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Season 4 and Spin-Off Info
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THE SKINNY: While Season Three of PRISON BREAK was planning on introducing a female character during the latter part of the year that would have ended up on her own “women themed” PRISON BREAK spin-off, but the writer’s strike curtailed those plans.

Now co-executive producer Zack Estrin gives iF the scoop and status on PRISON BREAK: CHERRY HILL, which will put a female character behind bars.

“This was designed earlier to be a spin-off of the character introduced in Season 3 and since the season got cut off, we’re redesigning it to be a more of a brand spin-off how there was CSI: NEW YORK,” says Estrin. “This would be PRISON BREAK: CHERRY HILL. It’s not exactly PRISON BREAK, so it would be more of its own show, same vibe, but its own stuff.”

And the notion of someone breaking out of prison may be an element, but it wouldn’t be the only focus like PRISON BREAK was in its first season.

“It’s not an escape format, at least in the beginning,” he says. “It’s like an undercover format. Someone who was being used inside for information to find things out and if anyone finds out what she’s doing, it’s a big, big problem. So it’s more of like a DEPARTED format. We don’t want to do the same thing with breasts. There would be a different vibe and a different drive to the show. More like, ‘You don’t know who to trust.’”

Although details are still sketchy, Estrin says he’s currently retooling the script with PRISON BREAK executive producer Matt Olmstead.

“We wrote it to be the spin-off of the character and now we have to rewrite it to be its own show without the character and taking out the first half of it, redesigning it and putting it back together,” he explains.

There was also the slim possibility to establish this character in the first part of PRISON BREAK – Season 4, but Estrin says they abandoned that idea so they could focus on rebooting Season 4 properly.

“Because of the strike and short season, that [female] character was going to be a big part of the second half of the season and this season, but we didn’t want to spend the first half of our new season wrapping up Season Three stuff,” explains Estrin about the forthcoming PRISON BREAK season. “Because of the strike, we wanted to launch a whole new mission and a whole new story for the season. So we wrap up Season Three in the first two-hour premiere and move on from there.”

As for the format of Season 4, Estrin explains it won’t be a “prison break” year per se.

“The vibe is very much of the Dirty Dozen/Ronin, kind of feel,” says Estrin. “A group of guys get together to do one thing and the government kind of steps in and a low-level Homeland security guy says ‘you’ve always talked about The Company and how much a problem they are, how about we take these mother f*cker’s down.’ So now we have guys with a mission this year. Instead of running from stuff, like we’ve been doing for the first three years, we’re really turning it around this season. It’s about breaking in as opposed to breaking out.”

And of course the big news is the return of actress Sarah Wayne Callies who played Dr. Sara Tancredi in the first two seasons, but whose character was abruptly decapitated last year.

“It’s not a sci-fi dream sequence, it’s not an evil twin,” Estrin says about the story mechanism to bring her back. “What happened was while they were in Panama, she escapes and ‘Hostage Taking 101,’ you never have just one hostage, then you have no leverage, because they know you’re never going to kill the hostage. So when they escape, we have to make a move right now to show them they mean business. They did this fake thing, head and cadaver to scare the sh*t out of Michael and Lincoln and because they couldn’t let them know they only had LG, then all their leverage is gone. They did it to cover up their own ass.”

Source: IF Magazine

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