A&E is committing to Bates Motel. The network has renewed the Psycho prequel series starring Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga for an additional two seasons. The total order is for 20 episodes, which will be evenly split across the show’s fourth and fifth seasons.
“The vision of our incredible creative team has exposed the steady breakdown of the relationship between Norman and Norma Bates,” said Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President and General Manager of A&E and Lifetime. “We are thrilled to bring fans two more seasons to witness the next stages of Norman’s transformation into the most notorious psychopath in cinematic history.”
Created by Carlton Cuse, Bates Motel was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and is described as a contemporary exploration of the formative years of Norman Bates, relationship with his mother, Norma, and the world they inhabit. The drama series is produced by Universal Television and stars Freddie Highmore, Vera Farmiga, Max Thieriot, Nicola Peltz, Olivia Cooke and Nestor Carbonell.
Elsewhere, A&E has officially cancelled The Returned, their English language adaptation of French series Les Revenants which, like Bates Motel, hailed from Carlton Cuse. The cancellation had not been unexpected. Despite having a decent lead in with Bates Motel, it failed to draw much of an audience and eventually ratings sunk below one million viewers.
The cancellation is no doubt bad news for Netflix, who aired the series outside of North America after acquiring The Returned in a deal with FremantleMedia International earlier this year. Still, A&E has already found a suitable replacement in Glen Mazzara’s Damien, which was originally set up at Lifetime and like Bates Motel is based on an iconic feature film.