American Horror Story: Freak Show
|American Horror Story:|
Promotional poster and home media cover art
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original release||October 8, 2014 –|
January 21, 2015
American Horror Story: Freak Show is the fourth season of the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story. It premiered on October 8, 2014 and concluded on January 21, 2015. This season is mainly set in 1952 Jupiter, Florida, telling the story of one of the last remaining freak shows in the United States, and their struggle for survival.
Returning cast members from the previous season of the series include Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Denis O'Hare, Emma Roberts, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Grace Gummer, Gabourey Sidibe, Danny Huston, Jamie Brewer, and Mare Winningham, along with new cast members Michael Chiklis and Finn Wittrock. Ben Woolf also returned to the series. This is the first season of the series that is not strictly anthological, with Lily Rabe, Naomi Grossman, and John Cromwell (as a younger Dr. Arthur Arden) reprising their roles from the series's second cycle, Asylum.
Like its predecessors, Freak Show was met with mostly positive reviews, and consistently strong ratings, with the premiere episode attracting a series high of 6.13 million viewers, making it the most viewed episode of the series. It ultimately became FX's most-watched program ever, surpassing its previous installment, Coven. The season garnered a total of twenty Emmy Award nominations, the most for any season of American Horror Story to date, including nominations for Outstanding Limited Series, and six acting nominations for Lange, O'Hare, Wittrock, Paulson, Bassett, and Bates. In addition, Paulson won for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Limited Series at the 5th Critics' Choice Television Awards.
In Jupiter, Florida in 1952, German expatriate Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) is the ambitious owner of one of the last struggling freak shows in the United States, entitled "Fräulein Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities," and is seeking her own fame and stardom. She recruits conjoined twin sisters Bette and Dot Tattler (Sarah Paulson), whose two heads share one body, as new members of her troupe after their identification by the police as fugitives since Bette's recent murder of their overprotective mother during an argument. When the sisters arrive, they are welcomed by their fellow freaks: Elsa's subordinate and confidante Ethel Darling (Kathy Bates) the bearded lady, her lobster-handed son Jimmy Darling (Evan Peters), Paul the Illustrated Seal (Mat Fraser), the giantess Amazon Eve (Erika Ervin), the legless Suzi (Rose Siggins), pinheads Salty and Pepper (Christopher Neiman and Naomi Grossman), "geek" named Meep (Ben Woolf), and the dwarf performers: ex-convict Toulouse (Drew Rin Varick) and Elsa's closest companion, Ma Petite (Jyoti Amge). Other new members of the troupe include Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis), a strongman who is Ethel's ex-husband and Jimmy’s biological father, and his three-breasted wife, Desiree Dupree (Angela Bassett).
During the troupe's first performance with the twins, the only spectators in the audience are wealthy socialite widow, Gloria Mott (Frances Conroy) and her spoiled, mentally unstable son, Dandy (Finn Wittrock), who displays an unhealthy fascination with the freaks. To add to the mounting threats, a conman named Stanley (Denis O'Hare), posing as a Hollywood executive, arrives with his young protege Maggie Esmerelda (Emma Roberts), with the intention of murdering the freaks and selling their bodies to a museum. In the middle of all the chaos is the mysterious, deformed killer clown known as Twisty (John Carroll Lynch), who wreaks havoc on Jupiter and appears to be targeting freaks and townspeople alike.
