This season of American Horror Story is going to look vastly different from all the others. Not in terms of things like stylistic choice of jump scares that may or may not happen and the '80s vibe — because every season has had their fair share of differences over the years. But season 9, AHS: 1984 is going to be missing our long-running American Horror Story scream queen, because Ryan Murphy's longtime muse Sarah Paulson is not starring on AHS this season. She’s not even co-starring in it in some sort of smaller role (that we know of). For the first time in almost a decade, Paulson is most likely sitting out the season — at least as far as main and supporting roles go.
However, Paulson is the one that really stings because over the prior eight seasons she’s played a whopping 12 different characters and has reprised some of them multiple times (give Billie Dean Howard her own season, you cowards!), and in the process, she's earned five Emmy nominations during her time on the show. Literally, could anyone else on the planet even do that?
We suppose there are only so many times one woman can scream, cry, fight ghosts, or bring the dead back to life on TV. But there is some hope that this new AHS season won't be totally Paulson-less. Back in July, Variety first reported that Paulson would not be appearing on AHS in any sort of “significant” role, phrasing that certainly leaves the possibility of some sort of cameo open. She later told ET that she “may pop up” on AHS season 9, adding, “You never know. No promises though.” That’s certainly not a whole lot to go on, but it’s just enough to give us a tiny bit of hope that we might see Paulson during the 1980’s camp-themed season.
And just so you know this isn't just some form of cruel and unusual punishment, there's actually a reason Paulson isn’t in this season, and it’s a good one. She’s sitting out 1984 to concentrate her attention on something else (and, to boot, another Ryan Murphy show), Ratched on Netflix. The series, which Paulson stars in as the titular character Nurse Ratched, follows the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest villain. And Paulson might be busy for a while because Netflix has already renewed the series for a second season, totaling 18 episodes. There’s no premiere date for the series yet (another cruel twist!).
As for Peters, wish his reason for sitting the season out is because he’s got his own Netflix show in the works but in reality… he’s just taking a break from AHS. There’s always a chance he could make a surprise appearance, too, or come back in full force for season 10. But, hey, on the bright side at least we don’t have to watch either one of them be murdered in ghastly ways this season! A thin silver lining still counts, right?