New PRISON BREAK event series confirmed; first details emerge

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We had heard the rumblings earlier in the year, but last week it was finally confirmed: Prison Break is coming back to TV. Fox TV boss Dana Walden officially gave the planned event series the thumbsup when she spoke to EW during the Television Critics Association summer tour, also confirming that stars Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell would return as prison escapee brothers Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows.

“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 brothers will be back. Some of the iconic characters from that show will be back. It definitely will address some questions that were set up at the end of the series and for a new audience… It’ll start after where we left the Scofields in the final season.”

Following Miller’s Scofield, a genius engineer who intentionally gets himself sent to prison so that he can break his estranged, falsely convicted brother out of solitary confinement, Prison Break originally aired in 2005 in a *cough* breakout first season that was unfortunately followed by some serious shark jumping in the followup three seasons. The show would eventually right the boat a bit, but would never truly regain the brilliance of its debut. It still garnered quite a following though during its four years on TV, and was eventually wrapped up in a direct-to-TV movie titled Prison Break: The Final Break.

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Now if you’ve seen The Final Break, you may already have picked up a big problem: during that movie [SPOILER ALERT] Michael Scofield died when he supposedly electrocuted himself to open a door that allowed his son’s mother to escape. So how can they make a sequel with him in it again? Would returning creator Paul Scheuring, who was actually not involved in the show’s final moments, just ignore The Final Break? No, not quite.

“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 explanation in the world of Prison Break for why are character’s alive and still moving around the world.”

“Paul was not a part of the final seasons of Prison Break. He had some other ideas about where these characters were headed, but it will connect to that episode. He’s not going to disregard it. You will get a satisfying answer to why these characters are still alive.”

Based on all the insanely clever plots that Scofield came up with during the show’s tenure (the most famous being his full body tattoos that actually disguised all his breakout plans), it’s entirely plausible that he faked his death, especially since we never actually saw his body.

This would also not be the first time that the show brought back a “dead” character, and in that case we actually did see a body, or rather a decapitated head in a box belonging to Sarah Wayne Callies’ Sara, only for it to be retconned a season later to have all been a fake. That littler switcheroo didn’t go down too well with fans at the time, but Walden offers reassurance that what Scheuring is doing in this event series will sit true with what fans loved about the show initially.

“For Paul, this is an opportunity to tell a story about these characters that he created. I would say to those fans that this is the pure vision of the creator of the show and it’s going to take a detour a little bit from where we left off, but it should feel very satisfying and eventized. I think that fans will be excited about seeing these characters back together again. I’m very excited about T-Bag [Robert Knepper].”

It became a bit of a running joke that the Prison Break‘s second and fourth seasons didn’t actually contain any prisons being broken out of. And it looks like that may continue as Walden coyly hinted that “It’s just the title”.

The still untitled Prison Break event series is still quite early in development, with Scheuring still busy mapping out the show’s 10-episode season. Once that’s done though, Walden expects the show to go straight into production though.

Last Updated: August 12, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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