Cast and characters
- Sarah Paulson as Bette and Dot Tattler
- Evan Peters as Jimmy Darling
- Michael Chiklis as Dell Toledo
- Frances Conroy as Gloria Mott
- Denis O'Hare as Stanley
- Emma Roberts as Maggie Esmerelda
- Finn Wittrock as Dandy Mott
- Angela Bassett as Desiree Dupree
- Kathy Bates as Ethel Darling
- Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars
- Naomi Grossman as Pepper
- Grace Gummer as Penny
- Chrissy Metz as Barbara / Ima Wiggles
- Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Angus T. Jefferson
- Angela Sarafyan as Alice
- Erika Ervin as Amazon Eve
- Mat Fraser as Paul the Illustrated Seal
- Jyoti Amge as Ma Petite
- Rose Siggins as Legless Suzi
- Wes Bentley as Edward Mordrake
- Celia Weston as Lillian Hemmings
- Gabourey Sidibe as Regina Ross
- Lee Tergesen as Vince
- Christopher Neiman as Salty
- Drew Rin Varick as Toulouse
- PJ Marshall as Detective Colquitt
- John Carroll Lynch as Twisty the Clown
- Skyler Samuels as Bonnie Lipton
- Patti LaBelle as Dora Ross
- Matt Bomer as Andy
- Danny Huston as Massimo Dolcefino
- Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice McKee
- Neil Patrick Harris as Chester Creb
- Jamie Brewer as Marjorie
- Mare Winningham as Rita Gayheart
- Matthew Glave as Larry Gayheart
- David Burtka as Michael Beck
- Heather Langenkamp as Female Toulouse
- Major Dodson as Corey Bachman
- Ben Woolf as Meep
- Jerry Leggio as Dr. Bonham
- Dalton E. Gray as Mike
- Shauna Rappold as Lucy Creb
- Kathy Deitch as Young Ethel
- Edward Gelhaus as Younger Dell
- John Cromwell as Young Arthur Arden
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|39||1||"Monsters Among Us"||Ryan Murphy||Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk||October 8, 2014||4ATS01||6.13|
|In Jupiter, Florida in 1952, Conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler, are taken to a hospital after a milkman finds them injured in their home, near their mother who was brutally murdered. News spread of the twins' existence, leading local carnival freak show owner Elsa Mars attempting to recruit them to join her troupe. Although skeptical, the twins agree. Elsa's troupe of freaks include Jimmy Darling, a boy with syndactyly, and his mother Ethel Darling, a bearded lady. Meanwhile, Twisty a killer clown murders a teenage girl's boyfriend and a young boy's parents, and imprisons the young boy and teen girl in an old bus. Elsa's group puts on their first show with Bette and Dot as "The Siamese Twins", there are only two attendees, a wealthy but shallow socialite Gloria Mott and her dangerously disturbed son Dandy. Dandy bargains with Elsa to buy Bette and Dot, but the twins refuse. Elsa later tells Ethel that she brought the twins aboard to get more attention for the show and to boost her own fame. As Elsa prepares for bed, it's revealed that she is an amputee, legless below the knees. Jimmy kills a detective after he threatens to arrest the twins for their mother's murder.|
|40||2||"Massacres and Matinees"||Alfonso Gomez-Rejon||Tim Minear||October 15, 2014||4ATS02||4.53|
|The police arrive at the freak show to investigate the detective's disappearance, and to inform Elsa that a curfew is now in place in Jupiter following the string of murders. Meanwhile, the carnival strong man Dell Toledo, Jimmy's father, and his three-breasted hermaphrodite wife Desiree arrive and ask Elsa for a job. Elsa, makes Dell head of security, but soon realizes her mistake after Dell schedules a matinee against Elsa's orders, attacks Jimmy, and frames another performer, Meep, for the murder of the detective after Jimmy tried to frame Dell. Meep is arrested by the police and murdered by inmates in jail. His body is returned to the freak show where the fellow freaks gather round and mourn. Elsewhere, Dandy asks Jimmy if he can join the freak show, as he dreams of being on stage, but after Dandy accidentally insults Jimmy, he is rebuffed and sent away. After falling into a fit of rage, Dandy returns home to find that his mother, Gloria, has hired Twisty the Clown to cheer him up. However, Twisty storms off after Dandy tries to look inside his clown bag. Dandy follows Twisty back to his trailer where the two children Twisty is holding hostage attempt an escape but are recaptured by Twisty and Dandy.|
|41||3||"Edward Mordrake (Part 1)"||Michael Uppendahl||James Wong||October 22, 2014||4ATS03||4.44|
