The FX series “American Horror Story” only took home two of the 17 awards it was nominated for at the 64th Prime Time Emmys, despite the fact that the show was tied for most nominations with ceremony staple “Mad Men,” as noted by the Prime Time Emmys website.
The first season of what is being classified as a collection of miniseries managed to win in one of its nominated acting categories. Jessica Lange won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie for her performance as Constance Langdon, and the series also took Outstanding Hairstyling For A Miniseries Or A Movie for the work of Monte C. Haught, Department Head Hairstylist; Samantha Wade, Key Hairstylist; Melanie Verkins, Hairstylist; Natalie Driscoll, Hairstylist; Michelle Ceglia, Hairstylist.
“American Horror Story” lost to HBO’s “Game Change” for Outstanding Miniseries Or A Movie, among many other categories. Lange also beat fellow cast member Frances Conroy who was nominated for her role as the elderly Moira O'Hara.
Entertainment Weekly points out that the series’ downfall at the awards could have something to do with the shows questionable placement in the Miniseries or Movie category. “American Horror Story” might not have been nominated for as many awards as “Mad Men” had it been going against the Jon Hamm fronted drama.
The freshman program might not have stood the same chance against veteran dramas like “Mad Men,” or “Breaking Bad.” New shows like Showtime’s “Homeland” could have also posed a serious threat to the program.
“We always knew that “American Horror Story” was going to be a miniseries in the sense that we knew that it was a close‑ended show that had no continuing story lines or characters between the 13 episodes that were produced and aired and subsequent seasons,” FX president and general manager John Landgraf said in defense of the decision to categorize the show as a miniseries, reports Entertainment Weekly. “That’s the definition of a miniseries. A miniseries is a show that has no continuing story elements or narrative elements between one group of episodes and another.”
Lange, who was one of the few winners on the “AHS” roster, is also one of the few cast members returning for the show’s second season. The season dubbed “Asylum” will abandon the original plotline and take place as a stand-alone story, with Lange playing the warden of a mental institution.
"I felt we had told that story in the first season and to return to it and revisit it was less interesting to me than starting fresh with a whole new place, time, characters, story, circumstances," Lange said backstage at the awards, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "I'm actually enjoying it, it's like doing a different film."