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'American Horror Story' writer confirms season four will have a carnival theme

Jessica Lange in "American Horror Story: Coven."
Michele K. Short/FX
Jessica Lange in "American Horror Story: Coven."Today

Three seasons of the scary, surreal "American Horror Story" have sometimes felt like a three-ring circus. And based on one writer/producer's tease, the theme of the upcoming fourth season might skew closer to that kind of craziness than ever before.

During a recently posted "Nerdist Writers Panel" podcast, "Arrow" writer/producer Moira Kirland said she had heard the new season's theme would be "carnival." Douglas Petrie, who is a writer and co-executive producer on "AHS," acknowledged she was right, and added, "It doesn't have a title, but ... that's the idea. Very roughly, that's the idea."

Thus far, each season of "AHS" has taken viewers through different settings: a haunted house, a mental institution and a witch's coven. Introducing creepy carnival rides and terrifying clowns would, in many ways, be a logical next step. 

Co-creator Ryan Murphy already has confirmed that the new season will be a period piece. "It's set in 1950," Murphy told Entertainment Weekly in January. "If you look historically what happened in the year 1950, there’s some more clues in that year. It’s a period piece. We try and do the opposite of what we've done before. Jessica Lange has already started practicing her German accent, so I’m very excited!"

Season four is set to be Lange's last one with the series, and there have been no other casting announcements yet. But the show creators and some of the players from previous seasons are set to attend a PaleyFest panel on March 28, and could expand on details then.

"American Horror Story" is set to return to FX in October.