On April 8, A&E renewed Bates Motel for a second season. Same order as before–10 new episodes will premiere in 2014.
A&E president Bob DeBitetto: “Bates Motel has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal audience in its first few weeks. With superb writing and exceptional acting, led by the critically acclaimed performances of Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore, we’re incredibly excited to see where Carlton and Kerry take Norma and Norman Bates next.”
On April 26, NBC renewed five dramas including freshmen Revolution and Chicago Fire, Law & Order: SVU (for a fifteenth season), Parenthood (for a fifth season), and Grimm (for a third season).
NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke: “On the verge of our 2013 fall scheduling decisions, we’re pleased to renew five drama series that will be important to our new season line-up. We’re proud and very appreciative of all of the actors, producers, writers and directors who work so hard to deliver such high-quality work week in and week out. These complex shows represent a broad range of genres and tones, and all of them stand out for us in a television landscape now filled with one-hour series. We’re especially pleased to be renewing Revolution and Chicago Fire — two first-season successes — and there will be more returning series announcements made in the next couple of weeks.”
For more renewal news, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
Perhaps the most anticipated new drama of the season is about to begin. From Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) comes Bates Motel, a modernized prequel series to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Psycho. Freddie Highmore stars as a young Norman Bates and we will witness the events that unfold in his life that eventually lead to him becoming the psychotic murderer we see in the film from 1960. Vera Farmiga stars as his mother Norma, and Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, Nicola Peltz, Mike Vogel, and Nestor Carbonell round out the cast.
In the pilot episode Norman and Norma move to a new town and Mother becomes the owner of a motel. “This town looks really beautiful on the outside. But underneath it is something very dark and malevolent,” shares Cuse. Pay attention, because over the course of the 10-episode season there will be many twists and turns you won’t see coming according to Highmore. He tells EW that there is “a big revelation at some point in the middle of the season” that will force audiences and the characters to shift their perspective in a big way. “It’s nice to perhaps have this weird false sense of hope that Norman might turn out okay, that there’s something in him you think, ‘Maybe he doesn’t have to go down this line,’” he opines.
In a recent interview with EW, Cuse described the show as “one part Friday Night Lights, one part Lost and one part Twin Peaks.” He continued, “We also liked the idea that there’s two parts to every person. There’s the superficial veneer, which in this town is the very beautiful bucolic place and everybody seems great, but underneath that all these characters have these dark desires and secrets. We felt like that would be a wonderful territory in which to land Norma and Norman.”
Bates Motel premieres Monday, March 18 at 10PM on A&E. Check out the gallery below to view five new teaser posters, a couple inspired by previously released trailers.
Update: I hope you checked into Bates Motel this week, because a lot of people did and if these early numbers are any indication it’s that the show is here to stay. 3 million total viewers tuned into the 10PM airing of the series premiere, 1.6 million of which fall into the coveted 18-49 adult demographic. If you include the encore airing, a grand total of 4.6 million watched the pilot episode of Bates Motel on Monday night (2.4 million in the 18-49 demo). These impressive numbers make it the highest rated original drama for A&E ever (the previous record-holder was the gone-too-soon Breakout Kings).
A&E president Bob DeBitetto on Bates premiere: “Bates Motel represents the very best of quality storytelling with an incredible cast led by Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore. We are extremely pleased with the initial viewer response to this edgy and provocative series and are confident that it will continue to draw in new audiences.”
A boy’s best friend is his mother.
That’s the oh-so-approproate tagline for first season of Bates Motel, the upcoming A&E Psycho prequel series from Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights). A poster featuring young Norman (Freddie Highmore) and Norma (Vera Farmiga) Bates hangs after the break. Above, it comes to life in a such a creep-tastic way. Highmore solidifies the role here and now; that single smirk strikes a chord and he nailed it.
Bates Motel premieres Monday, March 18 at 10PM on A&E. (Click here for more…)
If you aren’t amped for the Psycho prequel series Bates Motel from Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights), you should be. Today at the launch of the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, the showrunners and some of the cast talked about A&E’s upcoming psychological thriller.
First and foremost, Cuse made it a point to say that Bates Motel is inspired by but does not serve as an homage to Hitchcock’s classic film. “We did not want to do an homage to Psycho, we wanted to take these characters and setup as inspiration,” Cuse said specifically. “We don’t really view any of [the original movie] as canon,” he added. “The idea of an homage was just not going to be engaging to me. Making the fundamental decision to make it contemporary gave us the freedom to take these characters wherever we wanted. There’s a certain amount of baggage that comes with taking on ‘Psycho’ … making it contemporary made it become liberated from the original movie.”
