AMERICAN HORROR STORY, Dylan McDermott, Taissa Farmiga, Connie Britton

Robert Zuckerman/FX

WWK Fall TV Preview 2011

Denis O'Hare knows a thing or two about scary. After all, last season on True Blood, as big bad Russell Edgington, he dabbled in extracurricular hobbies such as ripping out spines and carrying around a jar of his lover's guts.

And that is why Denis wants you to know that despite its title, his new FX drama American Horror Story, also starring Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott, is "really just a family show."

"It's an endearing little show for families about families...Families being torn apart and hacked up and torn to pieces. Literally."

So what he's saying is: Ruuunnn! Ruuunnn for your liiives! 'Cause this is the scariest s--t ever to air on television!

So is Horror Story for you? Here is what you need to know:

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American Horror Story (FX)
PremieresWednesday, Oct. 5, 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: CSI (CBS), Revenge (ABC), Law and Order: SVU (NBC)
Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Denis O'Hare, Jessica Lange, Alexandra Breckenridge, Taissa Farmiga, Evan Peters
Status: We've seen the pilot episode

1.  Don't even think about watching this show if you hate scary movies. "If you like the horror genre, then you're gonna love the show," castmember Alexandra Breckenridge (also of True Blood) promises. "If you scare easily then eeeee...I don't know, there might be parts you can watch but most of it, probably not." AHS is a wildly stylized series with a distinct point of view that won't appeal to everyone. But those who get sucked in will be counting the minutes until the next episode.

2. Don't start believing...that there are any similarities to Glee just because this show is from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. OK, Terry Schuester was a little psycho, and her marriage to Will was a little flawed, but last we checked they didn't have a creepy basement filled with creepy baby parts or a psychotic demon who liked to dress up in gimp suits. While Glee is at its heart a feel-good, champion-the-underdog kind of show that everyone can watch, American Horror Story is a deeply layered psycho-sexual thriller with thoroughly adult themes. No slushies. But lots of goo and gore that will shock you to the core. It's a haunted house series in the vein of '70s horror movies such as The Shining and Rosemary's Baby. Instead of following the current trend of witches-vampires-werewolves, AHS serves up plenty of deeply layered demonic outrageousness to leave you sleeping with the lights on for a good time to come.

3. Tammy freaking Taylor, y'all! Friday Night Lights fans might be intrigued to know that AHS shows us a completely different side of Connie Britton than we've seen the past five-plus years in Dillon, Texas. Her character is a strong but deeply flawed and wounded woman, one whose greatest fears all seem to be materializing, starting with her husband Dylan McDermott's infidelity. The couple move to a house in California to start their lives over again—but it turns out the house is haunted as hell, so you can imagine that things don't really go as planned. "We just met on this project, and we instantly got along," Dylan tells us of his onscreen bride, Connie. "We sat down with Ryan and we all kinda wanted the same things and we look good together. So it's a marriage made in heaven...or, on this show, hell."

4. Emmy 2012 prediction: Jessica Lange, who stars as the couple's kleptomaniac, sweet-talkin' but ill-meaning next-door neighbor, can just go ahead and pick up that Emmy right now. Really, do we have to go through all the formality? Trust us, she's incredible in AHS.

Verdict: Can you stomach American Horror Story? Find out Oct. 5 when the series premieres on FX. Just make sure you first put those kiddies to bed!

Fall TV Preview 2011: American Horror Story
American Horror Story?

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