At the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour today, FOX’s co-chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman officially confirmed the reports from earlier this summer that the network is developing Prison Break to return as an event series, a la 24: Live Another Day. Prison Break creator Paul Scheuring is behind the revival.
Said Newman, “Paul Scheuring came in and pitched a great story to bring the show back. It’s going to bring back both brothers – Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell. Paul’s busy writing the first episode and a [series] bible.”
While there is no official greenlight yet, it certainly sounds promising, with Newman saying, “Once we have those written materials, we feel confident we’re going to be going straight to series with that one.”
Said Walden, about Prison Break’s return, “I would describe it as a bit of a sequel. It picks up the characters several years after we left them in the last season of the show. The bothers will be back. Some of the iconic characters from the show will be back. I don’t think Paul knows exactly where he’s going over the 10-episode arc yet, but it will definitely address some questions that were set up at the end of the series for a new audience.”
Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller in Prison Break.
As to what brought about Prison Break’s return, Walden said a certain popular streaming site played a role, remarking, “Prison Break has had this great opportunity to be viewed by a whole new audience on Netflix. It was part of our output deal with Netflix, and I happen to know from executives at that company that it was one of the most successful library shows that they have platformed. So it gave us a lot of enthusiasm moving forward that people were still really interested in these characters and that there’s a whole new generation that have caught up. So it will start with where we left the Scofields in the final season.”
Hearing the revival will pick up years later begs the question… what about the fact that Wentworth Miller’s Michael (spoiler alert!) died in the finale movie, The Final Break?
Asked if the new show was ignoring The Final Break, Newman initially said, “Yes, he is going to be ignoring the straight to video show. It is past Season 4. As Dana said, it’s several years past when the series ended. I wouldn’t want to give away too much of what Paul has planned, but he had a very detailed, incredible story for why these characters become relevant again and why to bring them back. I think it’s going to be very exciting. As Dana said, this is just one of those shows that notwithstanding it being off the air for five, six years, or however long it’s been, it still generates buzz and enthusiasm, especially online. So we think it’s going to be a great treat for the audience.”
However, Walden made things a bit murkier about how The Final Break might play into the story, saying, “I don’t think he’s going to completely ignore what happened in that episode, but what he pitched to us was a very logical and believable — in the world of Prison Break — explanation for why our characters are alive and still moving around the world.”