Gus Ruelas/Reuters
'Bates Motel' stars Freddie Highmore.

'Bates Motel': One of TV's 'most compelling' is renewed for a third season

'Bates Motel' will return for a third season, according to network A&E. 'Bates Motel' stars Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga.

A&E has reportedly renewed the drama “Bates Motel” for a third season.

"Motel," which premiered in 2013, is a prequel to the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film “Psycho” and stars “The Art of Getting By” actor Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates, first portrayed by actor Anthony Perkins in “Psycho.” “The Conjuring” actress Vera Farmiga stars as Norman’s mother, Norma Bates. “Motel” also co-stars actors Max Thieriot, Nestor Carbonell, and Michael Vartan.

“The incredible writing team and talented Bates Motel cast has made this series one of the most compelling original dramas on television,” A&E vice-president and general manager David McKillop said in a statement. “The brilliant twists and turns of the past two seasons keep its loyal fan base coming back for more. We are so proud of the show.”

The drama is currently airing its second season, which will finish up on May 5. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Motel” is the highest-rated of the network’s dramas among adults who are between 18 and 49.

“Lost” executive producer and writer Carlton Cuse is serving as showrunner and executive producer for the show with “Friday Night Lights” scribe Kerry Ehrin. 

While “Psycho” took place in the then-current year of 1960, “Motel” is a contemporary show, despite the fact that it follows a younger Norman. The show also takes place in a different town than “Psycho,” with the film having been set in a California town and “Motel” taking place in Oregon.

Prior to the show airing, “Motel” actress Farmiga discussed portraying such a complicated character. When she began playing Norma, Farmiga found herself “wanting to defend what she does,” the actress said in an interview with USA Today. “She's a beautiful portrait of valiant maternity, [but] at the same time she's an absolute train wreck.”

Meanwhile, Cuse said that knowing what ends up happening to Norman doesn’t take away any suspense from the show.

“The tension of knowing what his fate is and seeing how he got there is compelling storytelling,” he told USA Today.

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