A&E is checking in to the Bates Motel. The cable network has opted to bypass the traditional pilot stage and order its "Psycho" prequel "Bates Motel" straight to series.
From "Lost's" Carlton Cuse and "Friday Night Lights' " Kerry Ehrin, the series is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 classic "Psycho" and is described as a contemporary exploration of Norman Bates' formative years. It will explore his relationship with his mother, Norma, and offer a look at the backstory that helped forge the infamous serial killer. It's been dubbed as a cross between "Twin Peaks" and "Smallville."
The series, which will begin preproduction and casting immediately, is scheduled for a 2013 premiere on A&E. Cuse and Ehrin will executive produce the Universal Television and Carlton Cuse Productions effort. Anthony Cipriano penned the pilot script.
"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 president and GM Bob DeBitetto and A&E exec vp programming Dave McKillop said in a joint statement announcing the news Monday. "It's a provocative project from two of the best storytellers in the business, and we’re looking forward to getting started."
A&E first announced it was developing the prequel to Hitchcock's Anthony Perkins starrer at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in January. Cuse boarded the effort, which is being produced by Mark Wolper and Roy Lee, in March.
"Bates Motel" marks former "Lost" co-showrunner Cuse's first TV project since his run on the island-set ABC drama. His fellow "Lost" EP Damon Lindelof recently inked a rich overall deal with Warner Bros. Television to return to the small screen. Lindelof is developing Tom Perrotta's "The Leftovers" at HBO, marking his first project since "Lost," which he co-created
"Bates Motel" joins a growing roster of scripted programming at A&E that includes Western drama "Longmire," which was renewed for a second season on Friday, and "The Glades."
The A&E effort is not the first time a "Psycho" spinoff has been attempted; NBC aired a 90-minute TV movie titled "Bates Motel" in 1987. The A&E series also marks the latest serial-killer prequel story, joining NBC's "Silence of the Lambs" prequel series, "Hannibal," which hails from "Pushing Daisies" creator Bryan Fuller.
Cuse is repped by WME and Del Shaw; Ehrin is with Rothman Brecher.
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