Straight after the end of the successful Bates Motel (the last episode was broadcast last 24 April), A&E has unexpectedly announced they will give up all scripted programming and will rather double down on nonfiction. The announcement is surprising, given the success of the series, but A&E indeed hasn’t had any scripted project since 2015.
A&E fiction programming has been constant in the last nine years, even though Bates Motel was the only seriesthat lasted more than one season. Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice-President said he is “extremely proud” of all A&E scripted. “Bates Motel has been one of the best TV programs, but it was an exception within our programming. I think the series represents a real hit and it has proved our strength, given the huge success it had for five seasons despite the limited investment. But I think we should clarify our focus, that is to say nonfiction programming, which is much sought after on the market”. Within this context the return of Biography, is highly symbolic: it is the most important program in the history of A&E ( 44 nominations to Emmy Awards and many prizes in twenty years) and it will be broadcast again starting from 28 June. In addition to Biography, a much richer programming will be developed, with part of the investments redirected to documentaries and docu series. Scripted programming, as Sharenow has specified, will be redirected to A&E affiliated channels, namely History and Lifetime, which presently release such series as Vikings and UnReal.