This news a tad bit on the stale side but if you haven’t already heard, A&E has picked up Bates Motel, a contemporary Psycho prequel focusing on the formative years of Norman Bates and his twisted relationship with his mother. What’s particularly interesting to note is that this series was originally picked up to be a mini-series with the possibility of backdoor piloting into a full series but instead when former Lost showrunner Cartlon Cuse and Kerry Ehrin (Parenthood) came on board as writers/executive producers, they reworked it as a full series and wrote several scripts, prompting A&E to forgo the pilot process completely and go straight to series with this incredibly ambitious project.
For our money, this seems like a very interesting premise and very risky, as well. Taking on Hitchcock is something that no one has ever successfully done (even when he was copied shot-for-shot, it was a failure), however Cuse certainly has the ability to make it happen as much as anyone else could.
The most recent news is that Oscar-nominated Vera Famiga (Up in the Air, The Departed) has been cast to play the iconic role of Norman’s mother, Norma. That kind of casting says a lot about the quality of this project, being able to snag an A-lister like that. Bates Motel is set to premiere in 2013.
Via Press Release:
A&E NETWORK ORDERS “BATES MOTEL” TO SERIES
NETWORK BYPASSES PILOT PROCESS TO ORDER 10 EPISODES
PRESENT DAY SERIES INSPIRED BY HITCHCOCK’S “PSYCHO” WILL EXPLORE THE FORMATION OF THE ICONIC CHARACTERS OF NORMAN AND NORMA BATES AND THE WORLD THEY INHABIT
New York, NY – July 2, 2012 – A&E Network is going directly to series on “Bates Motel” from Universal Television with Carlton Cuse (“Lost”) and Kerry Ehrin (“Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood”) serving as executive producers, it was announced today jointly by Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager, A&E Network and BIO Channel and the network’s Executive Vice President of Programming, David McKillop. The network is moving straight to series, bypassing a pilot, with a 10-episode order. Pre-production and casting will begin immediately.
“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,” said DeBitetto and McKillop. “It’s a provocative project from two of the best storytellers in the business and we’re looking forward to getting started.”
“Bates Motel,” inspired by Hitchcock’s genre-defining film, “Psycho,” is a contemporary exploration of the formative years of Norman Bates’ relationship with his mother, Norma, and the world they inhabit. Viewers will have access to the dark, twisted backstory and learn firsthand how Norma helped forge the most famous serial killer of them all. “Bates Motel” will premiere on A&E in 2013.
“Bates Motel” is produced by Universal Television and Carlton Cuse Productions for A&E Network. Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin serve as executive producers.