FOX to Move "Prison Break"
FOX has announced premiere date for its much-anticipated "Terminator" movies-inspired midseason drama "The Sarah Connor Chronicles." The show which was originally supposed to air on Sunday nights at 9:00 is now scheduled to take over the "Prison Break" timeslot on Mondays at 8:00 leading into the new season of "24." The network has yet to announce what they will do with "Prison Break."
Zap2It reported late yesterday that the new FOX drama will premiere Monday, January 14 at 8:00 p.m. leading into the third hour of the 7th season of "24."
Unlike the past 3 years when "24" launched in January with a 2-day 4-hour event, the 7th season premiere of the Kiefer Sutherland drama will begin with a 2-hour episode on Sunday, January 13 and then continue with a regular 1-hour episode the next day.
That means that both "Prison Break" and its low-rated lead-out "K-Ville" will disappear from Monday nights come January.
"Prison Break" averaged 9-10 million viewers in its inaugural season and then fell to 8-9 million last year.
The third season which premiered on September 17 continued that decline averaging about 7 million viewers.
"K-Ville" fared much worse. After a promising start seen by 9 million viewers, the show quickly declined to about 5.5 million and may now end up getting canceled.
Just last year, FOX couldn't wait to put "Prison Break" back on its schedule and moved the original spring premiere date from March to January.
The decision may have affected the quality of writing in the final 9 episodes of the 2nd season, as noted even by the show stars (Dominic Purcell in TV Guide, for instance).
Whether or not that contributed to viewer erosion, it appears that this may very well be the end of the road for "Prison Break."
FOX has yet to announce how they will reschedule "Prison Break" in 2008.
One alternative could be putting "Prison Break" on hiatus during the winter (FOX did that in the first 2005/06 season) and then bring it back into the same Monday night timeslot in March, of course if "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" fails.