American Horror Story: Asylum

American Horror Story: Asylum Information

American Horror Story: Asylum, the second season of the American FX horror television series American Horror Story, originally aired from October 17, 2012 to January 23, 2013. Announced on October 31, 2011, the premise of the second season marks a departure from that of the series' first season, featuring all new characters and a new location. Thus, American Horror Story has been deemed an anthology series. American Horror Story: Asylum begins in 1964 at the Briarcliff Mental Institution, following the stories of the patients, doctors and nuns who occupy it, and intercuts with events in the past and present.

The season garnered an impressive seventeen Primetime Emmy Award nominations, more than any other show. The performances of Jessica Lange, James Cromwell, Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson, and Lily Rabe were particularly praised.


The second season of American Horror Story follows the patients, doctors and nuns who occupy Briarcliff Mental Institution in Massachusetts in 1964, intercut with scenes from the present. Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) and Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) maintain the institution that was founded by Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes) to treat and house the criminally insane. Psychiatrist Dr. Oliver Thredson (Zachary Quinto) and scientist Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell) treat the patients within the facility. The patients, many of whom claim to be unjustly institutionalized, include lesbian journalist Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson), accused serial killer Kit Walker (Evan Peters), and alleged murderer Grace Bertrand (Lizzie Brocheré).

As the season unfolds, information is revealed about everyone's past, and present, personal lives. Sister Jude was once a philandering nightclub singer who unintentionally killed a young girl in a drunk driving accident in 1949. This led her to become a nun and then later be selected to work at Briarcliff. Sister Mary Eunice becomes possessed and taunts her about the accident. Sister Jude later discovers, however, that the girl she thought she killed is actually alive. Sister Jude figures that God had a plan for her all along, and she decides that it is her job to destroy all the remaining evil at Briarcliff.

This includes the sadistic scientist Dr. Arden and Dr. Thredson. Arden is a former Nazi whose experiments have produced "Raspers", mutated former patients, who lurk in the woods surrounding the institution. He and Sister Jude often clash with their differing views of how the facility should be run. Dr. Thredson is a psychiatrist assigned to evaluate accused serial killer Walker, although it is also revealed that Thredson is the actual killer. Walker believes his wife Alma (Britne Oldford) was kidnapped by aliens and Thredson makes it his mission to pin her disappearance and possible murder, among others, on him. Walker is duped into taping a confession and is arrested for the murders. He later escapes custody.

Thredson also tries to "reform" another patient that has been wrongfully committed. Lana Winters is an ambitious journalist who attempts to expose Briarcliff's mistreatments. She is in a relationship with girlfriend Wendy (Clea Duvall), who is blackmailed by Sister Jude into committing Winters. It is revealed that Thredson has also killed Wendy and, at first, tells Winters that the killer is still on the loose. Thredson agrees to help Winters escape the asylum, but she learns his dark secret and that he sees her as the mother he never had. He rapes her, she escapes, only to end up back at Briarcliff. She later learns she is pregnant with Thredson's baby.

Meanwhile, believing his wife is dead or missing, Kit Walker has taken up with inmate Grace Bertrand. She is accused of murdering her family and it is revealed that she actually had. She and Walker get caught having sex before his arrest and they are separated with the intent to be sterilized. However, she is abducted by aliens and is later returned, very pregnant and ready to give birth. Walker has allowed himself to be caught and arranges for her and their baby to be released. The three arrive at his home to find his wife Alma, alive and with her own baby.

While all this is going on, the possessed Sister Mary Eunice is able to get Sister Jude deposed and committed. Mary Eunice takes over Briarcliff, with Dr. Arden's help. She nurses the weakened Monsignor Howard back to health and he tries to perform a failed exorcism on her. She rapes him but later tires of all that is going on and Howard kills her by throwing her off the third floor balcony. Dr. Arden, after becoming loyal to Mary Eunice, cremates her while immolating himself.

Lana Winters successfully captures a confession from Dr. Thredson, but decides to corner him in his house to say she has turned the tape over to the police. He states, because he is insane, no jury will convict him and she shoots him. In the present, she has become a famous television investigative reporter and gets Briarcliff closed down for its inhumane treatments. Winters reveals that Monsignor Howard committed suicide. She also reports that Kit Walker took in Sister Jude, after Alma was committed for killing Grace Bertrand for not talking about possibility of the aliens coming back. Jude's dementia worsens and she is taken into the woods by the children. Her mind gets healed but she later dies. Kit Walker is later abducted after he contracts pancreatic cancer.

