Signs Your Favorite Show Has ‘Pulled a PRISON BREAK’

Now that the shock of Sara’s PRISON BREAK return has worn off a wee bit, this TV Addict got to thinking [yes, apparently I tend to do that when the TV is turned off]. Should fans really be screaming for showrunner Matt Omstead’s head [preferably, in a box]? It’s not like this is the first time a network, a studio and a team of writers have come together in the face of adversity and done what will from here on in be referred to as ‘pulled a PRISON BREAK.’

Now obviously I know what you’re thinking. Sounds suspiciously similar to ‘Jumping the Shark No?’. Here’s the difference. Where a show can Jump the Shark for a plethora of reasons, ‘Pulling [or pulled] a PRISON BREAK’ only occurs as a final, desperate, some may say somewhat slightly sinister attempt on behalf of the Powers That Be to suck every last drop of cash from a dedicated fan base. Essentially throwing caution, mythology and logic to the wind in an effort to produce one final depressing, yet financially lucrative season.

How do you know if your favorite show is doing the same? It’s easy. Has a once beloved character come back from the dead just so the network can get another season out of an already creatively drained series? Did a lead character on your favorite show just sleep with her ex for the umpteenth time? Did an entire cast get axed in a ‘shocking’ season finale? If so, your favorite show may have just PULLED A PRISON BREAK!

Some recent examples include:
• GILMORE GIRLS: Lorelai sleeps with Christopher [again!].
• THE PRACTICE: Everybody’s fired except James Spader [Bonus points for Spin-off potential].
• ROSEANNE: The final season was all a dream [For the viewers, a nightmare].
• 7th HEAVEN: Everybody’s pregnant [Or so we heard, we couldn't bring ourselves to watch the show].

So remember friends. The next time your favorite show seemingly pulls a plot out of a thin air, be the first out of your group of friends to say, “They totally pulled a PRISON BREAK!”

And SMALLVILLE, thanks to all the behind-the-scenes rumblings, you’re officially on notice!

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  • Common Sense

    Just wondering…..

    Can the James Woods series “Shark” ever Jump the Shark?

  • Robert Jonsson

    7th Heaven, not Seventh Heaven. ;)

    Anyways, interesting article! :)

  • shanna

    Would bringing Buffy back to life, and having a musical episode in the 6th season count as “pulling a Prison Break”? (I love Buffy by the way but that was a stretch)

    And does the fact that those shows did it before Prison Break mean that it should really be called “pulling a Roseanne”?

  • Kelleh

    No one important is every REALLY dead on Alias, it only seems like they’re dead- THEY DID IT LIKE 8 TIMES

  • theTVaddict


    ALIAS is a tough one. Because on the one hand, it was one of my personal favorite shows EVER. But on the downside, that last season, bringing back everyone reeked of desperation.

  • angela

    Get a life!!!!!

  • nick

    Im sorry but this is stupid…Story wise it totally makes sense.They never showed her death.LJ didn’t even see it happen,and Link was to freaked to look in the box for more than a second.Prison Break is an up and down show for me but i look forward to her return…..And Buffy never got old,jumped a shark or whatever.Sorry, that show ruled!!!

  • oakling

    Oh my god, even the fact that 7th Heaven was resurrected for another season after being canceled makes my eye twitch, much less the whole “everybody’s pregnant!” crap. I didn’t watch it either, but I think I read the recap over at TWOP and… EYE. TWITCH.

  • allie

    I definitely think Alias is the biggest show to recently “pull a Prison Break”. They killed off Vaughn and when they realised what a mistake it was to separate Sydney and Vaughn (like it was a mistake to separate Sara and Michael), they brought him back from the dead.

  • Jason the TVaholic

    As long as season four doesn’t open with Michael waking up, going into the bathroom and opening the shower door to find Sara standing there, making all of season three a bad dream he was having.

    I believe bringing back a character from the dead to save a dying show is called “pulling a DALLAS.”

  • theTVaddict

    Jason the TVaholic,

    Thanks for putting things into a historical perspective! Truthfully, I’ve never seen DALLAS, but remember having to go to bed just in time for my Mom to flip on the memorable theme song!!! One day I’ll be sure to check it out. In fact, season one is sealed, and gathering dust on my shelf right now.

  • Jason the TVaholic

    I never really watched DALLAS either, as I was probably off to bed, as well, back in those days. But, I do remember that episode for some reason, maybe I was allowed to stay up that night, as DALLAS was one of the few shows ever that my mother actually watched.

  • Snowman

    Jason the TVaholic and theTVAddict – I was a little older and was allowed to stay up and watch Dallas on Friday, nights. Bobby died in the cliff hanger of the previous season. Gone, dead in a car explosion. His wife Pam moves on and re-marries. In the next season, after a whole season has gone by without Bobby, she wakes up on her “wedding morning”, and opens the shower door to find her “dead” husband showering. THE ENTIRE PREVIOUS SEASON WAS A DREAM!!! The whole damn thing. I guess it didn’t matter because it give the show a few more seasons.

  • tim wilkins

    “Dallas” dream was wrong on so many levels. Remember “knots landing”? Yea, they addressed the death of Bobby and had Val and Gary name one of their twins “Bobby”. By the way, on “Knots” they never addressed the whole ‘dream season” and on that show, “Bobby” stayed dead. Yes, I was there. lol

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  • Alove

    Please the fact that Sarah was off the show had nothing to do with season 3 having bad ratingsfor Prison Break.It was the entire story and boring acting that’s why the people tuned out!.I hope the entire show gets cancelled already it’s so dull and boring with or without the Sara character!