A&E Renews BATES MOTEL For a Third Season

by     Posted 10 days ago

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Halfway through its second season, Bates Motel has been renewed by A&E for another ten episode run.  The engrossing and underrated drama was developed by Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights), and acts as a prequel of sorts to the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho.

The series’ greatest strength has been creating a world that leads up to, but isn’t dependent, on the story on which it is partially based.  Actually, scratch that — the series’ greatest strength is the Emmy-nominated Vera Farmiga, who plays Norma Bates.  Farmiga’s Norma is crafty, vulnerable, and hypnotic to watch — she’s completely unpredictable as the character and in the way Norma is portrayed.  Hit the jump for more on the series (spoiler-free), and its current ratings. 

BATES MOTEL Recap: “Gone But Not Forgotten”

by     Posted 45 days ago

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Last year, Bates Motel proved itself a surprisingly strange and hypnotic entry to the TV landscape.  Not only did the series find a way to be much more than just a prequel to the Hitchcock film, but the performances (particularly by Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates) were unlike anything else.  Bates Motel also created a unique setting — modern, yet a throwback — and expanded the world of White Pine Bay beyond the motel and its infamous inhabitants.  “Gone But Not Forgotten” picked up right where the show left off last year with its mysterious and potentially damning finale, but in its typical way, ultimately wriggled away from what seemed to be the obvious truth.  Hit the jump for why “this is the road that’s going to ruin our lives.”

Fan-Made Teaser Trailer for BATES MOTEL Season Two [UPDATED]

by     Posted 192 days ago

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Just in time for Halloween, a teaser trailer for the second season of A&E’s Psycho prequel series Bates Motel has landed online.  The first season introduced a young Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) who, with his odd mother (Vera Farmiga), moved to the mysterious town of White Pine Bay, Oregon and purchased a rundown motel.  Run by executive producers Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights), the first season was a tad uneven overall, but the good mostly outweighed the bad.  Farmiga’s performance as Norma Bates is wonderfully strange and unsettling, and Cuse and Ehrin have set up an interesting mythology for the town of White Pine Bay that extends beyond the future psychopath Norman Bates.  The season ended on a fascinating note, and I’m interested to see how things progress in the new episodes.  This teaser offers just a tiny taste, as we see Norman nonchalantly working on some taxidermy.  What a sweet boy.

Hit the jump to check out the teaser.  Bates Motel will return to A&E sometime in 2014. [Update: We've been informed that this teaser is not official and is apparently fan-made. Carry on.]

BATES MOTEL: Season One Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 207 days ago

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It’s hard to believe that Psycho actually qualifies as a franchise, mostly because everything after the immortal original was a steaming pile of cow flop.  Three theatrical sequels, one aborted TV pilot, the well-intentioned but ultimately pointless Gus Van Sant thing… it hasn’t been an easy ride for Norman Bates and his mother. Until now.

Bates Motel starts out feeling like a terrible gimmick, covering Norman’s (Freddie Highmore) formative years in what initially promises to be a one-trick pony.  Instead, the show serves up a meaty cocktail of American Gothic, as Mrs. Bates (Vera Farmiga) buys a quiet hotel with her young son in hopes of escaping a very checkered past.  Naturally, things go from bad to worse as the hotel’s old owner shows up, the local sheriff (Nestor Carbonell) pops in to ask awkward questions, and bodies both real and metaphorical start getting dumped in out-of-the-way places.   Hit the jump for my full review of Bates Motel season one on Blu-ray.

Comic Con: BATES MOTEL Panel Recap; Cast and Producers Talk Relationships, Re-Imagining a Classic, and Tease Season 2

by     Posted 271 days ago

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Fresh off her recently-announced Emmy nomination, Vera Farmiga and the rest of her Bates Motel cast members, including: Nestor Carbonell, Olivia Cooke, Freddie Highmore, and Max Thieriot, joined by producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin, took the Comic-Con stage to discuss the upcoming season of A&E’s new hit series. During the discussion, they delved into the show’s relationships and provided some teases for what to expect in Season 2. Hit the jump for highlights from the panel.

