Carlton Cuse ("Lost") and Kerry Ehrin ("Friday Night Lights") are no strangers to making amazing television. Find out in their own words why they're so excited to be working on Bates Motel in these exclusive Notes from Carlton and Kerry.
Norman Bates is one of the more iconic characters in the history of cinema. To me, the fun challenge of this project that Kerry Ehrin and I faced was not only bringing him and his family to life but also inventing the world around them – placing Norman and his family in the context of this really interesting town. White Pine Bay, is a beautiful looking – almost perfect – bucolic town on the Oregon coast. This is where Norma Louise Bates has bought a motel. She and her son Norman move here to re-invent their lives. But it turns out there is much more to this town than its surface appearance. Formerly a logging town, the economy, like many pacific coastal towns, now is fueled by the marijuana trade. Dark secrets and desires abound. Danger looms. The lines of morality and justice are shifting and elusive. And all of it – all the secrets of this town and its residents – are mysteries that unfold for the Bates family in ways that are shocking and surprising.
Carlton Cuse grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and Orange County, California. He attended Harvard University, graduating with a degree in American History.
With Jeffrey Boam, Cuse developed the story and screenplays for Lethal Weapon 2, Lethal Weapon 3 and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
In television Cuse began his writing career on the Michael Mann series "Crime Story." He co-created and executive produced the critically acclaimed Fox series "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." He also created and was executive producer for all six seasons of the CBS show "Nash Bridges" starring Don Johnson. His other credits include creating the CBS show, "Martial Law", starring Sammo Hung and Arsenio Hall.
Cuse, along with Damon Lindelof, served as the showrunner, executive producer and head writer for all six seasons of "Lost" on ABC.
In addition to overseeing the network show, Cuse also pioneered the development of the first transmedia content for network television series.
Cuse has received 10 Emmy Nominations for his work and has won 2 Emmys: for Best Drama Series and for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Media.
Among his other honors, Cuse has won a Peabody Award, a Golden Globe, the Jules Verne Award, four Saturn Awards, and a Writers Guild Award. In 2010, Cuse was named to Time Magazine's annual List of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Cuse is currently executive producing "Bates Motel", a reimagining of the "Psycho" franchise for A&E to be broadcast in 2013.
Why I Love Bates
What I really love about BATES MOTEL is that the relationship between mother and son is very real and very intense. Very intense. Yet, it is based on many relatable experiences we all have as parents and we all have as kids of parents. What parent doesn't, on some level, want to hang on to their kid as long as possible? What kid doesn't want to have their mother's complete devotion and approval somewhere along the line? These are real and human qualities that just take a wrong turn at some point in the Bates household, but all underscored by the intense mother/child love bond: probably the greatest protective instinct built into human beings. Are Norman and his mother dysfunctional? Absolutely. Are they too close for their own good? Clinically. Do they love each other more than any other being in the world has ever loved either one of them? Blissfully and tragically, yes.
The other thing I find really fun and exciting is the world of characters and the tone of storytelling. This world has a dark, fairy tale quality in many ways – just without the fairies. The shadowed world of subconscious desires and secrets we keep, even from ourselves, provides the landscape. Set in a structure of fast paced, twist and turn storytelling, these themes and ideas emerge in a unique, shocking, moving and weirdly fun way.
Working on this project alongside the fabulous Carlton Cuse has been nothing short of a joy. I love the world of White Pine Bay. I love Norma and Norman Bates. I invite you to join us.
We'll leave a light on for you.
Kerry Ehrin was conceived on New Year's Eve in the city of Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of John Ehrin, a film editor and Colleen Ehrin, a producer's assistant, who met on the Fox lot. She attended UCLA as an English major, mostly because she liked to read fiction and didn't know what else to do. Although she was an English major, she tended to party with the Theater Department because she loved theater and also because actors were more fun than English majors. Not knowing how to spin a B.A. in English into a job, she was fortunately mentored by the famed science fiction writer Richard Matheson, who urged her to "write a script" after reading a thesis she wrote on Lewis Carroll.
Kerry has since worked on numerable TV shows, writing and producing, among them "Boston Legal," "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood." She has been nominated for two Emmy's, four Writers Guild Awards and a Humanitas.
She has won none of them.
Kerry currently lives in Hidden Hills, California with two dogs, two horses and three children, not necessarily in that order of preference.