From the beginning, there has been some confusion over whether FOX's Scream Queens would be an anthology series like Ryan Murphy's other horror show, or whether it would be a continuing series following the same characters every season. For clarity's sake, Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter last summer before the show's premiere that Scream Queens would reboot with "a new horror genre" every year, but that the second season would follow "four characters" who survived the events of Season 1. Now, with the second season around the corner, we know that the show is indeed rebooting its genre, transitioning from sorority row to a creepy hospital — but Murphy's tease about the returning cast was a bit off. So who is in the Scream Queens Season 2 cast?
First, let's get who's not returning out of the way. Obviously, the Red Devil's victims like Pete (Diego Boneta), Gigi (Nasim Pedrad), Boone (Nick Jonas), Earl Grey (Lucien Laviscount), and Chanel #2 (Ariana Grande) won't be dropping by the series anytime soon. But even a couple of Season 1's surviving characters won't be popping up in Season 2 — namely Grace (Skyler Samuels) and her dad Wes (Oliver Hudson), neither of whom have yet been announced as making return appearances. That's a lot of cast members to shed between seasons… but there are still eight familiar faces fans will be pleased to see returning, as well as four new additions that promise exciting new things for the future of Scream Queens.
1. Jamie Lee Curtis as Cathy Munsch
Of course, you can't have Scream Queens without the original scream queen herself, Halloween actress Jamie Lee Curtis. Essentially the Sue Sylvester of Wallace University, Cathy Munsch has moved on to bigger and better things in Season 2, which picks up three years after the events of Season 1: namely, she has bought and is now running a hospital with dubious practices and a shady past.
2/3/4. Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, and Abigail Breslin as Chanel Oberlin, Chanel #3, and Chanel #5
Surprise, b*tches! Last seen locked up in an institution for the criminally insane, the Chanels are back and fiercer than ever. This time around, Munsch has recruited Chanel Oberlin and her minions (aka Sadie Swenson and Libby Putney) to work in her hospital where, according to this promo, they will be tasked with "ghosting" — aka following the doctors around silently. (For the record, I think the term Munsch is looking for here is "shadowing.")
5. Lea Michele as Hester Ulrich
At the end of Season 1, it was revealed that (spoiler alert!) Lea Michele's Hester Ulrich was actually the twin sister of Nick Jonas' Boone and one half of the murderous Red Devil duo. Although Munsch figured out her secret, Hester was able to blackmail the Dean into keeping her secret. But in Season 2, Hester might actually be… one of the good guys? "As the murders start to happen, everyone is obviously thinking that it's Hester again," Lea Michele told TV Guide. "She's quite adamant that she is not the killer this season, but that she will try and help them figure out who the killer is.
6. Keke Palmer as Zayday Williams
Former Wallace student and survivor of the Red Devil massacre, Zayday is now a promising medical student learning her craft at the hospital run by Munsch. Something tells me she'll be none too pleased that Munsch has enlisted the Chanels, her vastly unqualified archenemies, to work alongside her.
7. Glen Powell as Chad Radwell
Although the gloriously hilarious Chad Radwell hasn't been featured in much of Season 2's promotional material, actor Glen Powell assured Variety last March that he would indeed be returning for the new batch of episodes. "Whatever Chad is doing in this hospital is probably a little bit perverted," Powell teased.
8. Niecy Nash as Denise Hemphill
Although she was technically only a recurring character, Niecy Nash's hapless Officer Hemphill was undeniably one of the key ingredients of Season 1's success — so it's a relief to learn that Denise will be back in action in Season 2. Hopefully the show will continue to explore the delightfully odd romantic relationship between Chad and Denise now that we know they'll both be back.
9. John Stamos as Brock Holt
In addition to those aforementioned returning cast members, Scream Queens is adding four new names to its roster of series regulars. First up is John Stamos, fresh off his cancelled FOX sitcom Grandfathered. Here he'll play Dr. Holt, "the hospital’s brilliant, but secretive, head surgeon," according to Variety. Now, is that Head Surgeon or head surgeon…?
10. Taylor Lautner as Cassidy Cascade
The second of our two hot new docs is played by none other than Twilight heartthrob Taylor Lautner himself. How hot is he? In this promo, his Dr. Cascade isn't afraid to refer to himself as "female Viagra." Well OK then!
11. James Earl as Chamberlain Jackson
James Earl has worked with Ryan Murphy before, playing the bully Azimio throughout the first three seasons of Glee. Now he's jumping over to Scream Queens, where he'll play a candy striper named Chamberlain Jackson. Is Chamberlain a good guy or a bad guy? TBD…
12. Kirstie Alley as ???
As though Season 2 weren't sounding delicious enough already, it was just announced last week that Emmy-winning Cheers star Kirstie Alley would also be joining the cast as a series regular. Entertainment Weekly described her role as "the brilliant and devious administrator of the C.U.R.E. Institute, where some of the most fascinating and bizarre medical cases are under observation."
BONUS: Guest Stars
The best part about the show's shift to a hospital setting is the opportunity for high-profile guest stars to randomly stop by an episode for a gruesome "case of the week." Actors that have already been revealed to have guest or recurring roles in Season 2 include Arrow star Colton Hayes, SNL cast member Cecily Strong, Crossing Jordan actor Jerry O'Connell, and Broadway leading lady Laura Bell Bundy.
How many of these characters will survive a second round of serial killings, and which of them is the new murderer? Find out when Scream Queens Season 2 premieres this Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. ET on FOX.
Images: Mattius Clammer, Michael Becker (5), Tommy Garcia (2)/FOX