Prison Break is officially returning on April 4, but there won't be as much of it as fans probably want.
The event series will only be nine episodes, down from the previously announced 10, which wasn't a network call but the executive decision of creator Paul T. Scheuring and his cast. First of all, stars Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller are both busy with their CW DC universe commitments, making scheduling difficult, but Scheuring also believes a shorter series is what's best for the show.
"When you put a show on network TV in 2005, the assumption was that you had 22 episodes," Scheuring said during the Prison Break revival panel at the Television Critics Association winter previews Wednesday. "In the new era of television, people are much more open to limited runs and event series. Knowing that, and them coming back to me saying, 'Let's do a limited run of this thing,' which started at 10 and ultimately became nine [episodes], I said, 'OK, this is worth doing.'"
Doing an abbreviated event series allows Scheuring to keep Prison Break focused on the story of Michael's (Miller) latest need to break out of prison.
"I just think that the current model for television is to the viewers' benefit. You don't have Episode 16 in a 22-episode season where you're trying to find filler," Scheuring continued. "This is a very tight, close-ended story. It's just constant thriller, cliffhanger revelation one after another. It's very dense."
No matter the episode count, Scheuring made sure the show has retained the essential ingredients that make Prison Break so special.
"It's two things. Obviously one, you have to have a prison you have to get out of," he said. "You have to have an emotional endgame at the end of that escape that the audience can embrace."
Check out the full Prison Break trailer.
Prison Break premieres Tuesday, April 4 at 9/8c on Fox.