‘Prison Break’ Creator on Limited Series Revival: ‘No Time for Bulls—‘

TCA 2017: “I said, OK that’s worth doing, 22 episodes wouldn’t be worth doing,” executive producer Paul Scheuring says

“Prison Break” creator Paul Scheuring said that Fox’s upcoming 9-episode revival of the 2005 drama starring Wentworth Miller and Cominic Purcell will cut right to the chase.

“TV has changed so much since it initially premiered,” Scheuring said of the show at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Wednesday. “In the new era of television, people are much more open to limited runs and event series.”

In fact, he sees that as a preferable way to write a series: “There’s really no time for bulls—. This is a really tight, close-ended story.”

Though in this case, the length of the season was dictated in part due to the busy schedules of the returning stars, who had to take time out of their current projects to return to shoot the show.

“I had written a long-winded road map for 10 episodes,” Scheuring said. “But at the end of the day, we just didn’t have enough time for 10 episodes, so we conflated two of those episodes into one.”

But most of the show’s original cast will return for the revival, including both Purcell and Miller — who originally conceived the idea of a limited-run revival while co-starring on The CW’s “The Flash” — as well as Sarah Wayne Callies, Robert Knepper and Rockmond Dunbar.

“If we didn’t have all the people on this stage, I would not have done it,” Scheuring said. Executive producer Dawn Olmstead of Universal Cable Productions agreed, saying that even though the show has been a massive success overseas, the only way she was going to even consider a revival was if the entire cast returned.

“This is a show that seems to have a longevity in people’s imagination, and when they talk about it, it seems to really mean something to them,” said Callies, explaining that when fans stop her on the street, more people want to talk about “Prison Break” — which went off the air in 2009 — than “The Walking Dead.”

The cast also discussed returning to the series and reuniting with each other after more than half a decade.

“It was like a high school reunion,” Miller said. “You know these people, there is a shorthand, there is a degree of familiarity, and yet they’re different now. You’re learning.”

“There was such a confidence, and a comfort … there was a sense of risk-taking,” Knepper said of reuniting with his old castmates. “This wasn’t a reboot, it was a rebirth. And it was great to be discovering things all over again.”


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