|On Halloween, a young clairvoyant fortune-teller named Maggie Esmerelda joins the troupe. Maggie is a con-artist working with a man named Stanley, who wants to sell freaks to the Museum of Morbid Curiosities. Ethel learns that she has cirrhosis of the liver and a limited time to live. Meanwhile, Dandy becomes more obsessed with Twisty and goes trick or treating in a homemade Twisty costume. After attempting to kill his maid, Dora, and backing off after she calls him out, he visits Twisty's trailer and torments the children being held captive. Twisty stalks a family with a daughter scared of clowns, and kidnaps her teenage brother. Later, the freak show troupe refuses to perform on Halloween due to the superstition surrounding an English freak from the 1800s named Edward Mordrake. Elsa, refuses to believe this, practices on stage, and Mordrake appears, looking to take a soul from the saddest freak to join his spiritual troupe in Hell.|
|42||4||"Edward Mordrake (Part 2)"||Howard Deutch||Jennifer Salt||October 29, 2014||4ATS04||4.51|
|Mordrake learns the past of Ethel, Legless Suzi, Paul the Illustrated Seal, and Elsa. After revisiting her memories, Elsa begs Mordrake to take her but he decides to continue on. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Maggie stumble across Twisty's trailer. After freeing the children and phoning the police, Maggie hides as Twisty tries to murder Jimmy. Mordrake finds Twisty and listens to his backstory. Mordrake, seeing the pain and grief Twisty has suffered, kills Twisty and adopts him into his spiritual troupe. A distraught Dandy takes Twisty's mask and returns home, where he murders Dora. As the town learns that Twisty is dead, the curfew is lifted; and many residents of the town visit the freak show to thank Jimmy. Elsa announces her grand premiere to the town and tickets sell out. Stanley arrives at the freakshow where he poses as a Hollywood agent.|
|43||5||"Pink Cupcakes"||Michael Uppendahl||Jessica Sharzer||November 5, 2014||4ATS05||4.22|
|Stanley attempts to recruit Elsa by making deals with her about her possibly having her own show on television. Jimmy finds a drunk Desiree while searching for Dell, and while the two bond, Jimmy begins pleasuring Desiree with his hands. However, she begins bleeding from her vagina and later discovers she had a miscarriage. The doctor also reveals to Desiree that she is fully female. Dell meets with his regular lover, Andy, the two have a fight and Dell leaves. Dandy finds Andy and the two go to Twisty's bus, where Dandy kills him. Gloria receives a call from Dora's daughter, Regina Ross, who asks to speak with her mother but Gloria lies and tells her that she will not be able to contact her mother for a while. Elsa sees Stanley taking the twins on a picnic, which makes her jealous and angry. Later, she lies to the twins saying she is taking them to a fitting, but actually drives them straight to Gloria and Dandy's mansion.|
|44||6||"Bullseye"||Howard Deutch||John J. Gray||November 12, 2014||4ATS06||3.65|
|Elsa brings an old spinning wheel out and begins throwing daggers at it to prepare for her upcoming TV show. The night of her birthday party, she learns of the troupe's suspicions of her involvement with Bette and Dot's disappearance. Elsa reminds them that none of them would be here without her, and they should be grateful for her saving them. To prove their loyalty, Elsa demands that one of them be strapped to the wheel while she does her routine. Paul reluctantly volunteers and Elsa purposefully hits him in the gut and refuses to call a doctor. Dandy declares his love for the twins and wants to marry them. Dot learns of a pair of conjoined twins that have been separated for the first time and thinks Dandy could pay for the surgery. Stanley pressures Maggie into leading Jimmy to a barn and killing him. However, she suggests Ma Petite instead but she can't go through with it. She begs Jimmy to leave town with her immediately, but Stanley confronts her angrily, telling her they need the hands of Jimmy no matter what.|
|45||7||"Test of Strength"||Anthony Hemingway||Crystal Liu||November 19, 2014||4ATS07||3.91|