Winters' grown son (Dylan McDermott) has vowed vengeance against her, the mother who never loved him, especially when she claims he had died at birth. She ultimately convinces him that he is not like his murderous father and then uses his own gun to kill him, when his guard is down.

Cast and characters

See List of American Horror Story characters#Asylum for more information

Main cast

Recurring cast

  • Naomi Grossman as Pepper (7 episodes)
  • Fredric Lehne as Frank McCann (7 episodes)
  • Chloë Sevigny as Shelley (6 episodes)
  • Clea DuVall as Wendy Peyser (6 episodes)
  • Britne Oldford as Alma Walker (6 episodes)
  • Jenna Dewan-Tatum as Teresa Morrison (6 episodes)
  • Dylan McDermott as Johnny Morgan (5 episodes)
  • Frances Conroy as The Angel of Death / Shachath (5 episodes)
  • Barbara Tarbuck as Mother Superior Claudia (5 episodes)
  • Adam Levine as Leo Morrison (5 episodes)
  • Mark Consuelos as Spivey (4 episodes)
  • Mark Margolis as Sam Goodwin (3 episodes)
  • Ian McShane as Leigh Emerson (2 episodes)
  • Franka Potente as Anne Frank / Charlotte Brown (2 episodes)


No. in
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U.S. viewers
ProdCode = 2ATS01 Viewers = 3.85 ShortSummary = In present day, a newlywed couple, Teresa and Leo, explore the now-abandoned Briarcliff Manor, a former insane asylum. Flashback to 1964 shows Kit Walker being committed there, accused of being infamous serial killer "Bloody Face". Kit protests his innocence and flashes of his scattered memory suggest something far more sinister responsible. At Briarcliff, Kit befriends Grace, a fellow inmate believed to have murdered her family. Journalist Lana Winters trespasses onto Briarcliff, intent on exposing its mistreatment of inmates. She is confronted by the tyrannical Sister Jude, who has her committed to the asylum because of her homosexuality (her girlfriend is Wendy Peyser, a teacher). A bitter rivalry is ignited between Sister Jude and Dr. Arthur Arden, who uses torture and murder in his quest to discover the secret of madness. In present day, Teresa and Leo are attacked and pursued through Briarcliff by Bloody Face. LineColor = 141414 }}

ProdCode = 2ATS02 Viewers = 3.06 ShortSummary = "Bloody Face" kills people in both time periods, present and 1964. An exorcist is called to the asylum after a teenager's behavior goes beyond clinical help; he is possessed. The ritual gives Lana and Grace a chance to escape, but Lana, who feels betrayed that Grace wants Kit to go with them, foils the plan by getting Grace and Kit caught. The possessed teenager exposes Sister Jude's dark past that haunts her to this day, revealing that she used to be a sleazy bar singer who accidentally ran over and killed a little girl while driving drunk. The teenager dies after the demon exits his body during the exorcism and enters Sister Mary Eunice instead. LineColor = 141414 }}

ProdCode = 2ATS03 Viewers = 2.47 ShortSummary = In the present, Teresa and Leo are shot by men in Bloody Face masks, who are then approached by the real Bloody Face. In 1964, the possessed Sister Mary Eunice begins her corruption of the asylum. She kills a patient who senses that she is possessed, tries to seduce Dr. Arden, and drives Sister Jude nearly insane by hinting at her past transgressions. Grace, Kit, and Lana attempt to escape the prison during a storm but retreat after crossing paths with the Raspers. Shelley wishes to escape with them but is caught by Dr. Arden, who knocks her out and partially amputates both her legs. LineColor = 141414 }}

ProdCode = 2ATS04 Viewers = 2.65 ShortSummary = A woman (Franka Potente) identifying herself as Anne Frank is brought into the asylum. She tells Sister Jude that Dr. Arden is actually Dr. Hans Grüper, a Nazi. Sister Jude wonders how to bring about the reality of Dr. Arden. Grace admits to Kit that she killed her own father and stepmother for sexually abusing her. Kit wonders if he is, in fact, a serial killer and is simply blocking what really happened the night his wife "vanished." After aversion therapy fails with Lana, Dr. Thredson promises that he will get her out of Briarcliff within a week. "Anne Frank" attacks Dr. Arden and stumbles onto Shelley, who begs Anne to kill her, as she is turning into a Rasper as a result of Dr. Arden's experiments. LineColor = 141414 }}

