“Prison Break,” a show many observers figured couldn’t extend its high concept premise past a single season, will end its run on FOX this spring after four seasons.
While ratings made the cancellation of “Prison Break” something of an industry assumption, FOX made the move formal on Tuesday (Jan. 13) morning at the Television Critics Association press tour.
“Prison Break” will return on Friday, April 17 in the 8 p.m. ET hour. The series has four episodes that will air this spring, while FOX Entertainment President Kevin Reilly told the press that the possibility exists the network may order a concluding episode or two.
“‘Prison Break’ has had a hell of a run and is just at the end of that run, and this will be the last year of the show,” Reilly said. “You know, that was a high-wire act from minute one. I think some people who even liked the show said, ‘Hey, this is great. How can you keep it going?’ So I think we”ll put that one in the win column, but it just got down to the point where a lot of the stories have been told. So they”re going to finish strong.”
“Prison Break” premiered in 2005 as the story of an engineer (Wentworth Miller) who gets himself incarcerated in a prison in order to help free his brother (Dominic Purcell) on Death Row. The second season found the brothers and a gang of escapees fleeing from a variety of authorities. The third season placed several characters in a Panamanian prison and involved a second break. This year, brother Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows have been working with a Homeland Security agent to bring down a vast organization known as The Company.
Initially a buzzed-about sensation, “Prison Break” has seen its ratings drop every year. After averaging 8.2 million viewers for its third season, the show has hovered below 6.4 million viewers for the fourth.
Perhaps that’s why Reilly notes, “We didn”t give it the hook. The show just played out. I think you get to the point where creatively everyone feels enough stories were told. And it”s down to the place now where – our viewer base where we want to finish strong and not just gimp out next season.”