Prison Break turned out to be better than expected, much to Fox's surprise. Yet, with the juggernaut that is 24 returning in January, it looks like Prison Break is going to be pre-empted from November to May. Quite a wait, one that could get the show cancelled.
Fox isn't exactly packed with quality programming. While Prison Break isn't Shakespeare, it does have some nice touches. Joining the honourable ranks of Monk and Touching Evil in pointing out the flipside of mental illness, Prison Break's hero turns out to have both low self-esteem and “low latent inhibition” – a disorder that makes him see objects as the sums of their parts, rather than just objects. It's a handy, escape-plan compatible condition that works well in conjunction with another that lets you get sent to prison so you can rescue your brother. Yes, the mentally ill can be heros and their disorders can be advantages.
So Fox is clearly a little loopy to think that 24 is just so great that everything else should be cleared to make room for it. At the very least, moving Prison Break to one of the prime-time slots used by the deadwood that fills most days except Monday wouldn't be a bad idea, particularly since it is doing well in the ratings despite baseball, etc.
- January 9, 2006: Prison Break finally gets Fox's backing
Fox has finally cottoned on to the fact that Prison Break has been its sleeper hit of 2005.