It doesn’t come as a big surprise considering the ratings of late but FOX has announced that they’re cancelling Prison Break after four seasons. Will there be a conclusion to this high-suspense series?
Prison Break follows Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller), a young structural engineer whose brother (Dominic Purcell) has been framed and incarcerated for murder. To save his brother’s life, Michael concocts a detailed plan to have himself sent to prison and then to free both of them. Along the way, they realize they’re involved in a far-reaching conspiracy with dire consequences for all around them. The rest of the show’s large cast has also included Amaury Nolasco, Robert Knepper, Wade Williams, Sarah Wayne Callies, William Fichtner, Paul Adelstein, Marshall Allman, Rockmond Dunbar, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Robin Tunney, Stacy Keach, Leon Russom, Phillip Edward Van Lear, Peter Stormare, Muse Watson, and Patricia Wettig.
The FOX drama debuted on August 29, 2005 to solid ratings of over 10.5 million viewers and a healthy number of 18-49 viewers. Prison’s first season finished with an average audience of 12.1 million. The second season declined a bit with an average of 10.1 million viewers. Season three dropped further to 8.2 million and the current season has averaged just 6.1 million viewers.
Based on the year four numbers to date, many have suspected that this season would be the drama’s last. Prison was missing from the midseason schedule and the network said it wouldn’t return until at least Spring. A spin-off had been in the works in 2007 but, with Prison’s declining numbers, those plans were put on hold.
Today, FOX announced that Prison would be ending after four seasons. FOX president Kevin Reilly said, “Prison Break had a hell of a run, but the run has ended. This will be the last year of the show.” Reilly claims that the decision wasn’t mandated by ratings but rather by the show’s storyline. He said, “The show has just played out. You get to a point creatively where you feel all the stories have been told, and you want to end strong and not gimp out in the end of the season.”
As longtime fans are well aware, Prison has plenty of ongoing and unresolved storylines. In November, the show’s writers pitched the network with the possibility of extending the season by two episodes. The idea was originally envisioned as a way to make up for the abbreviated season three (because of the writers strike). Now, they may be used to wrap things up.
The final six of Prison’s season four episodes are scheduled to kick off on Friday, April 17th. It’ll be taking over the timeslot of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles when that’s finished completing its sophomore year.
Reilly says that the network is contemplating ordering a couple more installments to finish out the show. Of the producers’ story ideas to wrap the series, Reilly said, “They have a really cool ending, actually. I know where they end, and it’s a hell of an idea.”
Apparently, those additional episodes aren’t a done deal yet. Hopefully the network will decide to pay a little extra so that we can actually see the ending that the producers want to do. After four years of watching Linc and Michael run, will viewers be satisfied with how the story ends?
Image courtesy FOX.