A&E is crazy for “Psycho.” The cable network has ordered their “Bates Motel” project — inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1960 thriller — directly to series, without even producing a pilot.
“Lost” honcho Carlton Cuse and “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood” vet Kerry Ehrin will executive produce the 10-episode series focused on Norman Bates’ “formative years” and his relationship with his mother, Norma.
In announcing the series, A&E promised viewers will experience “the dark, twisted backstory and learn first-hand how Norma helped forge the most famous serial killer of them all.”
The unusual decision to bypass a pilot might be explained by the iconic nature of the material and the recent success of horror series on cable TV including AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and FX’s “American Horror Story.” Obviously A&E wants in on the action.
A&E is making inroads in original scripted programming, currently airing the third season of detective procedural “The Glades” and recently renewing their summer freshman hit “Longmire” for a second season.
Pre-production and casting for “Bates Motel” is set to begin immediately ahead of a 2013 premiere, so place your bets now on who’s going to play young Norman and Norma.