TCA Press Tour 2011: A&E’s ‘Breakout Kings’ should warm hearts of ‘Prison Break’ fans


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‘Prison Break’
fans who still e-mail us about bringing the show back to the small screen, this one’s for you:

Executive producers Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora have a new prison-breaking-related drama -- ‘Breakout Kings’ -- that will premiere on A&E on March 13.

As Santora said at the Television Critics Assn. press tour Friday, ‘It’s not about breaking out of prison. It’s about what happens after they break out.’


More on that later.

Drum roll please: T-Bag will be in an episode of the show. Yes, T-Bag! Robert Knepper will reprise his memorable ‘Prison Break’ role in an episode. T-Bag breaks out of Fox River -- again! -- and the race is on!

So you don’t get Michael Scofield to rise from the dead, but you get T-Bag. Please don’t e-mail me with more ‘Prison Break’ requests. Let’s accept that the writers have moved on.

Back to that.

‘Breakout Kings’ is a new fast-paced drama about a deal that the U.S. Marshals Office makes with a group of convicts to help them catch fugitives (you know, same idea as USA’s ‘White Collar’ but with a lot more grit and people).

Laz Alonzo (‘Avatar’) and Domenick Lombardozzi (‘The Wire’) play veteran U.S. Marshals who take the unconventional approach to fighting crimes. Their special task force is played by Jimmi Simpson (‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’), Malcolm Goodwin (‘American Gangster’) and Serinda Swan (‘Smallville’); Brooke Nevin plays a civilian who assists the group.

Unlike ‘Prison Break,’ the show has a humorous side, and the producers said they are also enjoying writing close-ended episodes. But that doesn’t mean viewers won’t get to know the characters on a deeper level.

‘It’s a bit of a balance in that you get to know them as they are investigating the case,’ Olmstead said. ‘The conceit of the show is such that there’s a finite amount of time that you have to catch this fugitive. So it’s not like they punch out and they go home and have dinner with the wife and kids and address their background in that matter. It’s on the fly and through their craft.’

-- Maria Elena Fernandez



A fond farewell to ‘Prison Break’