A&E Orders Psycho-Inspired Bates Motel Prequel Series From Lost Boss Carlton Cuse


Anthony Perkins in Psycho

A boy’s best friend is his mother, and now A&E Network is preparing to shower us with details on exactly how Psycho‘s Norman Bates and his mama got so close.

The cable net has given a straight-to-series, 10-episode order to Bates Motel, from executive producers Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood).

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The Psycho prequel drama is a contemporary exploration of Norman Bates’ formative years; his relationship with his mother, Norma; and the world they inhabit. The dark, twisted backstory will reveal how Norma helped to create the famous serial killer.

“We are proud to be partnering with Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin on their thrilling reinvention of one of the most compelling characters in cinematic history,” A&E Network president Bob DeBitetto and EVP of programming David McKillop said in a statement announcing the news. “It’s a provocative project from two of the best storytellers in the business, and we’re looking forward to getting started.”

Bates Motel is slated to premiere in 2013.

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  1. So, Psycho IV: The Series?

    • slappy magoo says:

      Actually, there already was “Psycho IV: The Beginning” directed by Mick Garris, starring Anothony Perkins in present-day and Henry Thomas as Norman in flashbacks. It was a “Showtime Original Picture” back in the day. There was also a tv-movie/”backdoor pilot” called “Bates Motel” in (I think( the early nineties. Ostensibly it was about a friend of Norman’s from “the Institute” whom Norman left the house & the motel after he died. As the movie progressed, it became clear that if Bates Motel were to be a series, it would be a Twilight Zone-y anthology where weird things happened to be happening to people who happened to be staying in the Motel, as opposed to an ongoing killer-thriller. This way producers would have all the freedom of an anthology (different sets of characters and stories every week) with fewer costs (one major set instead of all new sets every week). It starred Bud Cort and, I think, Lori Petty as the series regulars, the Mr, Roarke & Tattoo of the show, and the supernatural nothing-to-do-with-Norman-Bates substory had Krystyne Haje from Head of the Class and Jason Bateman.

      My God, I’ve wasted my life…

  2. Sounds creepy. Can’t wait! :)

  3. Sam says:

    As always, it’s best to reserve judgement until at least 4 or so episodes have aired.
    That being said, this sounds iffy. Norman Bates was such a specific character, I’m not sure how they’ll mine a series worth of material from him.

  4. Templar says:

    I could see Matthew Gray Gubler [Dr. Reid on Criminal Minds] as young Norman Bates, but honestly, enough with mining old plots. Are there no writers with original ideas?

    • JASon says:

      There are writers with original ideas (see Lost, Breaking Bad, American Horror Stories, Mad Men). Problem is production is so expensive so networks are scared to invest in new ideas and like to stick with proven entries.

      I wish they would do ideas that are from books though and not old movies and TV shows. I would love to see a series based on Stephen’ King’s eight Gunslinger books. They could do it like Game of THrones. One book per seson. OR possibly have a series based on The Talisman by Stephen King.

      • Templar says:

        I agree with you. I’d like to see something based on the Outlander series by D. Gabaldon or maybe the Richard Jury mysteries by M. Grimes.

      • Mike says:

        Ron Howard is still working on adapting the Gunslinger novels into a fill series for the books and a TV series as a prequel to the books

    • moribundman says:

      “Formative years” does not mean a 30 year-old should play the part. Anthony Perkins was only 27 or 28 when he played Norman Bates. A young mind gets perverted much much earlier!

      As for the idea not being original, I disagree. Seeing what “Mom” does to little Norman to turn him slowly into the twisted schizophrenic sociopath he is, is quite original as far as TV shows go. Of course, if that show is successful, we will also get to see Dexter’s and young Hannibal’s formative years. Bon appétit!

  5. JOE S HILL says:

    Tiresome! wasn’t the Bates chapter closed years ago?Get A Life,people!-there are other
    things far more important to do,,and Charlton Cuse would sure be the one to be doing
    something far more original,besides returning to the Bates motel-been there,did that already!
    i enjoyed “MARTIAL LAW” with Sammo Hung,,that’s what Cuse does the best-but a TV
    series about the Bates motel?,,gimme a break!! A&E sure has to be desprite enough to try
    an idea like that,,,but NBC beat them to the punch years ago,when they aired a TV movie
    about the Bates motel,,or Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake,,,so please-SPARE US!!

    • kate says:

      yes. because a made for TV movie from 20 years ago and a bad remake of the original film are DEFINITELY going to be EXACTLY like this. how could they possibly be done differently!? man, what would we do without your wisdom?

  6. Vernie2 says:

    I think Peter Porte should play the part of Norman Bates, he was extremely creepy on The Young and the Restless as Ricky Williams. You know the type…handsome, quiet, deranged, and murderous. His story line just ended on Y&R so he might be available.

