‘American Horror Story: Coven’—Uncovered

Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett on stage during the “American Horror Story: Coven” panel at the 2013 Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Prepare for lots of Voodoo, New Orleans creepiness, and, of course, witches in the upcoming FX anthology series “American Horror Story: Coven.”

A hall-of-fame panel of actresses—including Angela Bassett, Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson, along with executive producer Tim Minear—gathered at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Friday to reveal some Season 3 secrets about “Coven.”

Sort of.

“We’re trying to keep some things close to the vest,” says Minear. “We’re at the very beginning stages of shooting the show, and we’d like to keep a lot of the surprises on the screen.”

That said, here’s what we know:

The ‘horror’ is set entirely in New Orleans. Look for the Crescent City, both past and present, to play a lead character on the show this season. “The story moves back and forth in time,” says Lange. The “back” being the 19th Century, when real-life serial killer Marie Delphine LaLaurie (played by Bates) killed and tortured slaves in her home.

Bassett also plays an historical figure of that time, Marie Laveau, a Louisiana Creole and Voodoo priestess whose life is steeped in New Orleans mystery and legend.

Lange plays a witch (it’s unclear if she’s a good witch or bad witch), and Paulson plays her daughter.

Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson of "AHS: Coven" (Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

There will be some laughs this season. While no one expects “American Horror Story” to be the next “American Dad,” Minear says there will be more laughs on the series this time around. “The fun quotient is higher this year,” he says. “Last year wasn’t all that fun. The show is a drama, but there’s a lot of humor.”

Racism and Feminism rule the roost. According to Minear, “Some of the bigger themes this year are oppression of minorities of all kinds.” On a more positive note, there will also be “a very strong feminist theme that runs throughout the coven this year,” says Minear. Look for lots of focus on the relationship between mothers and their daughters.

Nobody really knows anything—yet. At press time, the show had only been in production a few days and everyone involved admitted to genuinely not knowing how it’s all going to turn out. “We have these sort of orange cones and we kind of know what we’re driving for,” says Minear. “But sometimes we just swerve and go some place else entirely.”

Wherever that is, you can expect it to be majorly creepy.

“American Horror Story: Coven” premieres this October on FX.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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