By Debbie Elicksen
While it seems new and refreshing, anthologies are really not new to the television domain.
Past productions have been focused mostly on the mystery/horror/science fiction genres and have included some of the most culturally iconic:
- Rod Serling‘s The Twilight Zone (1959 to 1964)
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955 to 1965)
- Rod Serling‘s Night Gallery (1970 to 1973)
- The Outer Limits, created by Leslie Stevens and Joseph Stefano (1963 to 1965)
The anthology brings the viewer new stories and characters each week or each season. FX’s American Horror Story, HBO’s True Detective, and ABC’s American Crime introduce a new narrative each interval. While the characters recalibrate with each tale, some of the actors are reinstated.
The new anthologies have cast many A-list actors who have been more known for their movie roles until now. Matthew McConaughey, Angela Bassett, Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, and Timothy Hutton are just a few of the headliners making the jump to the small screen.
American Horror Story airs on FX channel and is the creation of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. It is embarking onto its fifth season (Hotel), which will feature the transition of Lady Gaga into her first acting gig.
Jessica Lange won the 2014 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie and a 2012 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. Kathy Bates won a 2014 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. James Cromwell won a 2013 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie. The show won a 2014 Primetime Emmy for Original Main Title Theme Music; a 2013 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special; and a 2012 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries or Movie.
Season One of HBO’s True Detective offered up some of the most compelling acting anyone has ever seen in a television series. Season Two is still airing as of this entry.
The show was created by Nick Pizzolatto and won five 2014 Primetime Emmys, including for Outstanding Miniseries; Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series; and Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming.
You don’t often see a show or movie play out all the intricacies of the lives touched by one event like this series did.
ABC’s American Crime was created by John Ridley and is up for ten 2015 Primetime Emmy categories, including:
- Outstanding Limited Series
- Felicity Huffman for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series
- Timothy Hutton for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series
- Regina King for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series
- Richard Cabral for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series
- John Ridley for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series.