‘Bates Motel’ Gets Second Season Renewal

Bates Motel has been approved for a second season after just three episodes, according to a Monday press release from A&E Network.

Executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin launched the series with a premiere of 4.5 million viewers, according to TV By the Numbers and those numbers were enough to make it A&E’s highest rated drama in the key demographics of ages 25-54 and 18-49.

Bates Motel has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal audience in its first few weeks,” said A&E / BIO Channel president and general manager Bob DeBitetto. “With superb writing and exceptional acting, led by the critically acclaimed performances of Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore, we’re incredibly excited to see where Carlton and Kerry take Norma and Norman Bates next.”

The prequel series to the 1960 film Psycho chronicling the teen years of serial killer Norman Bates (Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) premiered on March 18. Its fourth episode airs tonight.

Cuse and Ehrin have taken some unorthodox and risky approaches to the development of the series. Setting in a contemporary time, the team has found a way to freshen up the more than 50-year-history with a personalized approach.

(Cuse and Ehrin write most of what you see Monday nights without the help of a large writing staff unlike most hour-long dramas.)

There is always an inherent risk when you tamper with an institution like Psycho. Automatically, you’re being compared to Alfred Hitchcock, and that’s a hard mountain to climb.

(Ask Gus Van Sant, director of the abysmal 1998 shot-for-shot remake.)

But with three episodes down, the team behind Bates Motel has stayed the course and have captured A&E’s confidence, enough to land the approval of a second 10-episode arc for 2014.

In the following video, Cuse and Ehrin talk a little more about their process and about keeping things fresh and original despite having a “master plan” where the audience (mostly) knows the ultimate fates of their lead characters.

A&E Network has championed the show since its inception with a steady marketing effort that began with the announcement of Farmiga as Norma in August 2012.

After that, an influx of teasers, including dropping the first six minutes a week ahead of the premiere and suggesting some sadistic turns along the way, piqued the curiosity of those of us, who grew up with the films, while using a contemporary approach for the younger crowd.

Have you watched Bates Motel yet? Are you excited about getting a season two?