Freddie Highmore, Vera Farmiga, and Producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin Talk BATES MOTEL at Paley Center Panel

by     Posted 337 days ago

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The A&E drama series Bates Motel is currently wrapping up its first season and has already been picked up for Season 2.  To celebrate the show’s success, the Paley Center held a panel called Bates Motel: Reimagining a Cinema Icon, and Collider was there to cover and attend the event.  From executive producers Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights), the show is a contemporary prequel that gives an intimate portrayal of how Norman Bates’ (unsettlingly portrayed by Freddie Highmore) psyche unravels through his teenage years and just how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma (in an awards worthy performance by Vera Farmiga), truly is.

During the panel, Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin, along with Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga, talked about the challenges of pulling this show off, what makes the relationship between Norman and Norma Bates so compelling to watch, what the actors bring to their characters, learning more about Norma’s backstory and what made her the way she is, how exhausting it is to write for crazy people, what they look for in directors, and the ideal plan for how long the show will run.  Check out what they had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

A&E Renews BATES MOTEL for a Second Season

by     Posted 1 year, 9 days ago

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A&E’s Psycho prequel series will be continuing for at least another year.  The network announced today that it has ordered a second season of Bates Motel, which premiered a couple of weeks ago to solid ratings and positive reviews.  The drama series comes from Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and Friday Night Lights alum Kerry Ehrin and centers on the relationship between a teenage Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother (Vera Farmiga).  The show is similar to Lost in that it has set up a number of mysteries in its first few episodes, some of which may or may not be resolved by season’s end.  Hit the jump for more, including the full press release.

BATES MOTEL Episode Recap: “Nice Town You Picked, Norma”

by     Posted 1 year, 23 days ago

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This week, Bates Motel was a lot more low-key than last, but it was no less strange.  I gave most of the kudos to Vera Farmiga for her wacky, totally creepy performance as Norma, but already Freddie Highmore is really starting to find his own inner creep, from his nascent violent tendencies to his obsession with snuff manga.  In fact, there are very few things about White Pine Bay that aren’t creepy, and this is where the Twin Peaks comparisons start to gain traction (ever so slightly, or did I confuse that with Top of the Lake? So many creeper shows on right now).  The town is described by Deputy Shelby as being fake (how could people without real jobs have such fancy homes and drive such fancy cars?) with a vigilante underground.  Will the Bates fit in, or will they be targeted?  Hit the jump for why “I’m your mother, it’s not like it’s weird or anything.”

BATES MOTEL Pilot Episode Recap: “First You Dream, Then You Die”

by     Posted 1 year, 30 days ago

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A&E has gathered together some formidable talent to creates its Psycho prequel series Bates Motel, with Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) producing, and Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air) and Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland) as Norma and Norman Bates.  The series is billed as a “contemporary” prequel to Hitchcock’s 1960 classic, and while the show does take place in that familiar setting with a few winking call-backs to the original film, it’s clear that it wants to be its own thing.  The show is seeking to straddle that difficult line of basing itself off of very familiar material (which guarantees an audience, if just from the curiosity) — though which also burdens it with the fact that things have to end up at a certain place at a certain point — and doing something new with the story.  Things have started off slowly and strangely in the first hour, with the show seeming to not quite find its tone, but there are also some legitimately promising elements.  Hit the jump for why “we belong to each other.”

Freddie Highmore Talks BATES MOTEL, Identifying with Norman Bates, Working with Vera Farmiga, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 30 days ago

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The new A&E drama series Bates Motel gives viewers an intimate portrayal of how Norman Bates’ (Freddie Highmore) psyche unravels through his teenage years.  This contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film Psycho reveals the dark, twisted backstory and shows first-hand just how deep the relationship with his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), truly goes, as she helps forge the most famous serial killer of them all.  The show also stars Max Thieriot, Nicola Peltz, Olivia Cooke, Nestor Carbonell and Mike Vogel.