ProdCode = 2ATS05 Viewers = 2.78 ShortSummary = Sister Jude hires a famed Nazi hunter (Mark Margolis) to build a case against Dr. Arden. Dr. Thredson convinces Kit to makes a startling confession. "Anne Frank's" husband shows up to take her home, but returns her after she still believes she's the real Anne Frank. Dr. Arden offers to do surgery on her and is given permission. After Sister Jude is threatened by Dr. Arden, she sneaks out on a one night stand for a few drinks at a bar. Dr. Thredson helps Lana escape but traps her in his home, revealing himself to be the real Bloody Face. To prevent Jude from finding Shelley, Sister Mary Eunice takes Shelley to a schoolyard stairwell, where she is discovered. LineColor = 141414 }}

ProdCode = 2ATS06 Viewers = 1.89 ShortSummary = In order to perform last rites, the Monsignor visits Shelley at the hospital. A mysterious young girl (Nikki Hahn) becomes a new patient at Briarcliff after her mother believes she has killed someone. A flashback shows how Dr. Arden came to work at Briarcliff. Sister Jude finally gets evidence of Dr. Arden's horrific past, but puts someone's life and her career at stake. Meanwhile, Dr. Arden, The Monsignor, and Sister Mary Eunice indirectly form an evil union. Lana remains a hostage of Dr. Thredson/Bloody Face, who enlightens her about his past. In present day, the police arrive at the asylum to discover three bodies, while it is also discovered that Bloody Face has captured Teresa. LineColor = 141414 }}

ProdCode = 2ATS07 Viewers = 2.27 ShortSummary = The Angel of Death (Frances Conroy) appears at the asylum after several patients wish to die, one of which is Grace. The angel's visit does not sit well with Sister Mary Eunice, but both agree their individual work is not finished. Sister Jude plans to use the angel's services but first must attempt to make peace with the parents of the girl she hit years ago. Jude is stunned to learn the girl survived the accident. After Lana is able to get away from Dr. Thredson, she is injured in a freak car accident and taken back to Briarcliff. Kit escapes custody to break Grace out of the asylum, but she is accidentally shot by Frank and dies. LineColor = 141414 }}

ProdCode = 2ATS08 Viewers = 2.36 ShortSummary = A patient dressed as Santa (Ian McShane) stirs up trouble at Briarcliff and seeks revenge on Sister Jude for locking him away in solitary, after he commits a murder during the previous year's Christmas festivities. Dr. Arden secretly calls on Sister Jude for help in saving Sister Mary Eunice, later revealing his efforts to be a ruse leading Jude back to Briarcliff and jeopardy, at Sister Eunice's behest. Lana reunites with Kit making him privy to the fact that Dr. Thredson is Bloody Face which proves him innocent. Dr. Thredson finds Lana at the asylum, but Kit saves her before he can harm her. Dr. Arden also has a startling encounter in the Death Chute while in the midst of disposing of Grace's body. LineColor = 141414 }}

ProdCode = 2ATS09 Viewers = 2.22 ShortSummary = Lana and Kit trick Dr. Thredson into confessing to be Bloody Face. Dr. Arden convinces Kit to temporarily die and force the aliens to return. Sister Jude gets officially removed from her position and admitted as a patient, causing Monsignor Howard to lead a penitent Leigh to be baptized with disastrous results. Modern day Bloody Face, Johnny Thredson (Dylan McDermott), attends a therapy session. LineColor = 141414 }}

ProdCode = 2ATS10 Viewers = 2.21 ShortSummary = Dr. Arden puts an end to his experiments. Kit and Lana continue to pressure the killer Dr. Thredson, who reveals several secrets to Kit. Now a patient and known by her common name, Judy Martin, Sister Jude gets subjected to the asylum's inhumane treatments. Monsignor Howard takes the fight to the possessed Sister Mary Eunice. LineColor = 141414 }}

ProdCode = 2ATS11 Viewers = 2.51 ShortSummary = Lana is able to escape the asylum and expose its mistreatments, including those from Dr. Thredson. Kit and Grace are allowed to leave the asylum but get a surprise at home. Judy promises Monsignor Howard that his and the asylum's downfall are soon to come. LineColor = 141414 }}

