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A guide to TV prequels
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A guide to TV prequels

Spin-offs are common, but prequels are rare

By Dave Lake
Special to MSN TV

Despite being based on an existing TV universe, prequels have a tougher challenge than the average spin-off, since creating a new setting for Frasier Crane after "Cheers" wraps up is a lot easier than having to create a new setting AND a new Frasier Crane. Here's a guide to some TV prequels:

"Bates Motel" (A&E)

In order to liberate itself from "Psycho," the iconic Hitchcock film on which "Bates Motel" is based, A&E's upcoming series will be set in the present day. The show depicts a teenage Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his twisted relationship with his mother (Vera Farmiga). "The idea of an homage was just not going to be engaging to me," Carlton Cuse, one of the show's executive producers and an executive producer on "Lost," told TV reporters recently. "Making the fundamental decision to make it contemporary gave us the freedom to take these characters wherever we wanted."

Bing: More about 'Bates Motel' | More about Freddie Highmore

"Bates Motel" premieres Monday, March 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.

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(A&E)