Bates Motel (TV series)

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Not to be confused with the 1987 television film Bates Motel (film).
Bates Motel
Based on Characters from Psycho
by Robert Bloch
Developed by
Composer(s) Chris Bacon
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 40 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Location(s) Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Christopher Nelson
  • Sarah Boyd
  • Ryan Neatha Johnson
  • Vikash Patel
  • Edward Warschilka
Running time 40–47 minutes
Production company(s)
  • American Genre
  • Carlton Cuse Productions (2013–2015)
  • Cuse Productions (2016–2017)
  • Kerry Ehrin Productions
  • Universal Television
Original network A&E
Picture format 1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Audio format 5.1 surround sound
Original release March 18, 2013 (2013-03-18) – present
External links

Bates Motel is an American horror drama television series developed by Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin, and Anthony Cipriano. It is produced by Universal Television for the cable network A&E.[1] The series, a contemporary prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho (based on Robert Bloch's novel of the same name), depicts the lives of Norman Bates and his mother Norma prior to the events portrayed in the film, albeit in a different fictional town (White Pine Bay, Oregon, as opposed to the film's Fairvale, California) and in a modern setting.[2][3]

The series begins in Arizona with the death of Norma's husband, after which Norma purchases a motel located in a coastal Oregon town so she and Norman can start a new life.[1][4][5] Subsequent seasons follow Norman as his mental illness becomes dangerous, and Norma as she struggles to protect her son from himself. Bates Motel's storylines ignore the timeline of the original film's sequels. The series is filmed outside of Vancouver in Aldergrove, British Columbia, along with other locations within the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.

A&E chose to skip a pilot of the series, opting to go straight-to-series by ordering a 10-episode first season.[1] It premiered on March 18, 2013.[6][7][8] On June 15, 2015, the series was renewed for a fourth and fifth season, making Bates Motel A&E's longest-running original scripted drama series in the channel's history.[9] The fifth and final season will premiere on February 20, 2017.[10] The series' lead actors, Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore, have received particular praise for their performances in the series, with the former receiving a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. Farmiga won a Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television, and Bates Motel won three People's Choice Awards including Favorite Cable TV Drama and Farmiga and Highmore for Favorite Cable TV Actress and Actor.


Season 1[edit]

The first season follows Norma and Norman Bates as they buy a motel after Norman's father dies. On one of the first nights of the two owning the motel, the former owner breaks in and sexually assaults Norma. Norman knocks the attacker out and Norma stabs him to death. When the town sheriff and his deputy notice that a man has gone missing, Norma and Norman must keep them from digging too far.

Season 2[edit]

The second season follows the aftermath of Norman's teacher's murder, as her mysterious past comes to light. Meanwhile, Norma finds herself making dangerous decisions in order to keep the motel running and preventing the impending bypass. Bradley's search for her father's killer leads to the extremes, and Dylan learns the disturbing truth about his parentage.

Season 3[edit]

The third season focuses on Norman's waning ability to stay in denial about what's happening to him, and the lengths he will go to gain control of his fragile psyche. The dramatic events of last season leave Norma more aware of her son's mental fragility and fearful of what he is capable of. Meanwhile, Sheriff Romero begins to distance himself from the Bateses after he suspects Norma is lying to him about her husband's death.

Season 4[edit]

The fourth season follows Norma as she becomes increasingly fearful of Norman, going to great lengths to find him the professional help he needs. This complicates their once unbreakable trust as Norman struggles to maintain his grip on reality. Meanwhile, Sheriff Romero once again finds himself drawn into Norma and Norman's lives.

Season 5[edit]

The fifth season will begin two years after the death of Norma. Publicly happy and well-adjusted, Norman struggles at home, where his blackouts are increasing and "Mother" threatens to take him over completely. Meanwhile, Dylan and Emma find themselves drawn back into Norman's world, and Romero hungers for revenge against his stepson.