|The twins leave Dandy after Dot learns that he read her diary, and Dandy becomes furious. Upon returning to the freak show, Jimmy confronts Elsa for selling the twins, but they tell Jimmy he misunderstood and lie for Elsa, eventually blackmailing her for 50% of the box office returns in the process. Penny, after caring for Paul, returns home to tell her father that she is moving out, but he knocks her out and has his "artist friend" tattoo her face and head, and give her a forked tongue. Meanwhile, Stanley sees Dell at the gay bar and threatens to out him unless he delivers him the body of a freak. While trying to kill Amazon Eve, Dell underestimates her size and strength, and is beaten up by her. Jimmy later tells Dell that he knows Dell is his father and they bond. Later that night, Dell sneaks into Ma Petite's tent and brings her a pretty dress. She tries it on and he hugs her until he crushes her, breaking her spine in the process. He delivers the body to Stanley who sells it to Lillian Hemmings from the Museum of Morbid Curiosities, where Ma Petite's body is shown on exhibition.|
|46||8||"Blood Bath"||Bradley Buecker||Ryan Murphy||December 3, 2014||4ATS08||3.30|
|Ma Petite's bloody dress is found in the woods, along with some bones and the troupe assumes that she has been mauled and eaten by a wild animal. However, Ethel accuses Elsa of killing Ma Petite and a flashback reveals that Elsa was carried from the aftermath of the snuff movie to a doctor who crafted the legs for her. While Ethel prepares to shoot Elsa in the head for lying and betraying her, Elsa throws a knife into Ethel's head, killing her. With the help of Stanley, they fake Ethel's suicide. The troupe mourn Ethel while Jimmy falls into a depression and casts Maggie away. In response, he falls into the arms of a new recruit of the troupe, a morbidly obese woman with the stage name Ima Wiggles. Meanwhile, Dora's daughter Regina pays the Mott household a visit to investigate her mother's disappearance and refuses to leave without seeing her. Dandy is tricked by Gloria into visiting the therapist and becomes enraged when he realizes what is going on. Upon returning to the house, Dandy shoots Gloria in the head and bathes in her blood.|
|47||9||"Tupperware Party Massacre"||Loni Peristere||Brad Falchuk||December 10, 2014||4ATS09||3.07|
|After killing his mother, a deranged Dandy visits Maggie at the freak show to receive a reading. Maggie assures Dandy that there may be some trouble in his future but he will prevail. More confident than ever, Dandy leaves to continue his work but is stopped by an extremely drunk Jimmy. Jimmy accuses Dandy of having something to do with the twins' disappearance and threatens Dandy. With the truth of his sexuality and guilt over Ma Petite's murder becoming too much for Dell, he attempts to hang himself, but is later saved by Desiree. Once Jimmy leaves a Tupperware party, Dandy shows up and murders the whole group of women. Regina confronts Dandy and tells him she has contacted the police about her mother, but is shocked when Dandy openly admits his murderous streak. He lets Regina escape, but she soon returns with Detective Colquitt. Dandy promises the detective one million dollars if he kills Regina; and Colquitt shoots Regina in the head without hesitation. A drunken Jimmy goes back to his caravan, only to find Dot and Bette waiting for him. Dot declares her love for Jimmy and says they can live happily together, with Bette agreeing, but Jimmy declines their advances, claiming he is in love with someone else. Later, police cars show up to the freak show and arrest Jimmy for the murders of the Tupperware party women.|
|48||10||"Orphans"||Bradley Buecker||James Wong||December 17, 2014||4ATS10||2.99|
|Pepper's life is shattered when she finds that her husband, Salty, has died in his sleep. Elsa reveals to Desiree that she began her troupe after noticing the freaks were not being treated as they should be. Elsa found Pepper at an orphanage and recruited Ma Petite to act as Pepper's own child and later found Salty. Desiree suggests returning Pepper to her elder sister. Meanwhile, Stanley convinces Elsa to let him take care of Salty's body after telling her he would have the pinhead cremated, but he chops the head off and sells it to the Museum of Morbid Curiosities. Maggie confesses to Desiree that she and Stanley are con artist. The two visit the museum, and are shocked to find Ma Petite's body, Salty's severed head, and Jimmy's hands on display. Elsa tracks down Pepper's sister, Rita, and convinces her to take Pepper in. Nine years later, Rita gives birth to a deformed baby and her husband convinces her to frame Pepper for the baby's murder. After committing Pepper to Briarcliff, Sister Mary Eunice has Pepper assist her in the library sorting magazines. While doing so, Pepper finds a magazine with Elsa on the cover.|
|49||11||"Magical Thinking"||Michael Goi||Jennifer Salt||January 7, 2015||4ATS11||3.11|
