Revealed today at A&E’s Comic-Con panel for Bates Motel is that season 3 will dive more into the story of Norma’s brother, Caleb, as Kenny Johnson is made a regular on the show. Also, executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin revealed that posh damsel in distress Bradley (Nicola Peltz) — aka the girl who Norman will do anything for — will be returning. “There’s a huge revelation for Norman as he realizes he can do these terrible things,” said Cuse. For the most part the EPs were tight-lipped about major storylines for season 3. Of note, we’ll learn more about Sheriff Romero’s backstory. Rather than treat the crowd to season 3 spoilers, panel organizers found it amusing to have members of the audience arm wrestle Johnson since he’s a champion in the raw sport. The Bates Motel panel featured a couple of silly clips: an Arrested Development-like opening credits sequence for the series as well as a number of offbeat, unhinged auditions of the actors, which are to be featured on the season 2 DVD. Sitting on the Comic-Con panel were Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Olivia Cooke, Nestor Carbonell and Johnson.
Midway thought its second-season run, A&E Network’s drama Bates Motel has been renewed for a 10-episode third season to begin production in the fall. The contemporary Psycho prequel series debuted to 3 million Live+same day viewers last season, with its second season opener inching up. With DVR viewing factored in, the Season 2 premiere averaged 4.6 million viewers in Live+7 as Bates Motel continues to be A&E’s top-rated drama series in adults 18-49. “The incredible writing team and talented Bates Motel cast has made this series one of the most compelling original dramas on television,” said A&E EVP David McKillop. Episode 6 of Bates Motel‘s 10-episode second season airs tonight. The series shifted to 9 PM at the beginning of the season to launch new drama Those Who Kill but moved back to its old 10 PM slot after Those Who Kill was pulled following two low-rated airings. (It has since been relaunched on sibling LMN.) Bates Motel stars Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates and Freddie Highmore as Norman. Universal Television is producing, with Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin executive producing.
EXCLUSIVE: Bates Motel star Michael Vartan has landed the male lead in Crawlspace, the New Line genre film that’s directed by Phil Claydon (Vampire Killers) and produced by Peter Safran and Rick Alvarez. Vartan will play a widower with a daughter who gets remarried and, after going through a rough patch of unemployment, gets the opportunity for a new start in a new house in the suburbs. Trouble is the house has a very disturbing secret from the past that rears up. Principal photography is set to begin March 24, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Vartan is currently playing the new romantic love interest to Vera Farmiga’s Norma in the A&E’s Psycho prequel series Bates Motel, which is currently airing in its second season. This guy is apparently not good at picking houses or women. He’s repped by UTA, Thruline Entertainment and attorney Frank Stewart.
UPDATE MARCH 24: After a two-week hiatus, Those Who Kill is returning on the air but on a different network, A&E low-profile sibling LNM (Lifetime Movie Network). Beginning March 30, the freshman drama will be airing every Sunday at 10 PM. For more details, read our story here.
PREVIOUS: A&E will be going back to the drawing board with underperforming new drama series Those Who Kill. The series has been pulled after two episodes in the the Monday 10 PM slot, behind Bates Motel. The Psycho prequel series now will move back to the 10 PM slot where its first season aired. The series premiere of Those Who Kill starring Chloe Sevigny drew a soft 1.4 million viewers, down from the series debuts of A&E’s Bates Motel (3 million) and Longmire (4.1 million) and holding onto less than half of its Bates Motel lead-in. The freshman’s audience dropped to 830,000 in the second episode. There is no conclusive evidence that the move to 9 PM has had a significant impact on Bates Motel, with its second-season premiere up a smidgen from Season 1 and the second episode down. Despite Those Who Kill‘s paltry ratings (0.5 in 18-49 for the premiere, 0.3 for Episode 2), A&E brass want to give the show another shot, with a relaunch at another time, likely of the entire 10-episode first …
On the heels of getting her first pilot order, drama writer-producer Nikki Toscano also has landed her first overall deal. Toscano has signed a two-year overall pact with Universal TV, the studio behind her pilot as well as the series she has been working on, A&E’s Bates Motel. Toscano’s drama pilot at CBS, which she is executive producing with Bates Motel co-showrunner Kerry Ehrin, centers on a retired CIA operative who, when a terrorist event rocks Washington D.C., is pulled back into action, forced to investigate closer to home where the next generation of terrorists are being bred. “We have greatly valued the work of Nikki on Universal Television’s Bates Motel this season and it’s been a terrific experience developing a new drama pilot with her for CBS,” Uni TV EVP Bela Bajaria said. “We’re eager to work for many years to come with this talented writer-producer.” Toscano, repped by UTA, manager Carel Cutler and attorney Patti Felker, previously worked as a producer on the first two seasons of ABC’s Revenge.
