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Ryan Murphy Talks American Horror Story

Ryan Murphy stopped by the never-ending TV Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills Saturday morning to talk about his new FX drama, American Horror Story, which was first revealed to critics earlier this week. The session was a pretty tame half-hour, most notable perhaps for Murphy's revelation that viewers won't have to wait long to get answers to key questions posed in the pilot for the haunted-house thriller. "It's a pilot that has eight cliffhangers in it," he said. "But by the third episode ... those big mysteries are settled [including] why they stay in that house." He also defended the brutally quick pace of the pilot: "I've always thought of a pilot of a show as a blueprint," he said. "I love that there are a lot of characters and a lot of story. When you have actors like this, you have an obligation to write them really emotionally grounded stories."

Murphy also explained that the dark, psyco-sexual tone was greatly inspired by the old ABC daytime soap Dark Shadows. "My grandmother used to force me to watch Dark Shadows," he said. "Even when I was sobbing, she made me watch, to toughen me up. And when I was bad, I had to watch The Waltons." Murphy's other show, Glee, didn't come up during his formal session with reporters; during a post-session scrum with journalists, he declined to discuss the recent controversies surrounding spinoffs and such. He did, however, promise more screen time for some of the supporting players on Glee. "One of the things we're doing better this season is that we're seeing more of [all of] the kids," he said. "I don't think there's been enough [of supporting characters]. It's hard on me because I love all those actors and I feel they're all so talented; I feel an obligation to showcase their talent. We're trying to do that better this year."

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for DGA