What’s Next?: ‘Bates Motel,’ ‘Southie’ on deck at A&E

Showman of the Year 2012: A+E Networks - A&E

A&E is feeling confident about what it has in the programming pipeline.

The network’s biggest upcoming bet is “Psycho” prequel “Bates Motel” from “Lost” exec producer Carlton Cuse and Universal Television. Cabler has placed a 10-episode order for the series — a contemporary exploration of Norman Bates’ relationship with his crazy mother, Norma — without even seeing a pilot.

“We commissioned six hours and after Carlton delivered the first three hours, we thought it was phenomenal,” says president-g.m. Bob DeBitetto. “We decided to go for it and avoid the expense and delay of a pilot process so we could have it on the air in 2013. It’s a calculated risk.”

On the reality side, “Southie Rules” follows a family of older parents, their two adult children, and their partners and children, all of whom live together in one tri-level house in South Boston. In the rare times when they aren’t fighting amongst themselves, the family is chafing against the Starbucks and sushi joints that are invading their working-class neighborhood.

“This family holds on to old-fashioned values in a multigenerational setting that I think people will be able to really relate to,” says programming VP David McKillop. “We have high hopes for this show. The concept and the premise tested really well.”

Production on “Southie Rules,” from Powderhouse Prods. and Magilla Entertainment, began in May. No air date has been set yet.

A&E also announced in July that it had secured format rights for Danish crime series, “Those Who Kill,” and ordered a pilot from Imagine TV and Fox 21.

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