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story.lead_photo.caption Sarah Paulson (left) and Kathy Bates meet with TV critics last month in Los Angeles to discuss the next chapter in Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology titled American Horror Story: Apocalypse. The series debuts Wednesday.

It's time once again for Ryan Murphy to scare the spit out of us. Lock the doors and turn on all the lights.

American Horror Story: Apocalypse debuts at 9 p.m. Wednesday on FX. This is the eighth installment of the horror/thriller anthology and, as usual, will feature a number of returning cast members from Murphy's stable of players.

Back from previous seasons are Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Adina Porter, Emma Roberts, Cheyenne Jackson, Billy Eichner, Leslie Grossman and Billie Lourd.

Also on hand are Jessica Lange, Taissa Farmiga, Gabourey Sidibe, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy, Stevie Nicks, Connie Britton, and Dylan McDermott, along with new cast member Dame Joan Collins.

Yes, that Joan Collins. She of Dynasty fame. Collins is 85 these days and was made a dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 2015 for her many charitable services.

In case you've forgotten, the seven previous AHS chapters have been titled, in order, Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, Hotel, Roanoke and Cult. Apocalypse is reportedly a crossover of Murder House and Coven.

I say "reportedly" because, as fans know, Ryan keeps details of each chapter close to his vest.

What we do know is that Britton and McDermott would be reprising their roles as Ben and Vivien Harmon from Murder House. In that initial offering, Ben and Vivien move into a haunted house with their daughter Violet (Farmiga). Bad, bad things happen.

Lange, who left the series in 2015 after Freak Show, will be returning as Constance Langdon in Episode 6.

Paulson will be playing three characters -- Coven headmistress Cordelia Goode, Murder House medium Billie Dean Howard, and a new character, a public official named Venable.

Nicks, of course, plays herself.

Finally, Murphy took to his Twitter account to fill us in (using all caps) with all we need to know: "AHS #8 WITCHES RULE THIS SEPTEMBER."

FX has already renewed American Horror Story for a ninth and 10th season.

The Great American Read, 7 p.m. today on PBS and AETN. If you missed the beginning of this new series last week, here's your chance to catch up. Hosted by Meredith Vieira, the eight-part series "explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America's 100 best-loved novels as chosen in a national survey."

The series delves into how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how readers are affected by the stories, and "what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience."

How were the Top 100 chosen? PBS worked with the public opinion polling service YouGov to formulate "a demographically and statistically representative survey." About 7,200 people participated.

If you want to vote for your favorite, go to pbs.org. Voting is open until Oct. 18 with the big reveal taking place on the season finale.

A few examples of novels on the list: 1984, George Orwell; Another Country, James Baldwin; The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger; A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin; Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry; Moby-Dick, Herman Melville; Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse and White Teeth, Zadie Smith.

My vote? It doesn't get any better or more quintessentially American than Lonesome Dove. Trust me, my grad school prof was a huge fan.

America's Got Talent airs the Season 13 semifinals live at 7 p.m. today on NBC. It's a two-hour show. The results will air at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The final performances are set for 7 p.m. Sept. 18, with the season finale at 7 p.m. Sept. 19.

NBC preview. The cast of Brooklyn Nine-Nine will spend an hour hyping the new NBC fall season at 9 p.m. today. The new series getting the most preseason buzz is Manifest, the Lost-esque drama that will air Mondays in the coveted slot following The Voice.

The network will have only three new shows on the fall schedule because, as NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt says, "We have a really strong, stable fall with many returning shows that are just great anchors, great lead-ins for us."

The new fall season officially begins Sept. 24.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is hosting the preview because NBC wants to make sure you realize the network saved it after Fox killed it off last year. The comedy will show up at midseason, along with veterans The Blacklist, AP Bio and Good Girls, along with several new series.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email:

mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Style on 09/11/2018

Print Headline: 8th American Horror Story debuts Wednesday

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