Checking in at the Hotel Cortez

We’ve moved into the Murder House, been institutionalized in the Asylum, entered the Coven and joined the Freak Show. This week, fans will check into American Horror Story: Hotel (Season Premiere, 10 p.m. Wednesday, FX).

click to enlarge 'American Horror Story: Hotel'
'American Horror Story: Hotel'

We’ve moved into the Murder House, been institutionalized in the Asylum, entered the Coven and joined the Freak Show. This week, fans will check into American Horror Story: Hotel (Season Premiere, 10 p.m. Wednesday, FX).

With a 90-minute premiere, Hotel opens with Detective John Lowe investigating a string of brutal murders in Los Angeles. A tip from an anonymous call leads him to the Hotel Cortez (inspired by real-life horror hotel The Cecil).

OK, we know there will sex and camp and murder — this is a Ryan Murphy-Brad Falchuk production, after all. But American Horror Story is all about the characters, often played by recurring actors from across the seasons.

Returning are Denis O’Hare as drag queen Liz Taylor, Sarah Paulson as Hypodermic Sally, Finn Wittrock as model Tristan Duffy, a glam Matt Bomer as hotel resident Donovan and Lily Rabe as Aileen “Monster” Wuornos.New this season are Lady Gaga as vampiric hotel owner “The Countess” (though there reportedly won’t be any singing), New Girl ’s Max Greenfield, Cheyenne Jackson and Naomi Campbell.After starring in all previous seasons, Jessica Lange will not return to the series. There will be a killer armed with a drill-bit dildo, though. Even trade?

WEDNESDAY 07

Empire (9 p.m., Fox) – Anika and Cookie set up a surprise concert that attracts Pitbull; Lucious vies for Frank Gathers’ daughter to sign with Empire; Andre and Rhonda try to get on Lucious’ good side.

Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – Phil helps Haley talk Claire into allowing Dylan to move in and immediately regrets it; Mitch takes a job working for Jay’s rival; when Manny has a girl problem, Cameron and Gloria offer different solutions. Black-ish (9:30 p.m., ABC) – Dre and Bow find out Pops has avoided the doctor for many years. The League (10 p.m., FXX) – Kevin is uneasy about Ellie’s sex-ed class. Elsewhere, Taco starts a Little Eskimo Brothers program.

THURSDAY 08

Project Runway (9 p.m., Lifetime) – Makeover challenge! The designers style women from the Project Runway crew; Tim Gunn loses his shit on one designer.

SATURDAY 10

The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story (Premiere, 8 p.m., Lifetime) – If you couldn’t get enough of Simpsons star Dan Castellaneta’s take on Aaron Spelling from last week’s The Unauthorized Beverly Hills, 90210 Story, you’re in luck!

Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) – Amy Schumer hosts; The Weeknd performs.

SUNDAY 11

The Walking Dead (Season Premiere, 9 p.m., AMC) – Season 6 begins with a 90-minute premiere followed by Chris Hardwick’s Talking Dead. Here’s what we know: Morgan and Rick will finally have a chance to catch up (hopefully we’ll get a dedicated flashback scene/episode that shows how Morgan transformed from his condition in “Clear” to his current state of badassery); comic character Paul “Jesus” Monroe will be introduced; Ethan Embry, Merritt Wever and Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton’s Dr. Dre) join the cast; and the group — currently living in the safe-ish community of Alexandria outside Washington, D.C. — will face multiple threats from outside the walls and within.

MONDAY 12

Fargo (Season Premiere, 10 p.m., FX) – After a fantastic first season of this TV adaptation of the 1996 Coen Brothers film, Season 2 starts fresh with a setting and cast. This time around it’s 1979 Sioux Falls, S.D., and Luverne, Minn., with Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson, Jean Smart, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons (and, like last season, tons of recurring guest stars). The story follows police officer Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) — Molly’s dad, played by Keith Carradine in Season 1 — as he investigates the crimes around a local syndicate.


CONTACT JAC KERN: [email protected] or @jackern


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