“Scream Queens” has been renewed for Season 2, and the new season will feature an all-new setting: a hospital.
From mega-producer Ryan Murphy, the first season of “Scream Queens” was one of the most anticipated new shows of the season with a stellar cast and splashy you-can’t-miss-it marketing campaign, but the horror/comedy anthology series didn’t quite meet its high expectations, ranking as a modest performer in its initial run. But, a lot of its viewing came in the days following its television premiere and the series became a model for modern-day viewing habits, spiking 82% in 18-49 (to 2.0 rating) and 69% in total viewers (to 4.7 million) in Nielsen’s “live plus-7” estimates vs. its “same-day” numbers. The series was also the No. 1 new series on social media according to Fox, which recently became the first — and only — broadcast network to drop same-day ratings releases.
Despite the ratings, throughout its first season, insiders told Variety “Scream Queens” would most definitely return for a new installment, given the network’s faith in audience’s viewing habits and interest in the show, not to mention Fox’s strong relationship with Murphy — one of their most important and talented content creators. However, sources say while Fox execs were happy with the creative direction of the first set of episodes, they knew the show could not return without a wider appeal, as the sorority theme of Season 1 alienated viewers, mostly appealing to much younger females. (The hospital theme of Season 2 immediately feels less “bubblegum,” and should bring in more male viewers.)
“The story of the fall is just how much people are time-shifting and watching programming in new and much more dramatic ways than even six months ago,” Murphy told Variety when numbers came in after the “Scream Queens” premiere. “It’s like reporting on a football game after the first quarter.”
The second season is described as being set in a hospital where some of the most fascinating and bizarre medical cases are under observation. While no casting for Season 2 has been announced, at the end of the first season, in which Lea Michele’s character Hester was revealed to be the killer, Michele spoke to Variety, teasing the future of “Scream Queens.”
“I do know what Ryan’s plan is and it’s really fun,” she said. “It’s an homage to another classic horror film. This year was ‘Heathers.’ Next season would be a take on another classic girl film. I’ve had a great time playing Hester, and hopefully she’ll be back to play next year.”
Michele did explain that while the setting for Season 2 will be different, the same characters would return — rather than the same actors returning to play different characters, like in Murphy’s “American Horror Story” franchise on FX.
“Yes, we’re playing the same characters in a new location,” Michele said. “We would all go somewhere, and it’s explained why we’re going where we’re going. Hopefully Emma Roberts will be back for sure, too.” As for the rest of the original cast? Michele joked, “It depends on how many gift baskets to Ryan Murphy Productions people can send in time. I think the cast is so incredible. I know Ryan is loyal to everyone, so hopefully everyone will be able to come back at least for something.”
Following the renewal announcement, Roberts took to Twitter to let her followers know that “Scream Queens” will be returning — and teased that she will also be back. (Fox has not confirmed any casting.)
— Emma Roberts (@RobertsEmma) January 15, 2016
The first season ended with Roberts’ character, Chanel Oberlin, and some of the other Chanels in a mental institution, though per Fox’s description, it does sound like the hospital in Season 2 will be mental.
While production of the first season was in New Orleans, Fox’s Walden said she expects season two to relocate to Los Angeles.
“Scream Queens” hails from Ryan Murphy Television, Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision and 20th Century Fox Television. Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan co-created the series, and serve as writers and directors on the series. Alexis Martin Woodall also exec produces.