Cast and characters[edit]

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5
Vera Farmiga Norma Louise Bates Main
Freddie Highmore Norman Bates Main
Max Thieriot Dylan Massett Main
Olivia Cooke Emma Decody Main
Nestor Carbonell Sheriff Alex Romero Recurring Main
Nicola Peltz Bradley Martin Main Recurring N/A
Kenny Johnson Caleb Calhoun N/A Recurring Main Guest Recurring


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 10 March 18, 2013 (2013-03-18) May 20, 2013 (2013-05-20)
2 10 March 3, 2014 (2014-03-03) May 5, 2014 (2014-05-05)
3 10 March 9, 2015 (2015-03-09) May 11, 2015 (2015-05-11)
4 10 March 7, 2016 (2016-03-07) May 16, 2016 (2016-05-16)
5 10 February 20, 2017 (2017-02-20)[11] TBA



The cast promoting the series at the Paley Center for Media, 2013 (left to right) Thieriot, Peltz, Highmore, Farmiga, and Carbonell

On January 12, 2012, it was reported that A&E were developing a television series titled Bates Motel that would serve as a prequel to the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho.[12] The first script was written by Anthony Cipriano.[13] In March 2012, Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin joined the project as executive producers and head writers.[14] Cuse has cited the drama series Twin Peaks as a key inspiration for Bates Motel, stating, "We pretty much ripped off Twin Peaks... If you wanted to get that confession, the answer is yes. I loved that show. They only did 30 episodes. Kerry [Ehrin] and I thought we'd do the 70 that are missing."[15] On July 2, 2012, A&E gave Bates Motel a straight-to-series order.[16]


On August 27, 2012, Vera Farmiga was the first to be cast in the leading role of Norma Louise Bates.[17] On September 14, 2012, Freddie Highmore was cast as Norman Bates.[18] That same day, Max Thieriot was cast as Norman's half-brother, Dylan Massett.[19] Shortly after, on September 19, 2012, Nicola Peltz was cast as Bradley Martin, a possible love interest for Norman.[20] Finally, on September 20, 2012, Olivia Cooke was the final main cast member to join the series, in the role of Emma Decody, Norman's best friend.[21] Nestor Carbonell was cast in a recurring role as Sheriff Alex Romero in the first season, but was upgraded to the main cast at the beginning of the second season.[22] In July 2014, Kenny Johnson, who recurred as Norma's brother Caleb Calhoun in the second season, was promoted to a series regular for the third season.[23] It was announced on July 22, 2016 at San Diego Comic-Con International that Rihanna would appear in the iconic role of Marion Crane for the fifth and final season.[24]


A replica of the original Bates Motel set from the film Psycho was built on location in Aldergrove, British Columbia on 272nd Street, where the series is filmed.[25][26] The original house and motel is located in Universal Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles. Additional filming for the series has taken place in multiple areas in British Columbia, including Steveston, Coquitlam, Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver and Fort Langley.[27]


Critical response[edit]

Season 1

The first season of Bates Motel received a score of 66 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[28] Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 81% of 37 critics gave the first season a positive review. The site's consensus reads, "Bates Motel utilizes mind manipulation and suspenseful fear tactics, on top of consistently sharp character work and wonderfully uncomfortable familial relationships."[29]

Season 2

The second season of Bates Motel received a score of 67 out of 100 on Metacritic, from 11 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[30] Rotten Tomatoes reported an 86% rating from 12 reviews for the second season. The site's consensus reads, "Bates Motel reinvents a classic thriller with believable performances and distinguished writing."[31]

Season 3

The third season of Bates Motel received a score of 72 out of 100 on Metacritic, from 5 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[32] Rotten Tomatoes reported a 92% rating from 12 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Bates Motel further blurs lines around TV's creepiest taboo mother/son relationship, uncomfortably darkening its already fascinating tone."[33]

Season 4

The fourth season of Bates Motel was met with very positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% positive rating from 8 reviews, and holds an average score of 7.6 out of 10.[34]


Season Time slot
# Eps Premiered Ended Average viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere viewers
(in millions)
Date Finale viewers
(in millions)
1 Monday 10 p.m. 10 March 18, 2013 3.04[35] May 20, 2013 2.70[36] 2.70[37]
2 Monday 9 p.m. 10 March 3, 2014 3.07[38] May 5, 2014 2.30[39] 2.30[40]
3 10 March 9, 2015 2.14[41] May 11, 2015 1.67[42] 1.80[43]
4 10 March 7, 2016 1.55[44] May 16, 2016 1.50[45] 1.45[46]
5 Monday 10 p.m. 10 February 20, 2017 TBA TBA TBA TBA