Mystery and intrigue line the modernized story of Norman Bates (Freddy Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga). “The mythology that you think is what dictates the relationship between Norma and Norman is not what it’s going to turn out to be,” tantalized Cuse. The former Lost showrunner mentioned that his new series will not feature out-of-this-world characters or scenarios. “No polar bears, no smoke monsters — just say no right off the top. There’s no supernatural elements in play. We view this as a psychological thriller.” He confirmed that the show is in fact of the serialized sort, and it will tell a contained story with a defined beginning, middle, and end. “There is an endpoint to this narrative, absolutely. … In some general form we are going to catch up with a version of [Norman] from the movie.” Additionally: “Like all the best serialized shows, whether Breaking Bad or Homeland, it’s a kind of a story that takes ten episodes to unfold. And there’s some hooks that will hopefully carry us into a second season. We’re not just solving one particular crime. There’s a number of mysteries.” (Click here for more…)
If those two teasers got your blood pumping for A&E’s upcoming Psycho prequel series Bates Motel, then you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. This newly released two-and-a-half minute expanded trailer features never-before-seen footage as well as talking segments from executive producers Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) and the main cast including Freddy Highmore, Vera Farmiga, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, Nicola Peltz, Mike Vogel, and Nestor Carbonell. Some quotables…
Vera Farmiga: “We’re not remaking Psycho. We’re using it as an inspiration.” I’m in.
Carlton Cuse: “This town looks really beautiful on the outside. But underneath it is something very dark and malevolent.” Ah, sounds a bit like Lost (read: The Island)? Or maybe this reminds you of The Walking Dead (read: Woodbury).
After watching the trailer do you sense some incestuous tension between mother and son? Intriguing, if not a bit disturbing. The contemporary take on the story of Norman Bates, serial killer premieres this March.
Think you got what it takes to come up with the opening title sequence for the show? If you produce something that catches the creator’s eye it might end up at the start of every episode. ”We want to give fans the chance to participate in the show,” Cuse told THR. “We’re looking for an awesome 15-second title sequence that captures the feel of Bates Motel – not as a slasher/horror show, but as a complex, character-based thriller.” Participants can submit their video creations through January 3. For more information about the contest and to accept the challenge directly from Cuse, head over to the show’s Facebook page.
Just last week we got our first look at Freddy Highmore and Vera Farmiga as Norman and Norma Bates in A&E’s upcoming Psycho prequel series Bates Motel. So soon after we are fed with 16 more pictures featuring Highmore, Farmiga, Max Thieriot as brother Dylan Bates, Olivia Cooke as Norman’s classmate Emma Decody, Mike Vogel (Pan Am) as Deputy Zach Shelby, Nestor Carbonell (Lost) as Sheriff Alex Romero, Nicola Peltz as Norman’s crush Bradley, plus several shots of the famous “Bates Motel” grounds.
THR is hosting the latest batch of images; click over to their site to view ‘em all.
Also new today are two tantalizing teasers for the new series hailing from Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights). They are short but oh-so-creepily sweet. Watch ‘em both after the break.
Bates Motel premieres on A&E next year. (Click here for more…)
Here we have our very first look into Bates Motel, A&E’s Psycho prequel series from Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights). The image captures Freddy Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as a young Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga (Up In The Air) as his mother Norma in the brush that crawls up to the now-infamous house on top of the hill.
Bates Motel is described as “a contemporary exploration of the formative years of Norman Bates’ relationship with his mother, Norma, and the world they inhabit. Viewers will have access to the dark, twisted backstory and learn firsthand how Norma helped forge the most famous serial killer of them all.” Norman and his mother move into the eerie home following the death of his father.
Also starring is Max Thieriot as Norman’s older brother, Nicola Peltz as Norman’s friend, and Olivia Cooke as one of his classmates.
A&E’s upcoming Psycho prequel series from Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) has just found its Norman Bates. Twenty-year-old Englishman Freddy Highmore, who you should remember from films such as Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, August Rush, and The Spiderwick Chronicles, has been cast as the famous series killer invented by Alfred Hitchcock. Cuse celebrated the news in a tweet: “I am so delighted that Freddie Highmore will play our young Norman Bates. He is a wonderfully gifted actor and a great guy.”
