Bates Motel

Bates Motel Information

Bates Motel is an American psychological horror drama television series that aired from March 18, 2013 to April 24, 2017. It was developed by Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin, and Anthony Cipriano, and is produced by Universal Television and American Genre for the cable network A&E.

The series, a contemporary prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho; based on Robert Bloch's 1959 novel of the same name, depicts the lives of Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) prior to the events portrayed in the novel and film, albeit in a different fictional town (White Pine Bay, Oregon, as opposed to Fairvale, California) and in a modern-day setting. However, the final season loosely adapts the plot of Psycho. Max Thieriot and Olivia Cooke both starred as part of the main cast throughout the series' run. After recurring in the first season, Nestor Carbonell was added to the main cast from season two onward.

The series begins in Arizona with the death of Norma's husband, after which Norma purchases the Seafairer motel located in a coastal Oregon town so that she and Norman can start a new life. Subsequent seasons follow Norman as his mental illness becomes dangerous, and Norma as she struggles to protect her son, and those around him, from himself. The series was filmed outside 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. 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. The series' lead actors, Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore, received particular praise for their performances in the series, with the former receiving a Primetime Emmy Award nomination and winning a Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television. Bates Motel also won three People's Choice Awards for Favorite Cable TV Drama, and for Favorite Cable TV Actress (Farmiga) and Actor (Highmore).

Series overview

See List of Bates Motel episodes for more information

Season 1

Main article: Bates Motel (season 1)
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. She decides it's best not to call the police and to cover up the murder. She and Norman dispose of the body. He complicates the cover-up by keeping a belt that belonged to the victim. 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

Main article: Bates Motel (season 2)
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

Main article: Bates Motel (season 3)
The third season focuses on Norman's waning deniability 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 Bates family after he suspects Norma is lying to him about her husband's death.

Season 4

Main article: Bates Motel (season 4)
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. He agrees to marry Norma because his insurance will enable her to place Norman in an expensive psychiatric hospital. His generosity backfires, however, when Norman learns of the marriage. Norman bitterly resents Romero for coming between him and his mother and at one point threatens the sheriff with an axe.

Season 5

Main article: Bates Motel (season 5)
The fifth season begins 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, Norman.

Cast and characters

See List of Bates Motel characters for more information



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. The first script was written by Anthony Cipriano. In March 2012, Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin joined the project as executive producers and head writers. 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." On July 2, 2012, A&E gave Bates Motel a straight-to-series order. Chris Bacon was hired to score the music for the series in January 2013.


On August 27, 2012, Vera Farmiga was the first to be cast in the leading role of Norma Louise Bates. On September 14, 2012, Freddie Highmore was cast as Norman Bates. That same day, Max Thieriot was cast as Norman's half-brother, Dylan Massett. Shortly after, on September 19, 2012, Nicola Peltz was cast as Bradley Martin, a possible love interest for Norman. 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. 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. 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. 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.


A replica of the original Bates Motel set from the film Psycho was built on location at approximately 1054 272nd Street in Aldergrove, British Columbia, where portions of the series were filmed. The original house and motel is located in Universal Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles. Additional filming for the series took place in multiple areas in British Columbia, including Steveston, Coquitlam, Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver and Fort Langley. In February 2017, after filming was completed for the series, the Bates Motel exterior set in Aldergrove was demolished.


Critical response

The first season of Bates Motel received a score of 66 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews". 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." The second season of Bates Motel received a score of 67 out of 100 on Metacritic, from 11 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". 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."

The third season of Bates Motel received a score of 72 out of 100 on Metacritic, from 5 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". 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." The fourth season of Bates Motel was met with positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% positive rating from 8 reviews. The fifth and final season of Bates Motel received a score of 81 out of 100 on Metacritic, from 8 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% rating from 8 reviews.


Season Time slot (ET) 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 May 20, 2013 2.70 2.70
2 10 March 3, 2014 3.07 May 5, 2014 2.30 2.30
3 Monday 9 p.m. 10 March 9, 2015 2.14 May 11, 2015 1.67 1.80
4 10 March 7, 2016 1.55 May 16, 2016 1.50 1.45
5 Monday 10 p.m. 10 February 20, 2017 1.34 April 24, 2017 1.41 1.29

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Bates Motel

Home media

Season Episodes Release date Special features
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
5 10 September 19, 2017
  • Gag Reel
  • Bates Motel: Closed for Business
  • Bates Motel: The Checkout
1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
The Complete Series
50 September 19, 2017
  • Paley Center Panel Discussion with the Cast and Creative Team
  • Bates Motel: After Hours - Season 2 Premiere
  • Bates Motel: After Hours - Season 2 Finale
  • Origins of a Psycho: Inside Bates Motel
  • Deleted Scenes
  • A Broken Psyche: Creating Norma-n
  • Gag Reel
  • Bates Motel: Closed for Business
  • Bates Motel: The Checkout

International broadcast

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. In the UK and Ireland, it premiered on Universal Channel on April 2, 2014. 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. 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. 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. As of 2018, the merchandise is no longer available through Hot Topic.

See also

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bates_Motel_%28TV_series%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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