Stars: Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Keegan Connor, Mike Vogel, Nestor Carbonell, Nicola Peltz, Olivia Cooke, Richard Harmon
Premieres: March 18
Why we're excited: Prequels are arguably the least necessary narrative device. For some reason executives aim to wring all they can out of a franchise or classic character with explanations of how the events that led to our favorite films and shaped our favorite characters into the people we love to watch. There have been some great ones, but most tend to eschew the magic and mystique of classic characters with over-explanations and performances that don't hold a candle to the original.
Bates Motel could go either way. On one hand, we're not sure we really need to see a young, pre-Psycho Norman Bates strangling cats, stuffing birds, and creepily interacting with his mom. But the pilot could prove that there is indeed drama worth mining from the future slasher's early years. It's all in the, ahem, execution.