In other casting news, actor Max Thieriot (Jumper) has landed the role of Norman’s brother Dylan. In another tweet Cuse shared, “Max Thieriot joins BATES MOTEL playing Norma’s OTHER son, Dylan. Max is a phenomenal, smart & magnetic actor. An amazing casting day.”
Bates Motel is described as “a contemporary exploration of the formative years of Norman Bates’ relationship with his mother, Norma [played by Vera Farmiga], and the world they inhabit. Viewers will have access to the dark, twisted backstory and learn firsthand how Norma helped forge the most famous serial killer of them all.”
It’s expected to premiere on A&E in October 2013.
Are you ready to check into Bates Motel? Well get ready because A&E is skipping over the pilot stage and ordering a ten episode first season of the Psycho prequel series from Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights). Traditionally networks will decide if a series is worth producing in full after they’ve watched a pilot episode; in this case, however, the cable execs jumped the gun because they believe in the concept that much.
A&E released a statement saying, “We are proud to be partnering with Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin on their thrilling reinvention of one of the most compelling characters in cinematic history. It’s a provocative project from two of the best storytellers in the business, and we’re looking forward to getting started.”
The press release provides an updated synopsis: “Bates Motel, inspired by Hitchcock’s genre-defining film, Psycho, is a contemporary exploration of the formative years of Norman Bates’ relationship with his mother, Norma, and the world they inhabit. Viewers will have access to the dark, twisted backstory and learn firsthand how Norma helped forge the most famous serial killer of them all.”
Pre-production and casting are already underway (who do you think will fill the shoes originally worn by Anthony Perkins?) and A&E promises a series premiere in 2013.
Today cable network A&E cancelled addicting drama Breakout Kings after two seasons of holding modest ratings. From Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora (the creators of FOX’s Prison Break), Breakout Kings followed a special task force consisting of U.S. marshals and convicts whose goal was to chase down and lock up criminals. Though season 1 was criticized for lack of character development, season 2 made up for it by delving directly into the psyche of arguably the most interesting and entertaining character of the series, Lloyd Lowery (played by the brilliant Jimmi Simpson). Spoiler alert… Season 2 also happened to open with a major death, that of U.S. Marshal Charlie Duchamp (Laz Alonso). The loss of Alonso was hard-hitting, but it also accelerated the series in many ways: Zancanelli allotted the Kings more freedom in terms of how they assisted in tracking down criminals on the loose, and the death sparked the season long arc (and oh-so-gratifying conclusion) involving the maniac Damien Fontleroy (props to Jason Behr for a killer performance).
Spoiler alert… Season 2 ended not so long ago with the Kings in a sticky situation. The U.S. Marshals Chief Director gave the trio an offer they seemingly could not refuse: if they tell the truth about Damien’s fall and turn in Ray they will be immediately released from prison with time served. Thankfully, and in a rare move, co-showrunner Santora shed light on the direction the show would have taken if it had continued on. Via Twitter: “How it ends. BOKs pretend to turn Ray in but double cross Marshals so they go free & Ray walks. Shea gets rich w/ elbow savers. Erica raises daughter in the country. Ray starts private security biz, lives near his daughter. Lloyd & Jules marry. Name their son Charlie.” He concluded, “Wish A&E kept BOK going. Matt and I don’t own the show. So when it’s cancelled, it’s over. Goodbye to the BOK fans. Thanx for the support.” While Santora is now looking for his next show to work on, his partner Olmstead has already moved on to executive produce the upcoming NBC drama Chicago Fire. (Update (5/18): Santora has joined the CBS Dennis Quaid/Michael Chiklis period drama Vegas as co-executive producer.)
The tag for this season was “one king will fall.” Unfortunately, they all fell by season’s end. And it was because of a force infinitely more powerful and twisted than Damien Fontleroy: ratings. Ray, Shamus, Erica, Lloyd, Jules. Your antics will be missed.
Earlier this year A&E announced that they are working on a Psycho prequel TV series based on the classic 1960 Alfred Hitchcock thriller. This week THR reveals that former Lost executive producer and showrunner Carlton Cuse is attached to this buzz-worthy project that’s being described as Twin Peaks meets Smallville. Bates Motel will tell the dark back story of how Norman Bates’ mother twisted her son’s psyche, molding him into a serial killing motel owner. Cuse will serve as executive producer and oversee the writing and production of the series. THR also reports that A&E plans to hype the show with an initial six-episode “event” which will eventually lead into a standard 13 or 20-something episode first season and beyond. Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) will exec produce with Cuse, Mark Wolper and Roy Lee also share producing titles, and Anthony Cipriano is developing the script. Next up: find a suitable actor to play the historic lead role of Norman Bates. This delicate decision will likely determine the success of the show.
