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'Bates Motel' Renewed for a Third Season at A&E;

A&E will check back in to Bates Motel. The cable network has renewed the dark drama for a third season.

“The incredible writing team and talented Bates Motel cast has made this series one of the most compelling original dramas on television,” said network executive vp and general manager David McKillop. “The brilliant twists and turns of the past two seasons keep its loyal fan base coming back for more. We are so proud of the show.”

Bates Motel's sophomore run opened in the 9 p.m. hour of Monday nights before the shuffling of Those Who Kill off to Lifetime Movie Network returned it to its 10 p.m. time slot. With live-plus-7 ratings now available for the March 3 premiere, the series has earned 4.6 million viewers and 2.6 million adults 18-49. It remains the network's top drama to date in the key demo.

The Psycho prequel joins a scripted roster that also includes Longmire. The network last year canceled The Glades -- its first and previously longest-running original drama series -- after its fourth season. Word of a renewal for Bates Motel, which stars Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore, comes as little surprise.

A&E has been continuing its push into original scripted fare but hit a bump with Those Who Kill. The Chloe Sevigny drama, paired with Bates, failed to draw an audience and was pulled after the series lost half of its viewership in week two. (A&E eventually moved the series to sibling network LMN.)

Produced by Universal Television for A&E Network, with Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin serving as executive producers for Carlton Cuse Productions and Kerry Ehrin Productions, respectively, Bates Motel will return in 2015. The current season is scheduled to run through May 5.