Kiefer Delays The Prison Break

By Garth Franklin Tuesday November 1st 2005 04:18PM

Late Summer, FOX launched its serial thriller "Prison Break" as essentially a place holder until the arrival of the fifth season of "24". With its slot as the first new drama of the season to premiere, the network had hopes it would do enough to last out its run and then the Kiefer Sutherland juggernaut could move in.

Then a surprise came - it did well, very well. Ok maybe not "House" or "24" at its peak well, but certainly enough to raise eyebrows. Its pilot scored 10.5 million viewers, a great number which the network was very happy with but many expected it drop significantly once more regular scheduled programming returned on other networks.

It didn't. Despite a recent three-week hiatus for a dismally rating baseball world series, "Prison Break" has dropped less than 5-10% of its viewer numbers from its strong pilot - managing 9.2 million on average before the hiatus, whilst its first episode back scored 9.8 million viewers. However, even with a loyal fanbase built, it now looks like the network might ruin it.

Why? Its time for "24" to move back into that timeslot. "Prison Break" goes on hiatus again on November 28th along with most shows as they take their Christmas/New Year break. Instead of returning it mid-January in a new timeslot though, a rep from the network revealed to USA Today that the final nine episodes of the season will be pushed all the way back to May to air over the Summer. The question remains, will the audience still be around?

Thanks to 'Eloise'.