Breakout Kings — A&E — 10PM
A&E’s breakout drama from 2011 is back. From the producers of Prison Break Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora, Breakout Kings is centered around a special task force led by veteran U.S. Marshal Charlie Duchamp (Laz Alonso) and a former one Ray Zancanelli (Domenick Lombardozzi). In season one, the Marshals came up with this ingenious plan: collect convicts and have them help catch other cons. Last year’s season tag, of course, was “it takes a con to catch a con.” The incentive? For each con they help the Marshals capture, their jail sentence gets reduced by one month and they get transferred to a more friendly minimum-security facility. The resourceful cons are ex-gangbanger Shea Daniels (Malcolm Goodwin), bounty hunter with anger issues Erica Reed (Serinda Swan) and the brilliant factist-not-racist Dr. Lloyd Lowery (Jimmi Simpson). Also part of the task force is Julianne Simms (Brooke Nevin), the neurotic analyst who stations herself at their Brooklyn headquarters.
What can you expect to see in season 2? In an interview with TVLine, Serinda Swan spilled some details. “We have this through line of Damien [the season premiere's elusive target], which is pretty cool. But the main thing we heard from the fans last year was the desire to know more about the characters’ stories, about their lives, to see them interact more. And I think [series creators] Matt [Olmstead] and Nick [Santora] and the whole writing team did a wonderful job listening, because this year they did that. As a result, we got to have more fun, and we get more laughs. For example, there is a lot of humor in the breakouts. You’ll have [a convict] running naked across a field, while all of us are staring at each other like, “What exactly is going on here?”
Then there’s this: the tag for season two (as revealed in the key art pasted above) is “one king will fall.” Now get this: the name of the premiere episode is “An Unjust Death.” Will one of the Kings perish in tonight’s opener, drastically changing the show’s dynamic? Tune in at 10PM on A&E.
Breaking In – FOX — 9:30PM
This right here is proof that TV shows can in fact come back from the dead. After airing just seven episodes last year, FOX cancelled the modestly rated workplace comedy Breaking In. And then it was decided that it would make for a great midseason replacement on FOX’s Tuesday night comedy lineup while Glee is on hiatus. So now it’s back and this is definitely a show you need to put on your (DVR) schedule.
It’s quirky, it’s fun, and best, it’s different. In sum, Christian Slater plays a master of manipulation at Contra Security, a company that gets hired to break into places to test their security systems and make them more secure if they’re found to be weak. In season one, nearly every episode involved Slater and his team (Bret Harrison, Alphonso McAuley, Trevor Moore, and Odette Annable) breaking into people’s homes, companies, whatever and we laughed at all the antics that went on at the office. This season co-creator Adam F. Goldberg promises more laughs because the show will truly shine as a workplace comedy and most of the action will take place at Contra. Other changes this year: Trevor Moore’s master of disguise character is out, Annable sexy Melanie will be mostly absent due to her obligations at House (will her boyfriend Dutch (Michael Rosenbaum) return, we don’t know), and Megan Mullally is in as a series regular. She plays Slater’s boss, and British bombshell Erin Richards will factor into things as her assistant.
Missed out on season one? No worries. You can easily hop into Breaking In tonight and see what you missed out on. This show was resurrected for a reason: it’s good. The season two opener airs Tuesday night at 9:30PM on FOX.
Cable network A&E has announced it is developing a new series based on the classic Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho. The show is titled Bates Motel and it will serve as a prequel to the 1960 black-and-white film which starred Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh. It is currently in script development with Anthony Cipriano holding the pen. The official announcement:
“Bates Motel” will give viewers an intimate understanding of how Norman Bates’ psyche developed from his childhood through his teen years. Fans will have access to the dark, twisted back story and learn first-hand how his mother, Norma, and her lover damaged Norman, helping forge the most well-known serial killing motel owner in history.
In the ’80s multiple Psycho sequels were made but simply couldn’t live up to the cinematic masterpiece by Hitchcock. There was even an attempt to develop Psycho as a made-for-TV anthology series and it was called–get this–Bates Motel. After only one airing the idea was scrapped. So, can another reincarnation of Psycho work today? Though the track record is poor, I am certainly interested in seeing what A&E cooks up here. A psychological trip with a nostalgic flair might just work in today’s TV landscape. More as this project develops.
