A&E Checks In to ‘Bates Motel’

Network green-lights 'Psycho' prequel

Looks like there's a new vacancy at the Bates Motel. A&E has green-lit the Psycho prequel, announced as a development slate line-item last year. The network will broadcast 10 episodes of the series with no initial pilot order—the showrunner on the project is Carlton Cuse, of Lost fame. The series is set to premiere in 2013. Cuse will exec produce with Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights). Preproduction and casting are set to start right away.

"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," network president and gm Bob DeBitetto and evp of programming David McKillop said in a joint statement issued Monday. "It's a provocative project from two of the best storytellers in the business and we're looking forward to getting started."

"Provocative" is certainly the right word—Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is considered one of the best films ever made and has its share of fanatical defenders. But A&E has had recent success with iconic material, notably Hatfields & McCoys, a miniseries about the famous feud that broke cable telecast records. The series will explore the ins and outs of Psycho villain Norman Bates' relationship with his mother, Norma, and presumably some of the motel guests who check out early.