AMC introduced the live companion after-show to a hit serialized drama with the successful Talking Dead and Talking Bad (to be followed by Talking Mad?). Now A&E is taking a page from the playbook with Bates Motel: After Hours, which hails from the same company that has produced Talking Dead and Talking Bad, Michael Davies’ Embassy Row. A&E will try out the after-show to its flagship drama Bates Motel as a special, following the show’s second season premiere on March 3, but the intention likely is to turn this into a companion series. In the half-hour special, Bates Motel stars Vera Farmiga (Norma Bates), Freddie Highmore (Norman Bates), Max Thieriot (Dylan Massett) and executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin will discuss the Season 2 opener and answer fan questions about the upcoming season.
Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond sits down with ENTV host Melana Scantlin to talk about the drama categories in a preview of likely winners in this year’s Primetime Emmys. Pete says good timing likely tips a tough and tight race for Best Drama Series to Breaking Bad, but look out for House Of Cards, which might have something to say in some of the acting categories. Fine performances by the key people in Mad Men aren’t likely to get rewarded, Pete suggests, but voters may check in to Bates Motel for an acting win there.
Meet Norman’s new romantic interest. Paloma Kwiatkowski has booked a recurring role on the second season of A&E‘s Bates Motel. She will play Cody Brennan, a small town party girl who befriends Norman (Freddie Highmore) and bonds with him, showing him how having fun and “acting out” can sublimate pain – at least for awhile. Bates Motel executive producer Carlton Cuse at Comic Con alluded that a romance was on the horizon for Norman. In her feature debut, Kwiatkowski, repped by manager Darren Goldberg, agent Carrie Wheeler and attorney Neil Meyer, plays Thalia in the upcoming Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Sea Of Monsters. She recently wrapped the lead role in the indie Sitting On The Edge With Marlene.
Manolo Cardona has been tapped for a recurring role on the new CW drama Reign, about the teen years of Mary Queen Of Scots (Adelaide Kane) in the French court. Cardona will play Tomas, the dashing Prince of Portugal. He’s playful and seemingly grounded though he may have a sinister, sadistic, and completely amoral soul. Cardona, repped by D2 Management, just wrapped an arc on USA’s Covert Affairs as Arthur’s (Peter Gallagher) son Teo Braga.
Daniella Alonso, who had a major role on the first season of NBC‘s Revolution, is joining another freshman NBC drama. Alonso has been tapped as a new regular on the midseason NBC medical drama Night Shift, from Sony TV. On the show, set during the night shift at San Antonio Memorial’s emergency department, Alonso will play Landry, a tough Texas girl and the lone Psychiatrist on the weekend night shift. She is with Gersh and Luber/Roklin.
Michael Eklund (The Call) is joining the cast of A&E’s Bates Motel for a recurring role in Season 2. He will play Zane Carpenter, a new upper level player in Dylan’s drug family. Eklund, repped by RED Management and Greene & Assoc., joins fellow new Bates Motel recurring players Rebecca Creskoff, Kenny Johnson and Michael Vartan. He is just completing the untitled Eadweard Muybridge picture.
A&E has cast the three major new roles on the upcoming second season of Bates Motel. Rebecca Creskoff (Hung), Kenny Johnson (Sons Of Anarchy) and Michael Vartan (Hawthorne) have been tapped for recurring parts on the series, a prequel to Psycho. Creskoff will play Christine who befriends Norma, pulling her into the upper circle of White Pine Bay Society. Charming, witty and intelligent, Christine is the first female friend Norma has ever had. Alias alum Vartan plays George, Christine’s recently divorced older brother who develops a crush on Norma. Johnson, who also recurs on the final season of Dexter, plays Caleb, Norma’s estranged brother.
A&E’s Bates Motel gang was still riding high on star Vera Farmiga‘s Best Actress Emmy nomination Saturday morning at Comic-Con, where Farmiga explained her approach to playing the mother of Hitchcock’s most famous psycho. “I Googled ‘parents of psychopaths,” she said. “That’s where my compassion for the character comes from. She’s incredibly flawed, she comes with an incredibly warped history and a lot of pain that she’s damming up. But in her defense, she’s the mother of a child with mental issues. There’s no way that a parent can say my child has a mental illness without their spirit imploding. So I always approach Norma with a great sense of compassion and reverence.”
The drama series’ panel opened with a pre-filmed bit of fun with a gag video featuring Freddie Highmore as himself visiting the Bates Motel writers room; there he finds that all screen time and ads are devoted to Farmiga and takes over the Universal Studios Psycho tram stop as the Norman Bates persona seeps into his identity. Highmore joined Farmiga, Nestor Carbonell, Olivia Cooke, Max Thierot and EPs Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin to talk up the modern-day Psycho prequel/reimagining. The show returns for its sophomore season next year, when Cuse teased romances on the horizon for Norma and Norman. “And not with each other, OK?” joked Cuse. “Not yet.” The hint of incest between the pair remains ambiguous. “It’s just a form of Norma’s holding therapy,” said Farmiga. “Every mother in the audience will tell you they grow up so quickly you’ve got to slather it on while you can.” Another member of the Bates family could add another complex relationship to the show soon. “We made reference to Norma’s brother last season,” teased Cuse. “That character might show up this season.”