|Stanley convinces Jimmy that the only way to pay for a lawyer is to sever one of his hands and sell it. After smuggling Jimmy out of the prison, Stanley puts him under, Jimmy awakens to find both of his hands have been removed. Dell visits him in the hospital and realizes Stanley double crossed Jimmy. Bette and Dot set out to find someone to deflower them, when they meet a traveling salesman, named Chester. Chester dreams of performing his magic in front of an audience, with his Dummy named Marjorie. Bette and Dot seduce Chester and sleep with him. As the cops are transporting Jimmy back to prison, Eve throws a brick through the windshield and she and Dell kill both officers, and rescue Jimmy. A flashback reveals that Chester's wife, Lucy, had an affair with a woman named Alice, and in a jealous rage he murdered the two, believing that Marjorie committed the murders. Maggie tells Elsa about Ma Petite's true fate. Once Dell confesses his crime of smothering Ma Petite to Desiree, Elsa shoots him in the head from behind.|
|50||12||"Show Stoppers"||Loni Peristere||Jessica Sharzer||January 14, 2015||4ATS12||2.94|
|Maggie reveals to Stanley that she outed him as a con artist and a murderer. Stanley pleads with the troupe to let him live and tells them that Elsa murdered Ethel, however they ignore him and mutilate him to resemble Meep. Elsa introduces Jimmy to Massimo Dolcefino, who makes him a pair of wooden replicas his lobster claws. The twins inform Chester they no longer want to be his assistants and Maggie volunteers in their place. Chester places her into the box and while seeing the faces of his deceased wife and her lover, Chester saws Maggie in half without realizing, killing her. Chester "murders" Marjorie in a rage and hands himself over to the police. Dot and Bette warn Elsa that she needs to leave immediately, as her freaks intend to avenge Ethel's murder. Desiree declares justice for Ethel, but they find Elsa is already gone. Elsa meets Dandy before she leaves town and receives $10,000 in exchange for the freak show. the final scene, Massimo delivers Jimmy his prosthetics, revealing wooden replicas of Jimmy's lobster claws.|
|51||13||"Curtain Call"||Bradley Buecker||John J. Gray||January 21, 2015||4ATS13||3.27|
|In a psychotic rage, Dandy massacres the freaks. Jimmy returns and finds everyone but Desiree dead. Dandy kidnaps Bette and Dot and they agree to marry him. At dinner, Dandy is drugged by Desiree with the help of the twins and Jimmy. Dandy awakens to find himself locked in Hardeen Houdini's Chinese water torture cell. Desiree, Jimmy, Bette, and Dot watch on as he drowns. Meanwhile, Elsa arrives in Hollywood and meets Michael Beck, the Junior vice-president of casting and they later marry. In 1960, Elsa receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is later confronted by her husband and the president of WBN, that a copy of the snuff film has surfaced. Realizing that her career is nearly over, Elsa agrees to perform on Halloween, knowing this will summon Edward Mordrake. As Elsa performs, Desiree, now with a family of her own, is shown watching the broadcast, along with a pregnant Bette and Dot who are happily married to Jimmy. Mordrake and his coterie appear and take Elsa to the afterlife, and she is greeted by Ma Petite and all her other deceased freaks, including Ethel who welcomes her back.|
In November 2013, FX announced that the show had been renewed for a fourth season. Series co-creator Ryan Murphy hinted that clues about the fourth season would be hidden in the final episodes of the third season. In March 2014, the season was revealed to be set at a carnival, according to co-executive producer/writer Douglas Petrie. It was also revealed that Lange will be playing a role similar to Marlene Dietrich. Murphy revealed that the season will take place in 1950, adding: "If you look historically what happened in the year 1950, there's some more clues in that year. It's a period piece. We try and do the opposite of what we've done before. Jessica Lange has already started practicing her German accent so I'm very excited!" Murphy indicated that this season draws inspiration from Tod Browning's Freaks and Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls. This season features the largest set ever constructed for American Horror Story, with Murphy stating: "We had to build an entire city. We built an entire huge compound and then we had to build the interior of all those buildings on set. It's all period. And it's all based on [production designer] Mark Worthington's immaculate research."
