As A&E is reaching a turning point in its ratings comeback with the first back-to-back months of viewership growth in almost four years, the A+E network is recalibrating its programming strategy, returning to its roots as an exclusively non-fiction brand. Following the end of A&E’s signature drama series Bates Motel earlier this week, there will be no more scripted programming on the cable network going forward.
The move had been in the works for awhile; while A&E launched a number of unscripted series over the last two years, including recent breakouts 60 Days In, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and Live PD, there have been no scripted greenlights — pilot or series — since 2015. A&E’s head of scripted, SVP Gabriel Manaro, already had transitioned to A+E Studios where he reports to EVP Barry Jossen.
Bates Motel, which concluded April 24 on its own terms following a five-season run, was A&E’s last surviving scripted series.