Hot off the heels of the announcements over the past few months of a new series of X-Files, a 24 reboot (sans Jack Bauer) and a TV version of Minority Report, it seems that Fox – the TV network who over the years have brought us the likes of game changing series like Arrested Development and The Simpsons – have finally gone and admitted what all signs had been pointing to for years: “we have no new ideas”.
So, it’s with that vision – something that NBC seem to be trialing with their Heroes relaunch – that Fox have announced that 2016 will see the return of Prison Break, with characters who were supposed to be dead, returning as alive. Because they were better alive and not dead. How can they get ratings if they’re dead? They’re just so pretty! But they promise it will make sense. Because Prison Break totally always made sense and wasn’t terrible by the time it ended. Just to clarify: it made no sense and was terrible by the time it ended.
Luckily – for now at least – the new series of Prison Break will be a one off, limited run of 10 episodes. And with its trending status on social media, seems to have people excited, as did the announcements for most of the shows I’ve mentioned. People seem to have forgotten how bad most of these shows were by the time they left the air; hopeful that its return will bode for new life into characters they once loved. In the case of Prison Break, it’s literally breathing new life into the characters.
This “limited series” is the same approach that we’re seeing with Heroes and X-Files – and we saw it not long ago with 24: Die Another Day. Though given the 24 brand is continuing, albeit with new characters, the idea of a “limited series” seems just as likely as a “final John Farnham tour”. If it works, the networks will suck the life out of them until they suck again (if they don’t in the first place, as seems to be the case with that new Fantastic Four film) – which was usually why they left our TVs in the first place. So fans who wished and wished for their return – be careful what you wish for.
In the meantime, amazing series like Hannibal remain cancelled, and the networks wonder why we’re turning our remotes to subscription based channels, who are bringing us the likes of Orange is the New Black, True Detective, Game of Thrones, Mad Men and Breaking Bad. TV is the best it’s ever been right now, it’s just the once dominating forces are struggling to keep up… and so to try and move forward they’re looking back. And let’s be real here: that’s probably not going to work.
Oh and what’s next on Fox’s agenda? A potential new X-Men series. Which could be cool, but holds true to the network’s trend. But on the plus side, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is returning to Fox for its third season in September and Bill Hader will be joining the squad. So at least they’ve got the funniest show on TV right now…