Awards and nominations[edit]

Home media[edit]

Season Episodes Release date Special features Ref.
1 10 September 17, 2013
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Paley Center Panel Discussion with the Cast and Creative Team
2 10 October 7, 2014
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Bates Motel: After Hours – Season 2 Premiere
  • Bates Motel: After Hours – Season 2 Finale
  • Origins of a Psycho: Inside Bates Motel
3 10 October 13, 2015
  • Deleted Scenes
  • A Broken Psyche: Creating Norma-n
4 10 October 18, 2016
  • Deleted Scenes

International broadcast[edit]

In Canada, the series airs only on the U.S. network A&E, which is available through most Canadian cable and satellite companies. In Australia, the series premiered on Fox8 on May 26, 2013.[51] In the UK and Ireland, it premiered on Universal Channel on April 2, 2014.[52] In Jamaica, it premiered on CVM TV on August 11, 2014. In the Middle East, it premiered on OSN First HD in mid-2014. The second season premiered on January 5, 2015.[53] In the Philippines, Bates Motel began airing on Jack TV on August 12, 2013. In South Africa, the series premiered on MNet on June 21, 2013.[54] The series premiered in India on Colors Infinity on November 6, 2015.


NBCUniversal partnered with Hot Topic, the American retailer of pop culture merchandise, to introduce a collection of clothing and accessories inspired by Bates Motel. The merchandise, including items such as bathrobes and bloody shower curtains, became available at Hot Topic's website and select stores on March 18, 2014.[55]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "A&E Network Orders 'Bates Motel' to Series". A&E. July 2, 2012. Archived from the original on October 6, 2013. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ McNamara, Mary (March 18, 2013). "Review: 'Bates Motel' a twisty, moody modern prequel to 'Psycho'.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  3. ^ Danzis, Alan (March 18, 2013). "'Bates Motel': An Intriguing Contemporary Prequel To 'Psycho'". Starpulse. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (March 17, 2013). "Mother, as She Lives and Breathes". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Garvin, Glenn (March 17, 2013). "Tension builds in The Lake, but dies at the Bates Motel". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ "A&E Network to Premiere New Original Scripted Drama Series 'Bates Motel' on Monday, March 18 at 10PM ET/PT". The Futon Critic. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  7. ^ Langmann, Kurt. "'Psycho' prequel shot in Aldergrove". Aldergrove Star. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ "BATES MOTEL Set in Aldergrove is Spitting Image of Alfred Hitchcock's Set in Psycho – Updated". YVR Shoots. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (June 15, 2015). "'Bates Motel' Renewed for Two More Seasons at A&E; 'Returned' Cancelled". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  10. ^ Snetiker, Marc (January 3, 2017). "Bates Motel sets final check-in date". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 3, 2017. 
  11. ^ Snetiker, Marc (January 3, 2017). "Bates Motel sets final check-in date". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 3, 2017. 
  12. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (January 12, 2012). "TCA: 'Psycho' Prequel Series 'Bates Motel' in the Works at A&E". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  13. ^ Semigran, Aly (January 12, 2012). "A&E developing 'Psycho' prequel TV series". Entertainment Weekly. 
  14. ^ Goldman, Eric (March 9, 2012). "Lost Showrunner Carlton Cuse Joins Psycho Prequel". IGN. 
  15. ^ Haithman, Diane (May 10, 2013). "Carlton Cuse At 'Bates Motel' Panel: "We Pretty Much Ripped Off 'Twin Peaks'"". Retrieved May 11, 2013. 
  16. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 2, 2012). "A&E Orders Carlton Cuse's 'Psycho' Prequel 'Bates Motel' Straight to Series". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  17. ^ Hibberd, James (August 27, 2012). "Norman Bates' mother cast in A&E's 'Psycho' series". Entertainment Weekly. 
  18. ^ Keck, William (September 14, 2012). "Keck's Exclusives: Bates Motel Casts Its Norman - Today's News: Our Take". TV Guide. 
  19. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (September 14, 2012). "A&E's 'Bates Motel' Adds Max Thieriot as Norman's Brother". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  20. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (September 19, 2012). "'Bates Motel' Adds 'Last Airbender' Actress as Love Interest for Norman (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  21. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (September 20, 2012). "'Psycho' TV prequel 'Bates Motel' adds 'Blackout' star Olivia Cooke". Digital Spy. 
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 2, 2012). "Mike Vogel & Nestor Carbonell Join A&E's 'Bates Motel', Trio To Recur On 'Shameless'". 
