It's hard to believe that it's been over a year since we last offered any kind of substantive update on Ratched, series star & EP Sarah Paulson and AHS co-creator Ryan Murphy's prequel series to Ken Kesey's 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest that focuses on Nurse Mildred Ratched's (Paulson) backstory. And that's mainly because we're coming up on two years since the series first premiered, and things have been dramatically quiet ever since. well, we might have an update- but it's not a promising one. Speaking with Variety regarding her future with Murphy's American Horror Story and American Crime Story franchises, Paulson told the news site that "she doesn't know if a second season is in the works or not" (though the series was previously renewed for two seasons).
Beginning in the mid-'40s, Ratched follows our lead's devolution from a nurse to a full-fledged monster as she makes her way up through the mental health care system. Murphy had mapped out a four-season origin arc for the series (with the series starting with two seasons totaling 18 episodes), where Paulson's nurse would face off against a different adversary each season (with the fourth and final season blending Cuckoo's Nest into the narrative).
From Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, RATCHED is a suspenseful drama series that tells the origin story of asylum nurse Mildred Ratched. In 1947, Mildred arrives in Northern California to seek employment at a leading psychiatric hospital where new and unsettling experiments have begun on the human mind. On a clandestine mission, Mildred presents herself as the perfect image of what a dedicated nurse should be, but the wheels are always turning and as she begins to infiltrate the mental health care system and those within it, Mildred's stylish exterior belies a growing darkness that has long been smoldering within, revealing that true monsters are made, not born.
Created by Evan Romansky and inspired by the iconic and unforgettable character of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, the series also starred Cynthia Nixon as Gwendolyn Briggs, Judy Davis as Nurse Betsy Bucket, Sharon Stone as Lenore Osgood, Jon Jon Briones as Dr. Richard Hanover, Finn Wittrock as Edmund Tolleson, Charlie Carver as Huck, Alice Englert as Dolly, Amanda Plummer as Louise, Corey Stoll as Charles Wainwright, Sophie Okonedo as Charlotte, and Vincent D'Onofrio as Gov. George Wilburn.
Murphy directed the pilot episode from a script by writer Romansky. Joining Paulson and Murphy as executive producers for the first season were Michael Douglas, Ian Brennan, Alexis Martin Woodall, Aleen Keshishian, Jacob Epstein, Jennifer Salt, Margaret Riley, Robert Mitas, and Tim Minear.