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‘Bates Motel’ Renewed for Two More Seasons, ‘The Returned’ Canceled at A&E

A&E has been handed “Bates Motel” a two-season renewal, while cancelling freshman thriller “The Returned,” Variety has learned.

Bates Motel” will be coming back with Season 4 and Season 5. Both 10-episode seasons will air in 2016 with production beginning later this year.

“The vision of our incredible creative team has exposed the steady breakdown of the relationship between Norman and Norma Bates,” said Rob Sharenow, exec vice president and general manager of A&E and Lifetime. “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.”

The critically-acclaimed series is a contemporary prequel to the film “Psycho” and shows how Norman Bates (played by Freddie Highmore) unravels through his teenage years. Vera Farmiga plays his mother, Norma Bates.

Despite falling off in its third season, “Bates,” hailing from Universal Television, Carlton Cuse Productions and Kerry Ehrin Productions, ranks among the top-rated ad-supported cable series. It averaged about a 1.3 rating in adults 18-49 and three million viewers overall, according to Nielsen’s “live+3” estimates.

Though A&E has not made a decision about the series’ end, co-creator Kerry Ehrin, who exec produces with Carlton Cuse, has always envisioned “Bates” running no longer than five seasons, telling Variety, “from the end of the first season, Carlton and I both had the exact same instinct of five seasons.” She said she has an endgame in mind, adding, “Emotionally, yes, a very specific one. I will say it’s beautiful.”

Cuse also created “The Returned,” an American remake of the French series “Les Revenants.” Airing behind “Bates Motel” on Mondays this spring, the supernatural drama had a decent, but unspectacular, rookie season. In “live+3,” it averaged a 0.7 rating in adults 18-49 and about 1.8 million viewers overall.

Rick Kissell contributed to this report.

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