  23. ^ "Bates Motel – Season 3 – Kenny Johnson upped to Regular". SpoilerTV. Retrieved February 23, 2015. 
  24. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 22, 2016). "Comic-Con: 'Bates Motel' Taps Rihanna for Famous 'Psycho' Role". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  25. ^ "'Bates Motel': What's going on in that bucolic Oregon coastal town". March 2013. 
  26. ^ "BATES MOTEL Set in Aldergrove is Spitting Image of Alfred Hitchcock's Set in Psycho – Updated". YVR Shoots. November 2012. 
  27. ^ "Bates Motel – Filming Locations". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved February 23, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Critic Reviews for Bates Motel Season 1". Metacritic. March 18, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Bates Motel: Season 1 (2013–2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Bates Motel: Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Bates Motel: Season 2 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Bates Motel: Season 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Bates Motel: Season 3 (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Bates Motel: Season 4 (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  35. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt (February 22, 2013). "Ratings – Bates Motel Series Premiere on A&E". TVLine. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  36. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 21, 2013). "Monday Cable Ratings: 'WWE Raw' & 'Love & Hip Hop Atlanta' Win Night; 'Bates Motel', 'Defiance', 'Warehouse 13' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  37. ^ Patten, Dominic (May 21, 2013). "A&E's 'Bates Motel' Rises In Finale". Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  38. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 4, 2014). "Monday Cable Ratings: 'WWE Raw' Wins Night, 'Bates Motel', 'Teen Wolf', 'Single Ladies', 'Switched at Birth' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  39. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 6, 2014). "Monday Cable Ratings: NBA Playoffs Lead Night + 'Love & Hip Hop Atlanta', 'Monday Night RAW', 'The Boondocks' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 6, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Bates Motel: Season Two Ratings". TV Series Finale. May 6, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  41. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 10, 2015). "Monday Cable Ratings: 'Monday Night RAW' Tops Night + 'Love & Hip-Hop', 'Better Call Saul', 'Black Ink Crew' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  42. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 12, 2015). "Monday Cable Ratings: NBA Playoffs Wins Night, 'Love & Hip Hop Atlanta', 'WWE Raw', 'Teen Mom', 'Bates Motel' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 12, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Bates Motel: Season Three Ratings". TV Series Finale. May 13, 2015. Retrieved May 14, 2015. 
  44. ^ Welch, Alex (March 8, 2016). "Monday cable ratings: 'WWE Raw' wins the night". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  45. ^ Welch, Alex (May 17, 2016). "Monday cable ratings: 'Love & Hip Hip: Atlanta' rises". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 17, 2016. 
  46. ^ "Bates Motel: Season Four Ratings". TV Series Finale. May 17, 2016. Retrieved May 17, 2016. 
  47. ^ Lambert, David (June 27, 2013). "Bates Motel – Season 1 of the Modern 'Psycho' Re-Imagining on DVD and Blu-ray". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  48. ^ Lambert, David (July 15, 2013). "Bates Motel – Blu-rays, DVD for Season 2: Street Date, Pricing, Bonus Material". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  49. ^ Lambert, David (July 21, 2015). "Bates Motel – Universal Checks in With 'Season 3' Announcements on DVD, Blu-ray". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  50. ^ Lambert, David (July 26, 2016). "Bates Motel – Street Date, Pricing, Extras for 'Season 4' on DVD, Blu-ray Disc". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  51. ^ "FOX8 Secures Highly Anticipated "Bates Motel"". March 20, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  52. ^ "Universal Channel Sets UK Premiere Date For 'Bates Motel'". TVWise. August 9, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  53. ^ "January 2015 Programming Highlights". Archived from the original on January 14, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  54. ^ "Bates Motel: Fri at 21:30". MNet. August 9, 2013. 
  55. ^ "NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products and Retailer Hot Topic Introduce New Product Line Inspired by the A&E Hit Original Series 'Bates Motel'". The Futon Critic. March 18, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 

External links[edit]