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A&E has a couple of killer series in development – about killers, that is. The cable channel is working on a series based on the early life of Norman Bates, the crazed killer from the Hitchcock classic Psycho, as well as a series about a forensic psychiatrist hunting serial killers adapted from the hit Danish series Those Who Kill.
According to Deadline the Psycho prequel series Bates Motel is in early development and will tell the story of Norman Bates and his mother, who along with her lover is responsible for turning little Norman into a, well, psycho. Back in the 80s’ NBC tried a Psycho spinoff by the same name, but it centered on a murderer who meets Bates in an asylum and becomes to the new owner of the Bates Motel. The TV movie was meant to serve as a pilot for a potential new series, but low ratings shelved the project instead.
A&E is also developing a second series with serial killers in the plot. Those Who Kill is about a team of two serial killer hunters – a female detective and a profiler – and is based on a series of books by Elsebeth Egholm. The A&E series is being adapted from the Danish series that hit the air back in March of 2011.
Neither series seems to offer much that’s new to television; audiences already have a favorite sympathetic serial killer in Dexter and there have been plenty of series following profilers. Does the Psycho franchise still have life left in it? Do we have room in our living rooms for another profiler? Of course what will make these two sink or swim will be great writing and the right casting, both of which can make any formulaic plot rise above the rest.