Ryan Murphy confirmed that Jessica Lange would be returning for a fourth season, although said to be in a reduced capacity. She portrayed Elsa Mars, the owner of the freak show. In November 2013, Murphy said he approached Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett to return. Bassett later confirmed in an interview with Access Hollywood that she would be indeed coming back. They portrayed Desiree Dupree and Ethel Darling, respectively. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sarah Paulson revealed she would be returning, possibly for a main role, which was later revealed to be the conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler. It was announced at the PaleyFest 2014 that the cast members present at the panel would all be returning for the fourth season in some capacity, including Denis O'Hare (Stanley), Emma Roberts (Maggie Esmerelda), Frances Conroy (Gloria Mott), Evan Peters (Jimmy Darling), and Gabourey Sidibe (Regina Ross). Jamie Brewer was also added to the present roster, although Murphy later indicated Brewer may not appear during the season. She was later confirmed to portray the ventriloquist dummy Marjorie after appearing in a promo for the final episodes. Additionally, Michael Chiklis was announced to play the father of Peters' character and ex-husband of Bates' character, the strongman Dell Toledo. Finn Wittrock was the last lead actor joining the cast. He portrayed the psychopathic Dandy Mott.
In July 2014, TVLine reported that Wes Bentley would appear in the season' two-part Halloween episode as Edward Mordrake. At the Comic-Con 2014, it was announced that John Carroll Lynch would portray one of the central antagonist during the season, Twisty the Clown. In August 2014, Patti LaBelle joined the cast for a four-episode story arc as the mother of Sidibe's character, named Dora, the Motts' housekeeper. Also in August 2014, it was revealed that Matt Bomer would be guest-starring in one episode as Andy, Dell's secret lover. Murphy took to his Twitter account to announce that the world's smallest woman Jyoti Amge has joined the cast as Ma Petite. Murphy had written a role specifically for Coven alum Leslie Jordan, but he was unable to appear on the show due to scheduling conflicts.
In September 2014, it was reported that Asylum alum Naomi Grossman would return to portray Pepper, which marks the first time a character appears in multiple seasons of the series. Lily Rabe also reprised her Asylum character Sister Mary Eunice McKee in the tenth episode, "Orphans". Mare Winningham made an appearance in the same episode, as Pepper's sister Rita. Neil Patrick Harris guest starred in two episodes as Chester, who takes over the freak show when Elsa leaves for Hollywood. Harris' husband, David Burtka, appeared in the season finale as Elsa's husband.
At Paley Center for Media's 2014 PaleyFest event, Ryan Murphy announced that the season's filming would take place again in New Orleans, Louisiana, although the show's setting is in Jupiter, Florida. The premiere episode was directed by co-creator Murphy, his first effort since the pilot. Principal photography for the season began on July 15, 2014. Production on the season concluded on December 19, 2014.
A video released in July 2014, entitled "Fallen Angel", was reported by many news sources to be an official Freak Show trailer. The video – which featured the American Horror Story title card – was later taken down after FX confirmed it was fan-made. Before the debut of the fan-made video, FX had not released any official trailers concerning the upcoming season. The first official teaser was released on August 20, 2014, entitled "Admit One".
