Scream Queens is without a doubt one of the most anticipated new shows this fall - and for good reason! The Fox horror-comedy, from American Horror Storyand Glee's Ryan Murphy, has a star-studded cast, including Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis and Lea Michele. But there's so much more to Scream Queensthan that. Check out the nine most exciting things we learned about the series at the Television Critics Association fall previews.
1. Scream Queens wouldn't have happened without Jamie Lee Curtis: Before Murphy had even finished writing the first script, he approached the Halloweenstar about joining the series. "We simply told her what the story was and we just led with our love and passion for her. And said in the meeting, 'And if you don't do it, we're not going to do the show,'" Murphy said. Fortunately, the next day Curtis officially signed on.
2. Even the cast can't help but fangirl over working with Curtis: "I could never have imagined I would be doing a TV show with her," Keke Palmer, who plays the ambitious Zayday, said. "I grew up watching every last one of Halloween, my sister and I, that's a fact. We love her. Ride or die for Jamie Lee. So when I found out I was going to be doing a show with her, it was absolutely unbelievable. And she is cool as hell, I'll tell you that."
3. There will be tons of violence, but not so much sex: "I think Scream Queens has a much more satirical, cartoonish quality to the attacks than American Horror Story,which is much more sexualized and darker," Murphy said. "We have had healthy discussions with broadcast standards, shockingly more about the language and the girls having an empowering sense of their own sexuality. That is the thing that I always find very upsetting, is that violence is cool, for the most part. That's very easy to get through in my job. It's language. It's slang, It's trying to really reflect how people talk. It's trying to write characters who are open about their sexuality and talk about their sexuality that gets the most attention and the most pushback."
4. We'll get to go inside fraternity life: "There's also a scream kings element to it," Murphy revealed. "There's a golfing fraternity, the Dickie Dollar Scholars." Scream Queens will began exploring the university's frat life, which includes star Nick Jonas, in the second episode.
5. Not everyone is who they seem: As Scream Queens moves forward, the show will strip away the facades people put on to fit into society and expose "what people really are, which is inherently dark, inherently unhappy and frustrated human beings who are trying so desperately to hold it together," according to Curtis. "Everything that you think about every single one of these characters, you don't know sh-- about anything because everyone here is wearing masks and this show peels off masks each week and it's brilliant."
6. The actresses are fighting to survive in real life too: Not even the show's stars know whether they'll live through the season. "We are reading these scripts every week blind," Curtis said. "And so you also have this interesting dynamic, which is, if we're all still in an episode, that you're kind of bonded together as the survivors ... There's also a little bit of this self-preservation. And so it's kind of a funny dynamic to have a sorority house doing that and a group of actresses doing that."
7. There was almost an American Horror Story: Coven spin-off: The origin of Scream Queens first began when Murphy was filming the third season ofAmerican Horror Story, which was also filmed in New Orleans and starred Emma Roberts. "At one point we had talked about spinning that show off on its own, because we loved the characters and doing it so much." Murphy said. "But we decided that was not the truth of that show. That show is really a reinvention every season and we wanted to stay true to that. So that's when it really started for us to percolate."
8. Curtis has the best trick to keep a straight face on set: Over the years, Curtis has developed a sure-fire way to stop herself from breaking while shooting a particularly funny scene - and for good reason. "Kevin Kline to this day doesn't speak to me because I ruined more great takes from him on A Fish Called Wanda," Curtis said. Now, Curtis holds either a pushpin or a toothpick between her fingers and pushes during every scene. "I don't care what's happening, whatever Niecy Nash is throwing at me, I am squeezing a pushpin between my fingers to make it hurt really bad so that I will not laugh and that is a testament to the writing."
9. Emma Roberts' character isn't as terrible as she first seems: Though Roberts' character Chanel starts the season as a superficial, racist mean girl, she will begin to have more redeeming qualities as the season moves forward. "She's pretending to be something that she's not and part of the fun of that character is peeling away those layers as we go on and see the vulnerabilities that she has and explain, also, why is she this way. She obviously has had a long and storied background with the sorority, " Murphy said.