While the fall TV season is still several months away, Fox has been getting a jump on the competition by debuting brief promos for their new fall TV series Scream Queens, which is currently in production. Today, Entertainment Weekly has the first photos from this upcoming series, debuting sometime later this year, which give us a closer look at Nick Jonas' Brad Towery, Emma Roberts' Chanel Oberlin, Keke Palmer's Zayday and Jamie Lee Curtis' Cathy Munsch. Series creator Ryan Murphy also spoke with Entertainment Weekly, where he first discussed what inspired him and his co-creators Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan to create this series.
"Brad and Ian and I, all three of us, were always obsessed with the '80s/early '90s slasher genre that was always about young people and always about coming of age. So we loved that and we decided to sort of be inspired by that idea. That was sort of the impetus of it. It's sort of the idea of what would happen if you put something like Heathers meets Friday the 13th to those genre pictures like Massacre on Sorority Row, that early-to-late '80s exploitation horror thing. I really like the idea of doing a comedy and doing sort of anthological comedy. What I love about it is when it's funny, it's funny. And when it's scary, it's scary. One thing too that I hear all the time from women about American Horror Story is, 'I love the idea of it but it's too scary and I can't watch it.' So the question we asked is, 'How do we keep it scary but write something for that audience?' It doesn't have the gore of American Horror Story but it certainly still has the scares. The other thing it's inspired by is it's a real murder mystery whodunit. In the very first episode you meet all the characters and then the killings start happening on this college campus. Every character in the piece has the motivation to be the killer. So when you're watching it, part of the fun is, Okay who did it? It's not revealed until the last episode when literally the mask of the Red Devil, who is the killer, comes off and we say, Boom here's your killer. It's also a show about the sorority/fraternity system in our country and what's happening with that so it's a satire about that."
He also added that the series starts in a flashback to 1995, with a mystery that goes unsolved until this day, when someone comes seeking vengeance.
"It opens in a flashback to 1995 at the sorority where something horrible happens. It's a mystery that goes unsolved. Flash forward 20 years to today, and it looks like someone is out for revenge. Something horrible happened to a pledge and on the anniversary of that crime, someone is out for vengeance."
Ryan Murphy also said that one character will die in every episode, and while it is still an anthology series like American Horror Story, whoever survives at the end of the season will come back for Season 2, set in a totally new location.
"One thing we've said to the cast is that every episode someone is going. It's always somebody you least suspect or expect. The killer is on a reign of terror. It's very much like Ten Little Indians. There's a real tune-in factor because it's like, Who's going to be picked off this week? And also who is the killer? Every episode, you get clues as to who the killer is going to be and then all of these clues accumulate. It's different than Horror Story. Jamie Lee and I were talking about that in horror movies, particularly in that era, there was always the last girl, the final girl. So we're playing with that. Whoever survives-and there will be people who will survive-they will go on next season to a new location and a new terror. Unlike Horror Story, which completely reboots, this has some of the continuity in that some of the characters and some of the relationships continue into a new world."
Scream Queens also stars Lea Michele, Skyler Samuels, Abigail Breslin, Diego Boneta, Niecy Nash, Oliver Hudson, Glen Powell, Nasim Pedrad and Ariana Grande. Which of these cast members do you think will make it to the end of the first season? Check out the photos below, and stay tuned for more on Scream Queens, airing this fall on Fox.