ProdCode = 2ATS12 Viewers = 2.30 ShortSummary = Kit must deal with both Alma and Grace at home. Sister Jude, now known as "Betty Drake", slips further into insanity at the asylum. Lana publishes a book about her ordeal, even though it may not all be true. Johnny seeks out a copy of the book to continue his father's murderous "work". LineColor = 141414 }}

ProdCode = 2ATS13 Viewers = 2.29 ShortSummary = During an interview about her career, an older and now famous television investigative reporter, Lana, discusses her crusade to close down Briarcliff and exposing Doctor Arden as a war criminal, which led to the Monsignor killing himself. It is later revealed that Kit secretly rescued Sister Jude from Briarcliff and nursed her back to sanity. Jude eventually becomes part of Kit's family, and creates strong ties with his children. Unfortunately, Jude later dies in Kit's home. Kit later contracts pancreatic cancer and is taken away by the aliens, never to be seen again. Johnny finally confronts Lana after the interview and it is revealed that Lana met with her son (unknowingly to him) briefly as a stranger, protecting him from a bully. Lana (who prior to the interview was told by the police of her son's rampage) ultimately convinces her son to put down the gun. In an unsuspected twist of events, Lana quickly shoots her son in the head before he has the chance to recover from his emotional stupor. The episode cuts back to the events in Sister Jude's office in the first episode, "Welcome to Briarcliff". Lana and Jude have a much more cordial conversation about the nature of evil, as she tries to convince Lana to give up her desires to interview the killer. LineColor = 141414 }}



</ref>}} In October 2011, the FX Network renewed the series for a second season. In December 2011, series co-creator Ryan Murphy announced his plans to change the characters and location for the second season.

He did say, however, that some actors who starred in the first season would be returning. "The people that are coming back will be playing completely different characters, creatures, monsters, etc. [The Harmons'] stories are done. People who are coming back will be playing entirely new characters," he announced. Season two will take place in an East Coast institution for the criminally insane, called Briarcliff Manor. "It's a completely different world and has nothing to do with Season 1; there's not a mention of Season 1... The second season is set in a completely different time period," commented Murphy. In May 2012, Murphy revealed that that setting for the second season will be an institution for the criminally insane that Jessica Lange's character operates in the 1960s.

In July 2012, Murphy talked about the second season commenting, "Everyone looks so different, people who were enemies last year are allies this year. The sets are amazing. It's 1964, so everything looks very different."


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}} Murphy had also told TV Guide that there would not be any ghosts in the second season: "I think the story is horrifying," he said. "The story is a period piece in a mental institution based largely on truth and truth is always scarier than fiction."

In August 2012, Murphy announced the season's new name by stating: "We picked 'Asylum' because it not only describes the setting—an insane asylum run by Jessica Lange's character which was formerly a tuberculosis ward—but also signifies a place of haven for the unloved and the unwanted," he said. "This year's theme is about sanity and tackling real life horrors."

Previous consulting producer Tim Minear was promoted to executive producer and continued writing for the series, beginning with the season premiere He also scripted the season finale.

In a January 2013 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Murphy spoke about originally wanting to set the season in a prison: "I think at one point as we were spitballing season two before we landed on the asylum idea, we had actually talked about doing the second season in a prison but then Alcatraz came along and stole that idea. It was never very definitive but I always liked that idea. I think an insane asylum for us was probably much more effective."


In March 2012, Murphy revealed that the second season had been conceptualized around Jessica Lange, saying: "This will really be the Jessica Lange show so I'm very excited about it. We are designing this amazing new opposite of the Constance character for her. She and I have spoken about different things. She has a lot of ideas, and has a lot of input into her character. She told me some things she has always wanted to play as an actress." Lange's character is Sister Jude, apparently a sadistic nun. Zachary Quinto, who had a recurring role as Chad in the first season, was confirmed as one of the leads in March 2012, portraying Dr. Oliver Thredson, a psychiatrist with groundbreaking treatment methods that go against Sister Jude's. Quinto had stated that his new character was sane and very grounded.

