In 2008, ABC cast Paulson in the pilot Cupid, which was ordered to series.
It was a remake of the 1998 series starring Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall.
Paulson was subsequently cast as part of an all-female ensemble in the heist film Ocean's 8 (2018), co-starring with Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, and Rihanna.
Paulson returned for the eighth season of American Horror Story, titled Apocalypse, which premiered on September 12, 2018.
The same year, Paulson filmed the independent drama Martha Marcy May Marlene, in which she starred opposite Elizabeth Olsen and Hugh Dancy, portraying the wealthy sister of a woman who has escaped a cult.
In 2014, Paulson appeared in the fourth season of series of American Horror Story, titled Freak Show, playing the roles of conjoined twin sisters Bette and Dot Tattler, who are members of a circus freak show.
An ill-fitting combination of melodrama and magic realism, the indie effort will have a decidedly difficult time in the theatrical arena." and was a focal character in an episode of the FX series Nip/Tuck.In June 2016, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting; in the video, Paulson and others told the stories of the people killed there.In the fall of 2016, she starred sixth iteration of American Horror Story, subtitled Roanoke; in it, she was cast in the dual roles of British actress Audrey Tindall and tortured wife and yoga instructor Shelby Miller, the latter of whom is portrayed by Tindall's character in My Roanoke Nightmare, a documentary within the series.The production received an unfavorable review from Variety, with critic Dave Rooney writing: "Rabe speaks in an affected monotone while Sarah Paulson has the measured, upward-inflected delivery of a children’s TV presenter...
this mannered, melancholy play elicits a mainly impassive response, which is no small obstruction in a work dealing with loss." In the 2006–07 television season, Paulson co-starred in NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, playing Harriet Hayes, one of the stars of the show-within-a-show.From 2006 to 2007, she starred as Harriet Hayes in the NBC comedy-drama series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, for which she received her first Golden Globe Award nomination.