A&E's "Psycho" semi-prequel "Bates Motel" got off to a strong start on Monday (March 18) night.
 
In its 10 p.m. premiere, "Bates Motel" drew 3 million viewers, including 1.6 million viewers among adults 18-49 (and also among adults 25-54), making it A&E's most-watched original series debut in those key demos. 
 
Factoring in encores, "Bates Motel" was up to 4.6 million viewers for its premiere night, with 2.5 million among adults 25-54 and 2.4 million in the 18-49 demo. A&E will give the "Bates Motel" premiere another potentially large sampling on Wednesday night at 11 p.m. after a new episode of the juggernaut "Duck Dynasty."
 
Lest we lose perspective on A&E's ratings thresholds, "Duck Dynasty" drew a network-record 8.6 million viewers, including 5 million in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos, when it premiered last month.
 
"'Bates Motel' represents the very best of quality storytelling with an incredible cast led by Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore," blurbs Bob DeBitetto, President and GM of A&E Network and BIO Channel. "We are extremely pleased with the initial viewer response to this edgy and provocative series and are confident that it will continue to draw in new audiences."
 
Developed by "Lost" veteran Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin and starring Farmiga, Highmore, Olivia Cooke, Nicola Peltz and Max Theriot, "Bates Motel" is a modern day spin on the story of Norman Bates and his doting mother Norma.