During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, show star Freddie Highmore talked about why he was intrigued by the show and the character, why it’s alright to identify with Norman Bates, who this version of Norman is when the story picks up, working with co-star Vera Farmiga, what it was like to see the sets for the house and the Bates Motel, how throwing a brother (Thieriot) into the mix affects things, and just how dark things will get with the show.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

First Full Trailer for A&E’s BATES MOTEL Starring Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga

by     Posted 1 year, 57 days ago

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The first full trailer for A&E’s upcoming Psycho prequel series Bates Motel has been released, and it’s sufficiently tantalizing.  The drama comes from executive producers Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) and centers on the relationship between a young Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother (Vera Farmiga).  This trailer gives us our first look at extended footage from the show, and it appears to be equal parts intense, mysterious, and nuts.  I have high hopes for this one.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The series also stars Nestor CarbonellMax ThieriotOlivia Cooke, and Mike Vogel.  Bates Motel premieres on A&E on March 18th.

New Teaser Trailer and Poster for A&E’s BATES MOTEL

by     Posted 1 year, 75 days ago

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A&E has released a new teaser and poster for its upcoming Psycho prequel series Bates Motel.  The drama comes from executive producers Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) and centers on the relationship between a young Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother (Vera Farmiga).  This teaser trailer is the creepiest yet, unless you think sitting on a bed with your mother and staring ominously is normal behavior.

Hit the jump to check out the new trailer and poster, and click here to check out five more tantalizing teaser posters.  The series also stars Nestor CarbonellMax ThieriotOlivia Cooke, and Mike Vogel.  Bates Motel premieres on A&E on March 18th. 

First Full Trailer for PSYCHO Prequel Series BATES MOTEL

by     Posted 1 year, 123 days ago

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The first full trailer for the upcoming A&E series Bates Motel has been released.  The show comes from Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and Friday Night LightsKerry Ehrin and serves as a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Psycho, with Freddie Highmore as a young Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga as his mother.  We previously saw a couple of moody teasers that were more than a little reminiscent of Twin Peaks, but this full trailer really ups the ante on the creepiness.  The second half of the trailer actually plays more like a featurette, with the cast and crew discussing the series.  Farmiga notes that they’re not remaking Psycho, they’re “using it as an inspiration.”  My interest is sufficiently piqued.

Hit the jump to watch the 2-minute trailer.  The series also stars Nestor CarbonellMax ThieriotOlivia Cooke, and Mike Vogel.  Bates Motel premieres on A&E in March 2013.

New Images from A&E’s PSYCHO Prequel Series BATES MOTEL Featuring Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga

by     Posted 1 year, 140 days ago

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We recently got our first look at A&E’s highly anticipated Psycho prequel series Bates Motel by way of a couple of images of stars Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga as Norman and Norma Bates, and now a large batch of new images from the series has landed online.  The drama from Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and Friday Night Lights alum Kerry Ehrin centers on the relationship between a young Norman Bates and his mother, and the show looks to feature an appropriately colorful cast of characters.  There’s a bit of a Twin Peaks feel from these images, so hopefully Cuse and Ehrin have crafted a creepy and fun take on the burgeoning serial killer.  A&E ordered Bates Motel straight to series instead of waiting to see a pilot first, so the show is poised to debut in Spring 2013.

Hit the jump to check out the images which feature Max Thieriot as Norman’s older brother Dylan, Olivia Cooke as classmate and fellow outcast Emma Decody, Mike Vogel as Deputy Zach Shelby, and Lost alum Nestor Carbonell as town Sheriff, Alex Romero.

First Look at Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore as Norma and Norman Bates in A&E’s BATES MOTEL

by     Posted 1 year, 147 days ago

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Legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock is having a banner year popularity-wise between two feature films and a fantastic Blu-ray set, and it looks as if the sudden Hitch boom is likely to extend well into 2013.  The first image from the A&E TV series Bates Motel has landed online, giving us a first look at Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland) as young Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga as his loving (?) mother.  Developed by former Lost showrunner Carlton Cuse and Friday Night LightsKerry Ehrin, the series will explore the relationship between future psycho Norman Bates and his mother Norma.

Hit the jump to check out the first image.  Bates Motel will debut on A&E in Spring 2013.

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