Yet another brainchild of Ryan Murphy, “Scream Queens,” premieres tonight on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern. After helming shows “Nip/Tuck” and “Glee,” Ryan Murphy capitalized on the success “The Walking Dead” with his own very different horror show, the anthologized “American Horror Story.” Elaborate settings, movie-quality production, envelope-pushing content, both violent and sexual, and award-winning actors punctuate “AHS,” its upcoming installment Hotel bringing diva Gaga herself to the small screen this fall.
But that’s not all Murphy has on his plate. Besides new “AHS” anthology companion show “American Crime Story” (its opening season chronicling the much-publicized O.J. Simpson murder trial, starring heavy hitters John Travolta and Cuba Gooding, Jr.), Murphy also brings viewers hour-long horror comedy “Scream Queens.” Set on the fictional Wallace University campus and its Kappa Kappa Tau sorority, the show revolves around murders committed by someone dressed as the school mascot, the Red Devil. Murphy promises a kill in each episode, which may be tied to a 20-year-old unsolved case, with the identity of the Red Devil revealed in the final episode. Murphy describes the show as “Heathers meets Friday the 13th.”
‘Scream Queens’ trailer.
‘Scream Queens,’ the latest creation of TV mastermind Ryan Murphy, premieres tonight on Fox. Stars include Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Skyler Samuels, Lea Michele, Keke Palmer, Abigail Breslin and Nick Jonas.
Emma Roberts as Chanel.
The hoity-toity president of the sorority. This niece of Julia and daughter of Eric started out on the teen show “Unfabulous” and in teen movies like “Hotel for Dogs” before graduating to horror with a lead in “Scream 4.” She started dating “AHS” lead actor Evan Peters and then landed a role on the show herself in Coven (season 3) as Hollywood bitch witch Madison. In last season’s Freak Show, she played the more sympathetic Maggie. Although she’s starring in “Scream Queens” this fall, she’ll also be appearing in some of the later episodes of Hotel (“AHS” season 5). She and Peters broke off their engagement in June, only to reunite late last month.
Jamie Lee Curtis as Cathy.
The dean, who orders the sorority to begin accepting any girl wanting to pledge, much to Chanel’s dismay. Making her screen debut as the iconic last girl in “Halloween” in 1978, Curtis appeared in several of the film’s sequels and other horror movies like “The Fog,” and “Prom Night.” After focusing her career outside the horror realm in recent years, she returns to her fledgling genre in “Scream Queens.”
Skyler Samuels as Grace.
A new sorority pledge. Samuels appeared in the first four episodes of Freak Show as Bonnie, the poor young woman picnicking with her love as he’s brutally killed by Twisty the Clown. She shows savvy in an escape attempt only to be foiled by the equally evil Dandy. She’s eventually rescued by Jimmy and Maggie.
Lea Michele as Hester.
A new pledge who wears a neck brace for scoliosis. Michele, an alum of Murphy’s “Glee,” publicly stated she wanted in on “AHS,” but Murphy obviously had other plans for her.
Keke Palmer as Zayday.
A genius and pledge at the sorority. She’s not really the sorority type but joins to add cred to her resume. The “True Jackson” star delved into horror in the Drew Barrymore produced “Animal” (2014).
Abigail Breslin as Chanel #5.
A devotee of Chanel. After becoming the fourth youngest actress nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine,” Breslin broke into horror in “Zombieland” in 2009 as Little Rock and starred in 2013’s “Haunter.”
Billie Lourde as Chanel #3.
Another of Chanel’s underlings. Daughter of Carrie Fischer, Lourde will also appear in the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Glen Powell as Chad.
Chanel’s very preppy, very popular boyfriend. He’s in a golf fraternity called the Dollar Scholars. Powell appeared in “Expendables 3” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” along with various other TV and movie roles.
Diego Boneta as Pete.
Newspaper editor and love interest of Grace. The singer/actor starred in Mexican soap “Rebelde” before landing on “90210.” He played the lead in 2012’s screen adaptation of the Broadway rock musical “Rock of Ages.”
Oliver Hudson as Wes Gardner.
A professor and Grace’s dad. Goldie Hawn’s son and Kate Hudson’s brother, he starred in the TV comedy “Rules of Engagement.”
Nasim Pedrad as sorority chief Gigi.
After 4 seasons on “Saturday Night Live,” Pedrad breaks into horror with “Scream Queens.” On SNL, Pedrad is known for imitating fellow “Scream Queens” cast member Lea Michele!
Lucien Laviscount as Earl Grey.
Jonah on the BBC’s “Waterloo Road,” Laviscount was scheduled to star in the CW spinoff of its popular “Supernatural” series, but the show didn’t go forward, so “Scream Queens” marks his horror debut.
Niecy Nash as Denise.
An inept security guard. The former host of “Clean House,” the accomplished Nash also starred on “Reno 911!” and appeared in the 2014 film “Selma.”
Nick Jonas as Boone.
One of Chad’s buddies at the Dollar Scholars. In EW (http://www.ew.com/article/2015/04/23/scream-queens-first-look) Murphy says the Disney channel pop star plays “against type” and that his “dark side … comes out.”
Ariana Grande as Chanel #2.
Another of Chanel’s followers. Grande, pop star and central character on Nick’s “Victorious” and spinoff “Sam & Cat,” launches into horror with “Scream Queens.”
Chad Michael Murray as Brad.
Chad’s older brother. The “One Tree Hill” star appeared previously with Jamie Lee Curtis in “Freaky Friday.” He started in the horror realm with 2005’s “House of Wax” and then starred in “The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia” (2013).
Julia Duffy as Mrs. Radwell.
Chad and Brad’s mom. Best known as Stephanie on “Newhart,” Duffy starred in two horror flicks in 1982, “Night Warning” and “Wacko.”
Alan Thicke as Mr. Radwell.
Chad and Brad’s dad. The “Growing Pains” dad made his horror comedy debut as the dad in the direct to video “Stepmonster” (1993).