Bates Motel is an American drama television series developed for television by Carlton Cuse (Lost), Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) and Anthony Cipriano, produced by Universal Television for A&E.
The series, being a “contemporary prequel” to the 1960 film Psycho (based on Robert Bloch’s novel of the same name), depicts the life of Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga, Undercover, Touching Evil) prior to the events portrayed in Hitchcock’s film, albeit in a different fictional town (“White Pine Bay, Oregon,” as opposed to the film’s “Fairvale, California”) and in a modern setting. The series begins after the death of Norma’s husband, when she purchases a motel located in a coastal Oregon town so she and Norman can start a new life.
Other main characters:
- Dylan Massett (Max Thierot): Norma’s estranged son, and Norman’s criminal half-brother. Having grown up largely on his own, he is resourceful, strong-willed and independent, and genuinely caring of Norman, but has a difficult relationship with Norma.
- Emma Decody (Olivia Cooke): Norman’s best friend. A sufferer of cystic fibrosis, Emma is often seen carrying an oxygen tank. Although Emma is British, having originated from Manchester (as is Cooke, in real life), she speaks with a local American dialect – it is never revealed whether she merely lost her original accent or has deliberately developed a new one to avoid drawing attention to herself.
- Bradley Martin (Nicola Peltz): A kind, attractive and popular classmate, Bradley immediately takes a shine to Norman, inviting him to his first party and introducing him to her boyfriend.
- Sheriff Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell, Suddenly Susan, Lost): The town sheriff, Romero finds himself in a very awkward position. He tolerates the town’s open marijuana cultivation, but only because he knows that the town’s economy depends on it, and comes down hard on any gang-related murders.
- Caleb Calhoun (Kenny Johnson, The Shield, Saving Grace, Sons of Anarchy): Norma’s estranged older brother, Norman’s uncle and Dylan’s biological father. In season two, Caleb arrives at the Bates Motel but Norma immediately throws him out.