By Adam Hetrick
17 Sep 2013
|Photo by Ethan Hill|
The series, which focuses on rivaling groups of witches, casts LuPone as Joan Ramsey, a religious next-door neighbor, who will go up against Jessica Lange as Fiona and Sarah Paulson, who plays her daughter, Cordelia. "Patti's character is a bit of a holy roller who has recently lost her husband under suspicious circumstances," Minear told TVGuide.com.
Lange, who plays the "Supreme Witch" role, also joked about her character's rivalry with LuPone on the series. When asked who viewers should place their bets on when the two go head-to-head, Lange answered, "Ooh. I'm in awe of Patti, but that's tough to call."
Here's how the first episode is described: "A young girl, Zoe, is shattered to discover she possesses a strange genetic affliction tracing back to the dark days of Salem. Zoe is whisked away to Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, a mysterious school in New Orleans devoted to safeguarding the few remaining descendants who share this unique bloodline. Harboring a secret agenda, Fiona Goode, the most powerful witch of their generation, returns to town, reigniting old rivalries with the Coven's deadly enemies, the Voodoo."
"Coven" will also feature Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Christine Ebersole, Lily Rabe, Kathy Bates and Denis O'Hare as well as Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Taissa Farmiga, Gabourey Sidibe, Emma Roberts, Alexandra Breckenridge and Jamie Brewer.
The story will center on a group of witches who fled Salem before the infamous trials, and have continued their secretive lives for centuries in New Orleans, where they encounter the voodoo culture.
Bassett will play the historical character of voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. Bates will portray another historical figure, serial killer Marie Delphine LaLauri (Madame LaLaurie). Part of the plot will pit Lange and her coven against the voodoo witches, as well as the non-witches. Ebersole (Grey Gardens) has been cast as a "Glenda the Good Witch-type of gal," Murphy said in an earlier interview.