'Bates Motel' Renewed for Two More Seasons at A&E; 'Returned' Canceled

Bates Motel Still - H 2015
James Dittiger

Bates Motel Still - H 2015

A&E is firming up its future.

The cable network has handed out a two-season renewal to Bates Motel and canceled freshman drama The Returned, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

For Bates — from Universal Television and exec producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin — the 20-episode pickup takes the series through season five. It's unclear if the two-season order will bring the Psycho prequel to a close. Production on the Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore starrer will resume this year for a return in 2016.

"The vision of our incredible creative team has exposed the steady breakdown of the relationship between Norman and Norma Bates," A&E GM Rob Sharenow said. "We are thrilled to bring fans two more seasons to witness the next stages of Norman's transformation into the most notorious psychopath in cinematic history."

Season three of the series returned in March, opening to a 30 percent decline year-over-year among adults 18-49 with a 0.9 rating and 2.1 million total viewers overall. It was the lowest debut for the series thus far.

Read more 'Bates Motel's' Carlton Cuse Breaks Down Shocking Season Finale Death

While it's unclear if season five will be the end of the road for Norman and Norma Bates, Cuse told THR after the May season three finale that he had a clear vision for wrapping TV's most twisted mother-son relationship.

"I’m sure it will evolve over time, as all things do creatively, while we figure out the details of the remaining 20 episodes," he said. "The very end will be made richer and better as a result of the creative journey that leads us there, but do we have a specific idea of where we’re going? Yes we do."

The Returned, meanwhile, based on the French series adapted by Cuse and Raelle Tucker, opened following Bates to 1.5 million total viewers and an unimpressive 0.6 rating among adults under 50 opposite Better Call Saul. That was off 28 percent and 33 percent, respectively, from Bates but up vs. Those Who Kill, the short-lived drama that aired in the same slot a year ago. 

With the cancelation of The Returned, mega-producer Cuse's current show tally slips to three with FX's The Strain and USA Network's Colony.

For A&E, the move to ax The Returned comes as the cabler recently picked up another movie-to-TV sequel with Glen Mazzara's (The Walking Dead) The Omen follow-up Damien, which moved over from Lifetime. That will join the fourth season of fellow network jumper Unforgettable on A&E's roster or originals.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit