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WIRE Buzz: Y: The Last Man, 'American Horror Stories' shift to FX on Hulu; Cinemark reopening; more

By Benjamin Bullard
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A pair of hugely hyped new series originally destined for FX on cable are instead making the big leap to streaming before their first episodes even arrive. American Horror Stories, as well as the upcoming first season of Y: The Last Man, will both bypass the network variety of FX, making their big debuts directly at FX on Hulu.

Following in the footsteps of launch series Devs, Alex Garland's stark dystopian story of tech industry espionage, both Stories and Y: The Last Man join a growing lineup of big-name shows that are boosting FX's slate of Hulu-only exclusives.

Produced by mainline AHS series creator Ryan Murphy, American Horror Stories will arrive as a week-by-week spinoff series that presents creepy new tales, all Black Mirror anthology style, that vary from one week to the next. Y: The Last Man, meanwhile, finally brings to the small screen Brian K. Vaughan's immensely successful post-apocalyptic comic book series that follows the adventures of Yorick Brown — the world's last surviving male.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the news, parent company Disney's decision to make FX on Hulu the preferred debut space for shows like Y and American Horror Stories stems from its commitment to move more eyeballs to its online platforms. Since Devs premiered with FX on Hulu earlier this year, "more than 50 percent of [Hulu's] subscribers have engaged" with FX's new streaming-only option, notes THR.

Announced in May, American Horror Stories doesn't have a premiere date yet, but when it arrives, each self-contained episode will be an hour long. Y: The Last Man, which sustained its most recent production delay in March thanks to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, also hasn't been given a firm release date.

As U.S. cinema chains warily eye welcoming guests back for the handful of would-be summer blockbusters waiting in the wings, Cinemark is helping viewers know what to expect as its doors reopen in phases across the country, with new safety precautions in place.

In a video posted to the company's official website, Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi walked returning guests through the theater chain's new policy changes, all aimed at limiting the transmission of COVID-19. While masks will be required for all theater staff, they're encouraged (but not required) for guests. Also encouraged is "physical distancing" among viewers, "no matter whether you're walking through the lobby, grabbing your favorite concession, or sitting in your seat," as Zoradi explains in the video.

Cinemark also updated its site with a thorough new FAQ section explaining how it'll prepare theaters and staff to resume operation under the new changes, which will include thorough daily sanitization measures as well as stepped-up concession counter precautions for food and beverage safety. While a handful of Cinemark theaters already are open under the new guidelines, you can check the company's landing page to see when the theater nearest you is set to flicker back to life this summer.

The Duffer Brothers and Netflix aren't about to give anything major away as fans await the fourth season of Stranger Things. But in a new interview this week, the Duffers teased there'll be some highly recognizable celebrity names showing up in Hawkins to make some head-turning guest appearances.

Speaking with Deadline's Pete Hammond, show creators Matt and Ross Duffer said the fourth season will feature parts that've been specifically written for the guest stars they've lined up. "We have a couple of cool ones this year," they explained. "It's a really fun way to meet one of your icons — you know, write a part for them, and see if they want to do it."

Of course the Duffers stayed quiet on exactly who those stars will be, but it's all building toward the continued unfolding of a bigger overall Stranger Things story — or, as Matt Duffer put it, the "Stranger Things mythology that only maybe a small handful of people have seen."

"[S]eason by season, we're kind of turning the page and revealing a little bit more and more," he teased. "…We've known the ending of the show for quite a while." Netflix hasn't revealed a premiere date for Stranger Things 4, so fans still have plenty of time to keep coming up with theories about what really happened to Chief Hopper.