Universal Channel Acquires UK Rights To ‘Bates Motel’

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Universal Channel has closed a deal with NBCUniversal International Television Distribution to acquire the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to A&E’s drama series Bates Motel. Universal Channel’s deal with NBCU covers both seasons of the series.

Created by Carlton Cuse, Bates Motel was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and picks up as Norma Bates, following the tragic death of her husband, buys a motel on the outskirts of the idyllic coastal town of White Pine Bay, seeking a fresh start. As Norma and Norman get ensconced in their new home, they discover this town isn’t quite what it seems, and the locals aren’t so quick to let them in on their secrets. But the Bates’ are done being pushed around and will do whatever it takes to survive – and will do whatever it takes to protect their own secrets. Bates Motel is produced by Universal Television and stars Freddie Highmore, Vera Farmiga, Max Thieriot, Nicola Peltz and Olivia Cooke.

Bates Motel airs in the United States on cable network A&E where it has been a hit with both critics and viewers. The series premiere garnered 4.5 million total viewers and 2.5 million adults 25-54 and 18-49, according to Live+7 data. Those numbers make the series premiere of Bates Motel the most-watched original drama debut in the key demos in the network’s history. Following its critical and ratings successes, A&E recently renewed the series for a second season.

Speaking of the series, James Newton, Channel Director of Universal Channel, said: “Bates Motel is among the most-distinctive and talked-about new dramas to emerge from the US this year, and we are extremely proud to be the channel opening its infamous doors to UK viewers. Reinventing one of the most iconic characters in cinematic history, we’re confident the show will take Universal Channel to a whole new level.”

TVWise’s Acquisitions Scorecard has been updated with this new information.

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