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It’s the end of the road for A&E’s Bates Motel.
Producers announced Friday at Comic-Con that the show’s previously announced fifth season of the Psycho prequel will be its last.
— Bates Motel on A&E (@InsideBates) July 22, 2016
The news comes as little surprise after the way season four of the Universal Television drama from Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin ended. (Spoilers ahead.) The final two episodes of season four ended with the long-awaited death of star and Emmy nominee Vera Farmiga’s Norma Bates, setting the stage for season five to explore Norman’s (Freddie Highmore) continued spiral to insanity.
“Vera will always be the center of the show in any incarnation because the obsession with her has always driven the show,” Ehrin told THR following the finale.
To hear Cuse tell it, season five was always going to be about the ways in which Bates Motel “does and more specifically does not intersect with the events of Psycho.”
“We are going to see a version of Norman that is much closer now to the one in the movie, but the way in which he acts and the events in the story will not be the same as the movie,” Cuse added. “They will cross paths with some of the events in the movie and lead to an ultimate resolution. What that resolution is and how that plays out is something that will be not disconnected to the movie Psycho but will be very much our own story in the same way the entire series has been.”
Season five of the drama is also poised to introduce Marion Crane, the iconic character portrayed by Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Crane will appear in multiple episodes of season five.
Bates Motel was renewed in June 2015 for seasons four and five, with Cuse at the time telling THR that producers had a very “specific idea” of where the show was headed. Season four averaged 1.5 million total viewers, down from the 1.8 million of season three.
Bates Motel will close out as A&E’s longest-running scripted series, with season five topping the four-year run of The Glades. The A+E-owned cable network has had a challenging time finding a companion series to pair with Bates, most recently canceling The Omen sequel Damien after one season. That followed short-lived entries The Returned, Those Who Kill and CBS import Unforgettable. Next up, A&E will launch international series Frankenstein Chronicles and has a cult anthology drama produced by Jake Gyllenhaal. The cabler also recently passed on music-themed L.A. riots pilot The Infamous.
Cuse, meanwhile, still has a full plate as he’s overseeing Amazon’s Jack Ryan series, and serving as the showrunner on FX’s adaptation of Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain.
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