At the William S. Paley Television Festival, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, and Lily Rabe were confirmed to return as main cast members for the second season. Paulson portrayed Lana Winters, a lesbian reporter whose girlfriend is coerced by Sister Jude into having her committed to the asylum. Rabe's character is Sister Mary Eunice, an innocent and loyal second-in-charge to Lange's Sister Jude. Peters plays the role of Kit Walker, a man who's accused of murdering his wife, Alma (Olford), but he claims she was abducted by aliens. Murphy had stated that Peters, "who was last season's ultimate badass bad boy", would be the hero of the show this year.

It was reported in March 2012 that Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine was in negotiations to appear in the second season. He plays Leo, a "contemporary character and half of a couple known only as 'The Lovers'", according to Tim Stack of Entertainment Weekly. Levine revealed to E! in June 2012 that his character is "newly married and I go with my wife on our honeymoon," he stated. "I don't want to tell you too much... but it's gory." Jenna Dewan-Tatum played his wife, Teresa. In April 2012, Lizzie Brocheré was cast to play Grace, a character described originally as "a fierce, ferocious, extremely sexual, and dangerous wild-child sexpot" to rival Jessica Lange's new character, but the role was later heavily revamped. In May 2012, James Cromwell signed on to co-star as Dr. Arthur Arden, a man who works in the asylum, and who is revealed to have been a Nazi. Chloë Sevigny played the role of Shelley the Nymphomaniac, a woman who likes sex too much and whose husband has her placed in the asylum.

In June 2012, actor Joseph Fiennes joined the main cast as Monsignor Timothy Howard, a possible love interest for Jessica Lange's Sister Jude. Also in June 2012, Chris Zylka was cast to play Daniel, who was touted as "the most beautiful boy in the world and a deaf mute"; however, Zylka was later replaced by an unmentioned actor, due to his reluctance to shave his head for the role. Britne Oldford was cast in the recurring role of Alma, Peters' character's supposed dead/missing wife. In July 2012, Mark Consuelos was cast as a patient named Spivey, who was described as a degenerate bully. Also in July, Clea DuVall was cast as Wendy, a school teacher and Lana's girlfriend, and Franka Potente was cast in an unspecified role, which was later revealed to be Anne Frank/Charlotte Brown.

On August 6, 2012, Blake Sheldon was cast in the dual role of Devon and Cooper, both described as "tall, thin and psychopathic." Ultimately Sheldon wound up portraying only Cooper. Season one actress Frances Conroy (Moira) guest starred as The Angel of Death.Emmy Award winner Eric Stonestreet was scheduled to guest star again, this season as a killer, but the appearance never came to fruition. Oz alum Mark Margolis recurred as Sam Goodwin, while actor David Chisum and actress Amy Farrington guest starred as a caring husband and a troubled mother, respectively. In mid-October, Kings veteran Ian McShane joined the season in the recurring role of Leigh Emerson, a psychotic man who murders people while wearing a Santa Claus suit; he has a vendetta against Sister Jude. Former series co-star Dylan McDermott appeared during the second-half of the season as Johnny Morgan, who is actually Johnny Thredson and the modern day Bloody Face.


Principal photography for the second season began on July 17, 2012. The exteriors for the second season were filmed in Hidden Valley, Ventura County, California, a rural area outside Los Angeles. The exterior filming of Briarcliff was done at the old Orange County courthouse. Series production designer Mark Worthington stated: "It's referred to as Richardsonian and Romanesque. It's named after an architect named Henry Hobson Richardson. He developed the style in the 19th century. It's circular arches, heavy stone. It's creepy, great for horror. It's dark, dark shiny brick. That's how we got away from all the hospital light stuff. There's still an institutional feel to it."


Similar to the first season, FX published mini teaser trailers for the second on the show's Facebook page.


Awards and nominations

See List of awards and nominations received by American Horror Story for more information

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2012 Satellite Awards 2012 Best Supporting Actor " Series, Miniseries or Television Film Evan Peters
Best Genre Series American Horror Story: Asylum
2013 3rd Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Movie/Miniseries American Horror Story: Asylum
Best Actress in a Miniseries/Movie Jessica Lange
Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries Zachary Quinto
James Cromwell
Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries Sarah Paulson
Lily Rabe
19th Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Jessica Lange
24th GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series American Horror Story: Asylum
39th Saturn Awards Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series American Horror Story: Asylum
Best Actress on Television Sarah Paulson
Best Supporting Actress on Television Jessica Lange
70th Golden Globe Awards Best Actress " Miniseries or Television Film Jessica Lange
American Film Institute Top Ten Television Program of 2012 American Horror Story: Asylum
Art Directors Guild Award Excellence in Production Design: Television Movie or Miniseries Production Designer: Mark Worthington
(Episode: "I Am Anne Frank, Part 2")
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing: Short Form Sound Effects and Foley in Television Episode: "Welcome to Briarcliff"
Producers Guild of America Award Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television Brad Buecker, Dante Di Loreto, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy, Chip Vucelich, Alexis Martin Woodall
Primetime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie American Horror Story: Asylum
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Jessica Lange
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie James Cromwell
Zachary Quinto
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Sarah Paulson
Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries Or Movie Michael Goi for "I Am Anne Frank (Part Two)"
Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries or Movie Mark Worthington, Andrew Murdock, Ellen Brill for "I Am Anne Frank (Part Two)"
Mark Worthington, Edward L. Rubin, Ellen Brill for "Welcome to Briarcliff"
Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Robert Ulrich, Eric Dawson
Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Chrisi Karvonides, Conan Castro for "Madness Ends"
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or Movie Fabienne Bouville for "Nor'easter"
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries or Movie Monte C. Haught, Janis Clark, Stacey K. Black, Natalie Driscoll, Michelle Ceglia
Outstanding Main Title Design Kyle WJ Cooper, Juan Ruiz Anchia, Kate Berry, Ryan Murphy.
Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries or Movie Eryn Krueger Mekash, Kim Ayers, Silvina Knight and John Elliot
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie, or Special Eryn Krueger Mekash, Mike Mekash, Hiroshi Yada, Christopher Nelson, Kim Ayers, Silvina Knight, Christien Tinsley and Jason Hamer
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Gary Megregian, Steve M. Stuhr, Jason Krane, Christian Buenaventura, Timothy A. Cleveland, David Klotz, Andrew Dawson and Noel Vought for "Welcome to Briarcliff"
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or Movie Sean Rush, Joe Earle and Doug Andham for "Welcome to Briarcliff"
2nd PAAFTJ Television Awards Best Miniseries Or TV Movie American Horror Story: Asylum
Best Directing For A Miniseries Or TV Movie Michael Rymer for "Dark Cousin"
Best Lead Actress In Miniseries Or TV Movie Jessica Lange
Best Writing for a Miniseries Or TV Movie Brad Falchuk for "I Am Anne Frank (Part 2)"
Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie James Cromwell
Zachary Quinto
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie Miniseries Sarah Paulson
Best Cast in a Miniseries or TV Movie Zachary Quinto, Joseph Fiennes, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Lizzie Brocheré, James Cromwell, Jessica Lange
Best Artistic/Visual Achievement in a Miniseries or TV Movie Michael Goi (cinematography), Mark Worthington (production design), Andrew Murdock (art direction), Elen Brill (set decoration), Monte C. Haught (hair) & Lou Eyrich (costumes) for "I Am Anne Frank (Part 2)"
Best Technical Achievement in a Miniseries or TV Movie Stewart Schill (film editing), Jason Piccioni (visual effects) & John Bauman (sound mixing) for "Madness Ends"
29th TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials American Horror Story: Asylum


American Horror Story: Asylum has received generally positive reviews from critics and scored 64 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 21 reviews. James Poniewozik from Time said of the early episodes of the second season: "AHS: Asylum feels like a more focused, if equally frenetic, screamfest. It's also gorgeously realized, with a vision of its '60s institution setting so detailed you can smell the stale air and incense." Maureen Ryan of The Huffington Post said, "It's to the credit of Asylums writers, directors and cast that the emotional pain of the characters often feels as real as their uncertainty and terror." Verne Gay from Newsday gave the season a C grade, writing that it "has some good special effects, just not much of a story to hang them on." However, Linda Stasi of the New York Post thought this season was "over the top," adding, "I need to enter [an asylum] myself after two hours of this craziness."

In a round-up of outstanding entertainers and programs of 2012, Jess Cagle, Managing Editor of Entertainment Weekly, praised "its ballsy, go-for-broke, don't-tax-the-attention-span-of-any-gnats-who-might-be-watching approach", writing:


The first episode of the season gained a 2.2 ratings share among adults aged 18"49 and garnered 3.85 million viewers, marking the highest numbers for the series and the highest numbers for the night's cable competition.

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