As with previous seasons, FX released a series of teaser trailers on the show's YouTube page. FX also used the marketing hashtag #WirSindAlleFreaks in the German language, and its English translation #WeAreAllFreaks.
American Horror Story: Freak Show received a Metacritic score of 69 out of 100 based on 19 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 79% approval rating with an average rating of 7.29/10 based on 32 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Though it may turn off new viewers unaccustomed to its unabashed weirdness, Freak Show still brings the thrills, thanks to its reliably stylish presentation and game cast."
Awards and nominations
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In its fourth season, the series was nominated for 76 awards, 21 of which were won.
|2015||46th NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special||Angela Bassett||Nominated|
|Outstanding TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special||American Horror Story: Freak Show||Nominated|
|72nd Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress – Mini-Series or TV Film||Jessica Lange||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress – Series, Mini-Series or TV Film||Kathy Bates||Nominated|
|19th Satellite Awards||Best TV Series – Genre||American Horror Story: Freak Show||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or TV Film||Sarah Paulson||Won|
|41st People's Choice Awards||Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show||American Horror Story: Freak Show||Nominated|
|Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress||Jessica Lange||Nominated|
|26th PGA Awards||Outstanding Producer of Long-Form TV||Brad Buecker, Dante Di Loreto, Brad Falchuk, Joseph Incaprera, Alexis Martin Woodall, Tim Minear, Ryan Murphy, Jennifer Salt, James Wong (also for Coven)||Nominated|
|19th ADG Awards||TV Movie or Mini-Series||Mark Worthington (for "Massacres and Matinees")||Won|
|17th CDG Awards||Outstanding Made for TV Movie or Mini-Series||Lou Eyrich||Won|
|Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards 2015||Mini-Series or TV Movie Period and/or Character Make-up||Eryn Krueger Mekash, Kim Ayers||Won|
|Mini-Series or TV Movie Period Special Make-up Effects||Eryn Krueger Mekash, Michael Mekash, Christopher Nelson (petition)||Won|
|Mini-Series or TV Movie Period and/or Character Hair Styling||Monte C. Haught, Michelle Ceglia||Won|
|13th VES Awards||Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Photoreal/Live Action Broadcast Program||Jason Piccioni, Jason Spratt, Mike Kirylo, Justin Bal, Eric Roberts (for "Edward Mordrake: Part 2")||Won|
|Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal/Live Action Broadcast Program||Tommy Tran, JV Pike, Rob Lutz, Matt Lefferts (for "Edward Mordrake: Part 2")||Nominated|
|62nd MPSE Golden Reel Awards||TV Short Form Music Score||Episode: "Monsters Among Us"||Nominated|
|51st CAS Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing – TV Movie or Mini-Series||Bruce Litecky, CAS (Production Mixer)
Joe Earle, CAS (Re-recording Mixer)
Doug Andham, CAS (Re-recording Mixer)
Evan Daum (ADR Mixer)
Kyle Billingsley (Foley Mixer)
(for "Monsters Among Us")
|6th Dorian Awards||TV Musical Performance of the Year||Jessica Lange (for "Life on Mars?")||Nominated|
|Campy TV Show of the Year||American Horror Story: Freak Show||Nominated|
|Fangoria Chainsaw Awards 2015||Best TV Series||Nominated|
|Best TV Actress||Sarah Paulson||Won|
|Best TV Supporting Actor||Finn Wittrock||2nd place|
|41st Saturn Awards||Best Actress on TV||Jessica Lange||Nominated|
|Best Guest Starring Role on TV||Neil Patrick Harris||Nominated|
|Best Syndicated/Cable TV Series||American Horror Story: Freak Show||Nominated|
|Glamour Awards 2014||International TV Actress||Jessica Lange||Nominated|
|36th Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a TV Series - Guest Starring Young Actor 15-21||Dalton E. Gray||Nominated|
|SXSW Film Design Awards 2015||Excellence in Title Design||American Horror Story: Freak Show||Nominated|
|5th Critics' Choice TV Awards||Most Bingeworthy Show||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Movie or Limited Series||Jessica Lange||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Limited Series||Finn Wittrock||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Limited Series||Sarah Paulson||Won|
