Year of the Origin Story: ‘Lost’ Writer’s ‘Bates Motel’ Ordered to Series

Norman Bates PsychoA&E knows a trend when they see it. The cable network has just skipped the exploratory phase for the Psycho prequel project Bates Motel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Instead of ordering a pilot, network heads went ahead and ordered the whole salami… er, season. It could be that the series comes from Carlton Cuse, famed writer for television behemoth Lost, that brought A&E in so quickly. It could be that Cuse teamed with Friday Night Lights’ writer Kerry Ehrin. Or it could be the Alfred Hitchcock cache. But we’ve got a sneaking suspicion that it might just have at least a little something to do with the recent surge in nostalgia and with that, an its tandem series of origin stories. 

The series, which centers on a young Norman Bates before the events of the Hitchcock classic thriller Psycho and the circumstances that made him a killer, is jumping on an already hopping train of origin stories this year. It appears that the background tale is to 2012/2013 what the 1960s period dramas were to 2011/2012. As if The Amazing Spider-Man‘s big budget origin story and Prometheus‘ roots as an Alien prequel wasn’t enough of an indication, A&E’s latest acquisition seals it: origin stories are en vogue. 
First, there’s the CW’s Carrie Diaries, which doesn’t premiere until after Gossip Girl‘s final episodes in January. Where Sarah Jessica Parker‘s aging Sex and the City franchise is all dried up (sorry, ladies), the story of how a teenage Carrie traversed the ’80s in New York City to become the fashion and sex maven she was in the late ’90s and early 2000s can certainly breathe new life into the character. 
Lifetime is also getting on the girl-to-woman bandwagon, but in a decidedly disparate direction. Clarice is the story of Clarice Starling (a.k.a. the Jodie Foster character from Silence of the Lambs) as she works through the FBI academy, and before she ever encountered anyone as interesting as Hannibal Lecter. But let’s keep in mind that it is for Lifetime, where stories about high-powered women are their bread and butter. It just might be the dose of the Hannibal Lecter saga that fits for the network’s audience. 
With Bates Motel added into the mix, nostalgic TV viewers will have plenty of series to quell their needs — and in almost every genre to boot. Bates Motel heads into production immediately, with a 2013 premiere date on the horizon.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler.