Bates Motel Renewed For Season 3 And More Awkward Family Dinners

We all go a little mad sometimes, but it’s always better to be happy, right? Bates Motel fans will be very happy to know that A&E has renewed the horror drama for a 10-episode third season, even though the sixth episode of Season 2 only aired on Monday night. It’s a confident move for the network, though not exactly a surprising one, given their limited number of scripted dramas. You don’t look a stuffed gift horse in the mouth, after all.

Bates Motel’s second season premiered just over a month ago on March 3, and was watched by around 4.6 million total viewers when taking DVR into account. Even though those aren’t giant numbers, they’re solid enough to use as a goal from one week to the next. Especially when you compare it to the other series based on a famed horror franchise, Hannibal, whose second season is barely holding on to 3 million viewers on average, even with the relative advantage of being on NBC. Now I’m just waiting for zombies to move to White Pine Bay in order to bring in The Walking Dead’s ratings.

The Psycho-based Bates Motel follows a teenaged Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) and their twisted and tumultuous life at the titular motel, which of course is filled with secrets, murders and some pretty strange relationships. Bates Motel Season 2 recently revealed one of the more exclusively offbeat twists on TV, and it’s hard to imagine just how far they’re going to end up taking these characters by the time they put the series to bed. (For a nightly rate.)

While it’s certainly useless to mess with something that isn’t broken, there are only so many places Norman's story can be taken at this point in his life, considering we all know where he ends up. Co-executive producer Carlton Cuse is of course best known for Lost, a series that knew nothing of pulling in the reins, so here’s hoping he learned his lesson and keeps Bates Motel as fresh as the bodies piling up. Of course, another part of me is secretly hoping American Horror Story's Ryan Murphy comes in for Season 3 and pulls out all the stops by their teeth.

A&E makes this announcement almost exactly a year after they announced the second season order, and nearly a month after the network cut ties with the dark psychodrama Those Who Kill, which is currently airing out its final episodes on Lifetime. They announced back in November that their acclaimed drama Longmire would return for a third season.

Below you can catch a preview of next week’s episode, “Presumed Innocent,” in which [spoiler]. Crazy, right? And under that is a production design featurette that A&E released a few days ago. You're going to love it, mother. I mean, random reader.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.