|BMI Film & TV Awards 2015||BMI Cable TV Music Awards||Mac Quayle||Won|
|67th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Limited Series||American Horror Story: Freak Show||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie||Jessica Lange||Nominated|
|Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie||Denis O'Hare||Nominated|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie||Sarah Paulson||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special||Ryan Murphy (for "Monsters Among Us")||Nominated|
|67th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards||Outstanding Hairstyling for a Limited Series or Movie||Monte C. Haught, Michelle Ceglia, Daina Daigle, Amy Wood, Sherri B. Hamilton||Won|
|Outstanding Main Title Design||Ryan Murphy, Kyle Cooper, Lee Nelson, Nadia Tzuo||Nominated|
|Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role||Jason Piccioni, Justin Ball, Jason Spratt, Tim Jacobsen, David Altenau, Tommy Tran, Mike Kirylo, Matt Lefferts, Donnie Dean (for "Edward Mordrake: Part 2")||Won|
|Outstanding Costumes for a Period/Fantasy Series, Limited Series or Movie||Lou Eyrich, Elizabeth Macey, Ken van Duyne (for "Monsters Among Us")||Won|
|Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or Movie||Bruce Litecky, Joe Earle, Doug Andham, Evan Daum (for "Magical Thinking")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie||Michael Goi (for "Monsters Among Us")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie or Special||Gary Megregian, Timothy A. Cleveland, Paul Diller, Steve M. Stuhr, Lance Wiseman, Jason Krane, John Green, David Klotz, Noel Vought (for "Curtain Call")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series, Movie or Special||Robert J. Ulrich, Eric Dawson, Meagan Lewis||Nominated|
|Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special||Eryn Krueger Mekash, Michael Mekash, David L. Anderson, Justin Raleigh, Christopher Nelson, Kim Ayers, Luis Garcia, James MacKinnon||Won|
|Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or Special (Original Dramatic Score)||Mac Quayle (for "Orphans")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Make-up for a Limited Series or Movie (Non-prosthetic)||Eryn Krueger Mekash, Kim Ayers, Lucy O'Reilly, Michael Mekash, Christopher Nelson, Jillian Erickson||Won|
|Outstanding Short-Format Nonfiction Program||"American Horror Story: Extra-Ordinary Artists"||Nominated|
|19th Online Film & TV Association Awards||Best Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Jessica Lange||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Michael Chiklis||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Angela Bassett||Nominated|
|Best Miniseries||American Horror Story: Freak Show||Nominated|
|Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Nominated|
|Best Writing of a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Nominated|
|Best Music in a Non-Series||Nominated|
|Best Editing in a Non-Series||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography in a Non-Series||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design in a Non-Series||Won|
|Best Makeup/Hairstyling in a Non-Series||Won|
|Best Sound in a Non-Series||Nominated|
|Best Visual Effects in a Non-Series||Won|
|Best New Titles Sequence||Nominated|
|2016||31st Artios Awards||TV Movie or Mini-Series||Robert J. Ulrich, Eric Dawson, Carol Kritzer, Meagan Lewis (Location Casting), Becky Silverman (Associate)||Nominated|
Every cover song used in the season was made available for digital download on services such as iTunes and Amazon.com after the episode in which it appeared aired, except the cover of David Bowie's '"Heroes"' performed by Jessica Lange at the climax of the season finale "Curtain Call".
|"Life on Mars?"||Jessica Lange||"Monsters Among Us"
|"Criminal"||Sarah Paulson||"Massacres and Matinees"|
|"Gods and Monsters"||Jessica Lange||"Edward Mordrake (Part 1)"|
|"September Song"||Jessica Lange||"Bullseye"|
|"Come as You Are"||Evan Peters||"Test of Strength"|
|Note: All songs released by 20th Century Fox TV Records.|
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