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'American Horror Story' has 'a lot of humor' this season

Frederick M. Brown / Today
From left, executive producer Tim Minear and stars Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett at the TCA press tour.

"American Horror Story: Coven" won’t feature Uncle Arthur or Aunt Clara when it returns to FX in October. However, the supernatural-themed series (set to focus on mothers and daughters and witches that migrate from Salem to New Orleans) will be a bit lighter in its tone than season one's "Murder House" and season two's "Asylum."

“It’s definitely a drama,” Sarah Paulson, a returning cast member, shared with TV critics at the summer TCA press tour Friday. “But there’s a certain lightness to the show. Last season, we couldn’t even sit in the asylum set for very long. We wanted to go back to our trailers and nobody ever does that. These sets (for ‘Coven’) are beautiful. I’m walking around my character’s kitchen saying, ‘I wish I had this cutting board.’ ”

Paulson’s set to play Jessica Lange’s daughter, Cordelia, in "Coven." Lange will portray a witch named Fiona.

"There is a lot of humor and we are embracing a kind of velocity and fun with the series," previewed executive producer Tim Minear.

Though the usually dark drama may be lighter in tone this year, the screams aren't going away.

“You won’t feel like the walls are closing in on you, but you will get scared,” said Minnear.

"Coven" features a female-heavy cast, including Oscar-winner Kathy Bates ("Misery") and Oscar-nominee Angela Bassett ("What’s Love Got To Do With It"), who are playing real-life characters Delphine LaLaurie, a Louisiana socialite/serial killer, and Marie Laveau, a practitioner of voodoo.

“This is a character that’s very different from Harry,” said Bates, the former "Harry’s Law" star, or her murderous character. “And I’m thrilled to be able to play it!”

“There are some voodoo-ians who’ve offered to show me a few things,” said Bassett.

Lange and Paulson aren’t the only cast members from previous seasons set to return. 

“Evan Peters is back and he will be involved with at least one of the witches in our coven,” said Minear, who added that Peters won’t be playing characters similar to those he portrayed in "Murder House" and "Asylum," but rather “something new.” 

While Paulson’s character has a husband, Minear said that the cast is mostly women.

“All of these women (Lange, Paulson, Bates and Bassett) are playing iconic characters,” said Minear. “Not all of them are witches, but some of them are. This cast is off-the-hook amazing.” 

Sure, FX can be a “boy’s network,” Minear mused, but “we have a ‘Murders’ Row’ of actresses, who are very friendly — friendly until we start doing what we do!”