You know who should be a TV critic?
Lucy Van Pelt, of "Peanuts" fame.
That way, when a network makes a stupid programming move like FOX just did, with their announcement that 'Prison Break' will go on hiatus after the November 28th episode until May of 2006, then Lucy could say "Stupid blockheads!"
With "24" coming back in January, Fox simply doesn't have enough room on its schedule. So once the first 13 "Prison Break" episodes are done airing on Nov. 28, the show won't return until May for its remaining nine episodes. "The appeal of creatively bringing it back later in the year and keeping it on in the summer outweighs the disruption it would cause," says Fox's Preston Beckman.
(The full story can be found in USA Today.)
Yes, 'Prison Break' is grim, punishing, relentless. It should be. It's set in prison. Lighten the mood and you might as well be showing 'Porridge'.
But it also has a taut, intricately woven plot that needs the audience to always remain vigilant; full attention must be paid.
My boss and his wife are big fans of the show, but they missed last week's episode. (Hey, nobody put a gun to their heads and told them to have a baby!) So I had to make sure they got hold of a tape, because if you missed "The Old Head", you might as well just give up and wait for the DVD.
That's my fear for the fate of 'Prison Break'. We're supposed to wait over five months to pick up the story again? I don't have that much faith in the TV memory retention capability of the general audience.
Also, the production seems to have been planned out to the smallest detail when it comes to its inner chronology. The date of Lincoln Burrows' execution should have synchronized with May Sweeps and the season finale. That would have added an urgency to the audience's rapport with the characters.
But now that has been frittered away.
Say it with me, people....
Network executives should be nibbled to death by ducks!