Last year, “American Horror Story” reached a peak.
“Freak Show” earned 19 Emmy Award nominations, a best for Ryan Murphy’s anthology series.
This year was something else entirely. “Hotel,” which won Lady Gaga her first Golden Globe Award and was also nominated for a Globe itself, only garnered eight nominations for the 68th Emmy Awards — a series worst.
The irony is that “American Horror Story” brought on the anthology/limited series phenomenon, giving rise to current Emmy darling “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story,” and now it’s being edged out.
“Freak Show” wasn’t exactly the greatest season — that could be awarded to “Coven” or “Murder House” — but it gained more recognition for its actors, thus a big boost in nomination numbers. (It had the same number of creative arts Emmys as its first and second seasons.)
But “Hotel” was when things really began to drop off. Jessica Lange was gone and her absence hung over the show like a ghost in the Murder House. Lady Gaga delivered a surprisingly great performance, but it’s a death sentence to be compared to the powerhouse that is Jessica Lange.
“Hotel” had half of the creative arts Emmy nominations as the previous “AHS” seasons (six in comparison to the average 12), and only two acting nominations, for Emmy darling Sarah Paulson and Academy Award winner Kathy Bates. If you’re going to give the show something, it’s hard to complain about those two.
“AHS” was almost always a guarantee for the main title design and miniseries nominations, but “Hotel” was the first instalment to not receive a nomination for either.
Series creator Ryan Murphy has a reputation. He smartly creates a new show that is unlike anything else on TV — there weren’t nearly as many anthology shows until “American Horror Story” blazed onto the scene — and lets it thrive for a few years before throwing it to the flames for a new project. He ditched “Nip/Tuck” for “Glee” then “Glee” for “American Horror Story” and now he’s throwing over “AHS” for “Scream Queens” and “American Crime Story.”
The man gets bored. It’s showing.
Break the cycle. It’s time for Murphy to pull the plug. He needs to stop dragging along “AHS” and just put the focus on “Scream Queens” — it needs the attention — and “American Crime Story.” “AHS” is no longer worth the risk of lessening the quality of the two newer and successful shows.
It had its time, and now it’s over.
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