John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and Productions, took the stage at the summer Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday morning to address the future of Ryan Murphy's smash anthology series and why season six is shrouded in secrecy.
"Every year, we basically laid out the themes and we've laid out the new genre that Ryan was going to be approaching," Landgraf said to a room full of reporters. "And we just thought it would be really fun to keep it a mystery, so we are."
Landgraf revealed that the level of secrecy surrounding this year's theme is at an all-time high and very few members of the FX team are privy to the correct information.
"The scripts that come have got my name emblazoned across them and there's only one script that comes into the company and everything is blacked out that could give away the [theme]," Landgraf explained.
But there is one way that truly devoted fans can discover the correct theme: feverishly study the ASH teaser trailers.
In July, FX released five haunting promo trailers, each featuring a completely different type of horror. From a centipede crawling down Lady Gaga's face, to a knife-filled baby mobile, and a monster living under the stairs -- each video ends with this season's signature symbol "?6" representing the mystery theme.
Landgraf explained, "[FX's head of marketing] Stephanie [Gibbons] and her team, with Ryan's help, went out and they made many more trailers -- some that you actually haven't seen yet -- for hypothetical seasons of American Horror Story with different genres, different places."
"One of them is accurate and the others are all misdirects," he teased. "So all I can say is there is a theme, and a setting, and a place, and a time, but we're not going to reveal it because we think it will be fun for the audience to have a bit of a surprise this year."
We'll give you fans a bit of a hint: In March, Murphy coyly addressed the theme of season six. "The interesting thing about the next season is that we've been working on two ideas at once, which we've never done," he revealed during a panel at PaleyFest. Murphy admitted that he's fascinated with horror that "often deals with the innocence of children, and their wide-eyed way into it."
"Both [season six] ideas we're working with have elements of children," he added. "It will have a different form than we've ever done."
Looking past this mysterious season, Landgraf admitted that there are no plans to cancel the "genius" anthology series anytime soon. "We haven’t talked about an endgame for American Horror Story," he confirmed.
"I mean, all good things must come to an end, but so far, as long as Ryan keeps coming up with inventive and original and new ideas, and as long as the audience still wants to see it," Landgraf continued. "It's only the limits of your stories and your imaginations that ends the show, so only time will tell."
Season six of American Horror Story premieres Wednesday, Sept. 14 on FX.