Christy Grosz edits Deadline’s awards publication Awardsline.
Vera Farmiga admits she was skeptical when she first heard about Bates Motel, the series that serves as a modern-day prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. But playing a character who was merely an idea in the original source material has proven to be the right role at the right time for her. The Oscar-nominated actress is almost protective in describing Norma as the parent of a mentally ill child, choosing to see the single mother as sympathetic. While the A&E series has been picked up for a second season, Farmiga also will star in July’s The Conjuring, in which she plays a paranormal investigator.
AwardsLine: When Bates Motel came to you, were you looking for a TV project specifically?
Farmiga: I think I was looking for a career tweak. I have so many other interests in life, and no role is more challenging, rewarding and inspiring than my real-life role as a mom and a wife, so I pretty much just look at the most remunerative offers these days. (Laughs.) But seriously, if I’m going to step away for 18 hours a day, there better be some sort of a paycheck or spiritual salary being offered. And Bates Motel surprised me. (The role) made me reflect so deeply on the love I feel for my children. I was craving a deeper level of, I don’t know, virtuosity. The writers presented me with this deeper level of sophistication, the creation of Norma, and I pounced on the opportunity. Also, I was craving all that cable serial television has to offer, which is the risk and the wackiness, the unorthodox.
During a Bates Motel panel discussion Friday, Carlton Cuse was blunt about borrowing from a classic. No, not Hitchcock’s Psycho; TV’s Twin Peaks. “We pretty much ripped off Twin Peaks,” joked Cuse, executive producer of the A&E series with Kerry Ehrin, in response to a question about the similarities from panel moderator Shawn Ryan. “If you wanted to get that confession, the answer is yes,” he continued, tongue in cheek. “I loved that show. They only did 30 episodes. Kerry and I thought we’d do the 70 that are missing.” Cuse appeared on the Paley Center panel “Inside Bates Motel: Reimagining A Cinema Icon” with Ehrin, Vera Farmiga (who portrays Norma Bates), Freddie Highmore (Norman), Max Thieriot (Norman’s half-brother Dylan), Nicola Peltz (popular teen Bradley Martin) and Nestor Carbonell (Sheriff Alex Romero). English actress Olivia Cooke, who plays Norman’s friend Emma Decody, who battles cystic fibrosis, was a no-show because of “visa snafus,” Ryan said. Once it was acknowledged that both TV shows are plenty creepy and set in the foggy Northwest, Cuse, Ehrin and the cast spent more time during the freewheeling discussion citing the similarities and differences of Bates Motel from Hitchcock’s iconic 1960 film.
Former Walt Disney Television International and Nickelodeon exec Nicky Douglas will oversee Universal Networks International’s Universal Channel, Syfy, E! Entertainment Television, The Style Network and Movies 24 in the UK. The group of channels has been ramping up its business in the territory with a series of significant deals. Universal Channel just acquired A&E Network’s Bates Motel for two seasons and launched TNT’s Major Crimes as part of an exclusive pact. Syfy premiered drama series Defiance yesterday, 24 hours after its U.S. bow. Douglas most recently had her own consulting firm and will start her new job immediately.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Bates Motel’ In UK; ‘Not Another Happy Ending’ To Close Edinburgh; BBC Worldwide & Foxtel
In a significant first-run deal, Universal Channel has acquired A&E Network‘s Bates Motel for the UK. Handled overseas by NBCUniversal International Television Distribution, the series is a contemporary prequel to the Alfred Hitchcock feature Psycho and stars Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, Nicola Peltz and Nestor Carbonel. It debuted in the U.S. on March 18 and was renewed for a second run last week. Universal Channel acquired both seasons. Bates Motel is produced by Universal Television for A&E. Carlton Cruse, and Kerry Ehrin are exec producers.
Just a few weeks after its March 18 debut, Bates Motel was been picked up for a second season, A&E announced today. Production on Season 2 is set to start later this year on the Psycho prequel of a sorts, with 10 new episodes to air in 2014. Read the release from A&E here:
NEW YORK – April 8, 2013 – A&E Network has picked up a second season of the acclaimed drama series, “Bates Motel” starring Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore from executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin, it was announced today by Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager of A&E Network and BIO Channel. The premiere of “Bates Motel” garnered 4.5 million total viewers and 2.5 million adults 25-54 and 18-49, based on Live+7 viewership, making it the most-watched original drama debut in the key demos in the network’s history.