While movies being adapted into TV shows is hardly a recent invention, the practice has certainly gained quite a bit of steam in recent years. In today’s online age where viewers are constantly inundated with different options for how to spend their time, it makes a lot of sense that the TV industry likes the idea of launching new shows that by their connection to a familiar property are all the more likely to stand out from the pack. Not that every movie to TV translation is a guaranteed ratings success, just ask FOX’s The Exorcist.
One of the most shining examples of big to small-screen success is Bates Motel, a critical hit and award darling that quickly became the crown jewel of A&E’s upstart original scripted programming lineup. Starring Freddie Highmore as infamous mother killer Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga as his questionably close mother Norma, Bates Motel began life as sort of a prequel to the Psycho film series. But before long, it began to carve out its own path and create memorable characters and events that never existed in the movies. At this point, Bates Motel is less a precursor to Psycho than it is an alternate universe take on the Bates family story.
Of course, there was one major event anyone tuning into Bates Motel had to know was coming, as it’s one of the best known spoilers in the history of film. The mentally troubled Norman grows up to be a brutal serial killer, and in fact murdered his own mother. While it took four seasons to get there, the inevitable did finally happen last year, with Norma meeting her maker. What’s to come for Norman in Bates Motel’s upcoming fifth and final season? Fans will have to wait a little less longer than usual to find out, as TVLine is reporting that Bates Motel season 5 will premiere on Monday, February 20th. Prior seasons have all debuted in March.
With Bates Motel’s final season soon at hand, showrunner Kerry Ehrin and company are preparing to take the series to a place they’ve never before ventured: the story of Hitchcock’s classic itself. As previously reported, pop star and occasional actress Rihanna is set to play Marion Crane, the doomed hotel guest Janet Leigh portrayed in the original Psycho. Leigh’s Marion was of course killed mid-shower, in one of the most shocking scenes to ever grace mainstream cinema at the time. How closely Bates Motel will stick to the events of Psycho remains to be seen.
That said, just because Norma is dead, doesn’t mean Farmiga is going anywhere. Now fully unleashed from playing a “real” person, Farmiga will be entirely showcased through Norman’s warped perception of her, both in hallucinations of interacting with her and the version of her he becomes inside his head when killing. While Bates Motel’s fans might not yet be entirely ready to say goodbye, the series’ last hurrah looks to be one fun ride indeed.
Bates Motel season 5 premieres Monday, February 20 on A&E.