Sure, I tuned in to every episode of Prison Break when it returned in the fall, but something was missing.
Casting William Fichtner as Michaels nemesis, Mahone, was truly inspired. Michael and Mahones battle of wits made for some of the most intense Prison Break scenes so far this season, as did the escapees adventuresfrom T-Bags cringe-inducing scenes (Bellick confessing to T-Bags murder of ex-guard Geary was a great twist) to Sucre and C-Note risking their lives to be with their loved ones, to Mahone coldly killing Tweener (high price for a stolen baseball card, huh?). Dont forget the vast conspiracy framing Linc for killing the presidents brother, who isnt even dead (though we cant say the same for poor Veronica), and Agent Kellerman wooing, abducting, torturing and trying to kill Sara, only to pop up in the final scene of the fall season offering to help Michael and Linc expose the conspiracy. Its beyond addictive.
All that drama, yet my Monday night viewing didnt feel complete. The hour-long adrenaline rush always ended with a letdown. After all, what could top Prison Break? The answer: 24.
One of Foxs best decisions last year was to pair these shows. While they have different feels and extremely different characters, the fast pace of both shows and the main characters never knowing who to trusteven one anothermakes them a perfect match. This month, they finally both return.
As usual, 24 is coming back in a big way, with a two-night, four-hour season opener starting at 7 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 14, and continuing at the same time Monday night. 24 knows how to pull viewers in and never let go. Last year was arguably its best season everI still think Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart, who played President and Mrs. Logan, should have received the Emmys for which they were nominated. Last season was so good that, despite three of my favorite characters (Tony, Michelle, and Edgar) being killed off, Im still looking forward to what happens next.
Foxs dynamic duo of TV dramas will be reunited Monday, Jan. 22, as Prison Break kicks off its spring season at 7 p.m., immediately followed by 24. If 24s new season lives up to the hype, be prepared for edge-of-your seat entertainment every Monday from now through May.
Some TV trivia: Michelle Forbes has had recurring roles in both 24 (Lynne Kresge) and Prison Break (Samantha Brinker), and both shows are tied to ABCs The Nine (which may or may not return, depending on who you talk to). Kim Raver plays 24s Audrey Raines and The Nines Kathryn Hale, while The Nines John Billingsly (Ethan Foote) and Camille Guaty (Franny Rios) have both shared recurring roles on Prison Break with other actors, as Terrence Steadman (aka the presidents dead brother) and Sucres love, Maricruz, respectively. These are just a few connections I know off the top of my head. If you know more, let me know.
Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy Magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications including American Bungalow, SatelliteORBIT, and TVGuide.
From the Jan. 10-16, 2007, issue