Prison Break is an American TV series linked to the Fox Network. The first season aired in 2006 and was nominated for an Emmy Award in the same year. The serialized storytelling of a prison breakout drew attention globally and it quickly became one of Fox’s most successful series of all time.

The story focuses on a man who was wrongly handed a death sentence for a crime he did not commit. His brother intentionally lands himself in prison as a last-ditch attempt to break out his innocent sibling.

The show was created by Paul Scheuring with 20th Century Fox. The episodic escape plan tale is very similar to the storylines seen in the series 24 and Lost. There are a total of five seasons so far and it is currently unknown if the show will be renewed for a sixth season.

The show was released during a time when interest in the prison drama genre was dipping and the show single handedly revived audience interest in this type of content. It eventually inspired shows like Orange Is the New Black and Money Heist.


The show’s first season featured Lincoln Burrows being wrongly convicted of murder. Burrows’ stepbrother Michael Scofield hatches a plan to rescue his brother from Fox River, a high-security prison.

The estranged brothers find themselves in difficult situations and eventually manage to make the escape. They form allies along the way and find out the truth behind why Burrows was convicted.

In the subsequent seasons, the two brothers escape authorities in a bid to find out the truth behind Burrows’ conviction and prove Lincoln’s innocence. The show seemingly ended in season 4 but it was renewed with a follow-up season more recently.

Season 5 focused on life after Michael Scofield’s death and how the original gang needed to make one last prison break.

Cast and characters

Prison Break is a show with a cast full of superstars. Lincoln Burrows and Michael Scofield are played by Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller respectively. The two protagonists were the last two to be cast by the show makers, while the supporting cast – Veronica Donovan, Amaury Nolasco and Marshall Allman – were among the first to be picked up.

Amaury Nolasco’s casting in the role of Fernando Sucre is arguably one of the best decisions made by Fox, as fans really love the character. John Abruzzi is one of the most brutally in-your-face characters in the show and Peter Stormare did a fantastic job with his role.

Sarah Wayne-Callies plays Sara Tancredi, a doctor who finds herself in morally ambiguous situations and sides with Michael Scofield to break him out of prison. Some of the walk-on characters in the series were played by actual prisoners who have served sentences at Joliet Prison.

Filming locations 

The filming for Prison Break takes place primarily in Illinois and Texas. Joliet Prison and the O’Hare International Airport are responsible for hosting some of the most iconic scenes of the series. A lot of the shooting also took place in Canada and Morocco.


Paul Scheuring kicked everything off with the idea of a plot where a person gets himself sent to prison to rescue someone. The show was meant to be an action-oriented series but Paul went ahead and turned it into a prison drama instead.

The initial plot was complete by 2003 and Fox picked up the idea immediately. With the prison drama genre not doing well financially Fox took a gamble and it worked in their favor. The show was originally meant to be a miniseries but it evolved into a full-fledged show that lasted five seasons.

Episodes and reception 

The original concept piqued interest among viewers and over 10.5 million tuned in for the first season. Fox had not experienced such success for a Monday show since 1988. The premiere was among the most successful of all time in TV history.

As the show was described as having an authentic feel to it, it was one of the best new shows of 2005 according to most viewers and critics. After a successful first season, the show was renewed for three additional seasons. The second season saw an average of 9.4 million viewers choosing to watch it.

The third and fourth season of the show became progressively worse in terms of viewership. Season five turned out to be the worst in terms of critic reviews. Fans were disappointed with the show and it is unknown if Fox will be willing to bet on the sixth season of the show going forward.

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