10:00am PT by Michael O'Connell
Fox Greenlights 'Prison Break' Event Series, Orders '24' Spinoff Pilot 'Legacy'
Just a week before the six-episode revival of The X-Files premieres, Fox has made plans to revisit two other famous network properties: Prison Break and 24. Talk of both projects has been bubbling up for some time, but Friday marks the formal announcement that Prison Break will be coming back to the air. (24, on the other hand, is just a pilot order.)
Like so many older properties, Prison Break has seen a tremendous boost in interest thanks to a second life on Netflix. The streamer does not disclose ratings, but the original four-season run is said to be incredibly popular.
Prison Break stars Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell are both signed on to reprise the roles of brothers Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows. The original producing team of creator Paul T. Scheuring, Neal Moritz, Marty Adelstein and Dawn Olmstead are all aboard for the event series, and Scheuring will again write and showrun.
Fox declined to announce how many episodes the series will run. Similar reboots have received short orders, like The X-Files' six, while others have been more akin to the traditional abbreviated season (24 had a 12-episode event series in 2014.)
As for the fellow 20th Century Fox TV-produced drama, the new iteration of 24 won't likely look too much like the event series or the original. The behind-the-scenes team, however, has a lot of familiar faces. Howard Gordon, Manny Coto and Evan Katz are all back on board as executive producers.
Sources tell THR that the new incarnation of 24, dubbed 24: Legacy, will not feature any returning cast. Insiders say the network is looking to make the reboot diverse, with its lead character said to be an African-American guy in his 20s. Gary Newman confirmed to reporters after Fox's Television Critics Association press session that the role would indeed be diverse as the network is looking to make the role as "different from Jack Bauer as possible."
The project will revolve around said lead, a military hero recently returned to the U.S. — and the trouble that follows him back. He teams up with the original series' CTU agency to help save his life and — you guessed it — stop a large-scale terror attack on American soil.
Emmy-winning director Stephen Hopkins is also on board to helm the pilot.
It's another case of synergy and nostalgia for Fox Television Group chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman, who oversee both the studio and the network where both projects are based.
Walden offered a few additional hints specifically about Prison Break's revival at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. "The story unravels on an international landscape. It's not a domestic show," she said, adding that the revival will likely run for nine episodes because of both stars' commitments to other series.
She added that the writers "do address" Michael's death from brain cancer. Newman went further, saying Michael isn't dead. As for the rest of the cast, Walden was optimistic Miller and Purcell won't be the only ones to reprise their original series roles. She said, "I'm hoping that we'll see many of the great characters … return throughout the season."