2016, that the myth would not be appearing, and that a theme had already been established for the season, and would be revealed in March. Though, this did not come to pass.[55] Based on the teaser trailers and several interviews given by Murphy, media reported the plot of the season as dealing with cult, farm, orphanage, colony, or the storyline of the Antichrist, which has already been touched on by the series in season one (Vivien and Tate's child, Michael, that Constance took as her own, was considered to be the titular figure).[56][57] Deadline's Ross A. Lincoln posited the theory that the cycle will revolve around the Bloody Benders family. They owned an inn and general store in rural 1800s Kansas and were responsible for the deaths of 11 passersby, later disappearing.[58] Photos from the set released by TMZ confirmed the season to incorporate colonial aspects. Vulture's Jordan Crucchiola theorized it to be about the Roanoke Colony, with Murphy likely to adapt the historical explanation of the settlers disappearance.[59] The Huffington Post added that another story avenue Murphy might venture on is the colloquial belief that the colonist vanished under supernatural circumstances.[60] Screener's Aaron Pruner noted that the colony was mentioned by Billie Dean Howard in Murder House, thus alluding to the possible Antichrist or supernatural presence in the sixth season. Pruner also mentioned that the history of the word "Croatoan" is vast and unnerving. Days before the death of author Edgar Allan Poe, he is said to have muttered the cryptic word as his final. Furthermore, in 1937, the word was found scribbled in fated pilot Amelia Earhart's journal.[61] Kate Feldman from New York Daily News has speculated that the season will revolve around the Manson family; she cited iconography in a teaser, Charles Manson's fascination with spiders (i.e. official poster for season), Evan Peters' appearance resembling Manson, and Murphy's previous comments stating that the series had considered the theme for the third year, which ultimately shifted to Coven.[62] However, Sarah Paulson has rejected the Manson theme, saying, "Wrong! You can look me dead in the eyes. You are wrong, dead wrong. And you will see that I am not lying to you. I'm not pulling a little Jedi mind trick."[63] After the release of the revealing "Anthology" trailer, The Huffington Post's Bill Bradley suggested, after taking into account several factors, that the season would feature a discarded Murder House menace that slays his victims with hedge trimmers.[64] TV Guide suggested a major connection to Asylum concerning the spider shown travelling under the skin of a person in one of the teasers for the season.[65]

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

American Horror Story: Roanoke has received positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the season a 78% approval rating, with an average rating of 6.7/10, based on 13 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare takes a surprising turn away from prior AHS formats, revisiting the deliberate pace of earlier seasons on a spookier, smaller scale, even if the true-crime format feels overdone."[66] On Metacritic, the season was given a score of 72 out of 100 based on 9 reviews, indicating "generally positive reviews".[67]

Dan Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter gave a positive review, writing, "When you're the type of show prone to kicking off a season with the introduction of a hairless mole man with a killer dildo, it's possible that the most provocative thing you can do to start a chapter is eschewing mole men, dildos and, in fact, killing altogether for a full week. The American Horror Story franchise has been and done many things, but it's never offered such a false sense of security, so this subdued start may be the scariest promise at all. It's the most curious I've been about future installments in a long time."[68] Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly also gave a positive review, writing, "The use of mystery to market the season may have been contrived, but at this point, mystery might also be the best thing going for it, too."[69] Ben Travers of IndieWire called the premiere "a promising start with a central mystery as tantalizing as the ads teasing it."[70]

American Horror Story (season 6): Critical reception by episode
 

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated artist/work Result
2016 Art Directors Guild Awards Television Movie or Limited Series Andrew Murdock (for "Chapter 4") Nominated
Costume Designers Guild Awards Contemporary TV Series Lou Eyrich and Helen Huang Won
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show Nominated
Black Reel Awards Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie or Limited Series Angela Bassett Nominated
Outstanding Director in a Television Miniseries or Movie Nominated
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best TV Supporting Actress Sarah Paulson Nominated
Best TV SFX Eryn Krueger Mekash and David LeRoy Anderson Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Horror Television Series American Horror Story: Roanoke Nominated
Best Actress on Television Sarah Paulson Nominated
Best Supporting Actress on Television Kathy Bates Nominated
Adina Porter Nominated
Best Guest Starring Role on Television Leslie Jordan Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Villain Wes Bentley Nominated
69th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Hairstyling for a Limited Series or Movie Michelle Ceglia, Valerie Jackson, Jose Zamora Nominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or Movie (Non-Prosthetic) Kim Ayers, Mike Mekash, Eryn Krueger Mekash, Silvina Knight, Carleigh Herbert, Luis Garcia Nominated
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie, or Special Eryn Krueger Mekash, Michael Mekash, David Leroy Anderson, James Mackinnon, Jason Hamer, Melanie Eichner, Cristina Himiob, Maiko Chiba Won
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special Gary Megregian, Steve M. Stuhr, Jason Krane, Timothy A. Cleveland, Paul Diller, David Klotz and Noel Vought (for "Chapter 1") Nominated

RatingsEdit

No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Chapter 1" September 14, 2016 2.8 5.14[1] TBD TBD TBD TBD
2 "Chapter 2" September 21, 2016 1.8 3.27[2] TBD TBD TBD TBD
3 "Chapter 3" September 28, 2016 1.7 3.08[3] 1.6 2.95 3.3 6.03[72]1
4 "Chapter 4" October 5, 2016 1.4 2.83[4] 1.8 3.30 3.2 6.13[73]
5 "Chapter 5" October 12, 2016 1.5 2.82[5] 1.7 3.31 3.2 6.14[74]
6 "Chapter 6" October 19, 2016 1.4 2.48[6] 1.8 3.50 3.2 5.99[75]
7 "Chapter 7" October 26, 2016 1.4 2.62[7] 1.8 3.23 3.2 5.85[76]
8 "Chapter 8" November 2, 2016 1.2 2.20[8] 1.9 3.37 3.1 5.57[77]
9 "Chapter 9" November 9, 2016 1.3 2.43[9] 1.3 2.30 2.6 4.73[78]1
10 "Chapter 10" November 16, 2016 1.3 2.45[10] 1.7 2.99 3.0 5.44[79]

^1 Live +7 ratings were not available, so Live +3 ratings have been used instead.

American Horror Story: U.S. viewers per episode (millions)
 
Season Ep. 1 Ep. 2 Ep. 3 Ep. 4 Ep. 5 Ep. 6 Ep. 7 Ep. 8 Ep. 9 Ep. 10 Ep. 11 Ep. 12 Ep. 13
Murder House 3.18 2.46 2.59 2.96 2.74 2.83 3.06 2.81 2.85 2.54 2.59 3.22 N/A
Asylum 3.85 3.06 2.47 2.65 2.78 1.89 2.27 2.36 2.22 2.21 2.51 2.30 2.29
Coven 5.54 4.51 3.78 3.71 3.80 4.16 4.00 4.07 3.94 3.49 3.46 3.35 4.24
Freak Show 6.13 4.53 4.44 4.51 4.22 3.65 3.91 3.30 3.07 2.99 3.11 2.94 3.27
Hotel 5.81 4.06 3.20 3.04 2.87 2.64 2.64 2.31 2.14 1.85 1.84 2.24 N/A
Roanoke 5.14 3.27 3.08 2.83 2.82 2.48 2.62 2.20 2.43 2.45 N/A
Cult 3.93 2.38 2.25 2.13 2.20 2.15 2.07 TBD TBD TBD TBD N/A
Source: Nielsen Media Research[85]

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External linksEdit