  7. Gerald says:

    Enough with Norman Bates, try something original. Why do they always think we have this need to know how they came to be? That’s the problem with prequels, they give information we don’t need. Why does evil need a reason? He was a crazy and had a dominant mother… why more? Besides, they already explored this aspects on the last movie: Psycho IV: the beginning.

    • kate says:

      Alfred Hitchcock “gave evil a reason” in the original film. Going back and using that info to create a dark TV show could be fun. It’s just further explanation of what we already know. And btw, it’s 2012, not 1990. TV is not a second class medium anymore. There are a lot of things a TV series can do that movies (even made for TV movies) can’t.

      • Gerald says:

        I understand that tv is not what it used to be, I just feel is redundant and unnecessary. I’m sorry but I just don’t think it will be any good.

  8. kate says:

    I’m excited about this. Done correctly this can be dark, creepy, and a hell of a lot of fun. I hope they do it right.

    • Gerald says:

      Not only is it unnecessary and has been done before but it also has a lot to live up to. I just don’t see this working at all and the fact that it’s going to be on A&E doesn’t help.

  9. Sam says:

    Psycho IV was already too uncomfortable and incestuous to watch.

    • JASon says:

      Norman Bates’ biological mother was not actually the woman who raised him. He was adopted but didn’t know it. He thought it was his mother and his “incestupus” relationship drove him nuts!!

      • Gerald says:

        Actually he wasn’t adopted, Norma Bates was his real mother. In the sequel, Mrs. Spool visits Norman and reveals that she is his real mother, and that Norma Bates was actually his aunt; Mrs. Spool had been put in a mental institution shortly after giving birth to Norman, and her sister had adopted him and told him that he was her son. However, in the third film it is revealed that John Bates had started an affair with both sisters: Emma and Norma. John Bates had started an affair with both sisters, however, Norma succeeded in stealing him away from Emma. Driven mad with envy, Emma killed John Bates and abducted the young Norman, convincing herself he was the child she had with John Bates. Emma was apprehended and locked up, and Norman was returned to his mother.

  10. PS says:

    Also very sceptical about this. But I hope they don’t completely update the Norman Bates mythos and keep it in the timeframe of the 50s or late 40s. That should be cool.

  11. Joe says:

    Wasn’t there a Bates Motel pilot from the 80’s? I swear I have a bootleg of it somewhere.

    • Mike says:

      Yes – Terrrible – with Bud Cort from “Harrold and Maude.” Not a great movie and honestly, nothing really to do with “Psycho”

  12. Joe Strummer says:

    Do not mess with the classics. Psycho is one of the best films ever made.

    Whats next, how Charles Foster Kane got Rosebud?

    Or how Norma Desmond became weirdo?

    How Darth Vader came to be? Oh that’s right, they did it and it sucked.

    Didn’t they explain the sordid details of Norman Bates in the epilogue from the police officer?

    Didn’t all the sequels and remakes of Psycho suck to this point?


  13. The Worm says:

    Reblogged this on WORMED.

  14. Mike says:

    SPOILERS! I actually rather enjoyed the “Psycho” sequels: The best of the lot was “Psycho II” directed by Richard Franklin, who had worked with Hitchcock; “Psycho III”, directed by Perkins, was a bit on the seedy side of things and really should have probably ended there, with Norman falling in love with and then being caught for his new crimes and sent back to the booby hatch; and “Psycho IV: The Beginning,” directed by Mick Garris who has done a lot of the Stephen King adaptations, which had an interesting concept of a talk radio host speaking to Norman about his mother (with flashbacks featuring ET’s Henry Thomas as Young Norman and Olivia Hussey as Norma Bates) and the fiery destruction of the Bates mansion. I’m always game for more stories about Norman…but I too would hope that it was a retro story set in the 40’s or 50’s…because using a modern Norman, with access to the internet and the hotel concept…sounds a little hard to picture.

    • Gerald says:

      Yeah, I actually liked the sequels as well. Granted, they’re no way near the original but their pretty good in their own way. The second one is the best one of the franchise, I love the score and the whole way its set up.

  15. Elizabeth Shaw says:

    Curious, very curious. But I’m concerned about who would play the role Anthony Perkins was so famous for….

    • moribundman says:

      An American-as-apple-pie kid should play the role. Of course, the actor must have the ability to portray an increasingly warped mind. If the kid is creepy and nuts from the get-go, it’s boring. We need a dichotomy that makes young Norman believable and creepy. Otherwise it’s not fun! ;-)

  16. Bill says:

    Why not A&E’s “The Flying Alive”, based on Hitchcock’s “The Birds”?