I’ve got great news for fans of Dr. Lloyd Lowery and all his hilarious eccentricities: after a solid debut A&E has granted Breakout Kings a second season! Laz Alonso, Domenick Lombardozzi, and their gang of ‘Breakout Kings’ (Malcolm Goodwin, Jimmi Simpson, Serinda Swan, and let’s not forget analyst Brooke Nevin) are set to return in all-new episodes sometime next year. The show from the producers of Prison Break premiered with the highest demo numbers for an A&E drama series (1.5 million adults 18-49 and 1.6 million adults 25-54) and averaged about 2.2 million viewers throughout the season.
Prison Break fans, listen here: Robert Knepper will reprise Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell, the slimy, handicapped villain from Prison Break, on tonight’s episode of Breakout Kings. In an interview with TVLine, Knepper shared his excitement about bring back the fan favorite everyone loved to loathe.
“Nick Santora – one of my favorite writers on Prison Break – wrote me an email right before we started shooting, saying, “You know what? I think this might be the best dialogue I’ve ever written for T-Bag.” And I’m here to tell you it was. It was all the familiar things you love to hate about T-Bag – the danger, the humor – but it was interesting to highlight him in this episode by saying, “Let’s try to get in his head a bit. Let’s figure out why he’s doing this.” And the pathos and emotion that comes out is just…. I could not have just jumped into this thing if I hadn’t had four years of basically getting ready for it.”
When asked why is escapes prison this time around he said, “There is a huge reason. I’m not going to give it away, because it’s so beautiful, and it’s such an incredibly important reason. I will tell you that he’s not escaping to escape. It’s not just, “I want to be free.” He has a very, very specific reason for doing it, and it will break your heart.”
Knepper’s four-episode guest stint on Breakout Kings begins tonight in “The Bag Man” at 10PM on A&E. Check out a handful of images in the gallery below.
[Images via IGN]
I consider the 2005-2009 FOX series Prison Break to be one of the most thrilling and entertaining serialized programs produced for television. The Break writer/producer team Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora is ready for a second outing in a familiar setting. Tonight is the series premiere of Breakout Kings, an ensemble drama following an unconventional partnership between the U.S. Marshals’ office and a group of convicts as they work to catch fugitives on the run. “It takes a con to catch a con” is the show’s slogan–sounds like a fun concept. If you’re a loyal Break fan then obviously you know what to expect from Olmstead and Santora; namely edge-of-your-seat action sequences and smart, witty dialogue. Though Kings will play out more like a procedural (the show will focus on a new criminal each week), it is being described as a character-based show so the relationships and personalities that form amongst the ensemble cast of cops and convicts will play an integral part in the show’s development. If you need a solid reason to tune in each week here it is: Break’s Robert Knepper will be reprising the brilliantly sinister Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell later this season in a four episode arc!
Breakout Kings begins its 13-episode season tonight at 10PM on A&E. Check out stills from the pilot below, and click here to read more about show.
Bonus! Click here to watch the producers discuss the round table writing process.
Update: The Breakout Kings premiere received the highest demo numbers for an A&E drama series–1.5 million adults 18-49 and 1.6 million adults 25-54. That’s up 25% and 14%, respectively, from the network’s previous ratings record holder The Glades (which premiered in July 2010). In terms of total viewership, Kings‘ 2.9 million viewers did not beat out The Glades‘ undisputed record of 3.6 million. Says Bob DeBitetto, President and general manager of A&E and BIO: “Breakout Kingsis a smart, action-packed drama with great storytelling and authentic well-drawn characters. Clearly the series has struck a chord with the younger viewers.” Yes, yes it has.
A&E’s upcoming drama from the producers of Prison Break is almost here. Quench your anticipation with this here trailer which includes glimpses into the season as well as thoughts from the main cast and producers.
Because there’s nothing more dangerous than a convict on the run, we decided to use fugitives to help catch a fugitive. Get it, got it, good. ..Oh, and did you catch the return of Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell, hm pretty?
Breakout Kings premieres Sunday, March 6 at 10PM on A&E.
As you know, Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora collaborated on the 2005-2009 FOX series Prison Break and now their working together again on another fugitive-themed show called Breakout Kings. At the Television Critics Association last week they talked about their “love [for] law-breaking.” On teaming up with Santora for a second time, Olmstead said, “So we just wanted to kind of have fun on the show and keep on working together. So that was the main attraction for me.” He continued, “What was attractive was not only the momentum of storytelling that you get when you have a fugitive on the run — as opposed to a dead body where there’s a little bit more time to find that person because that dead body is not going anywhere — it was also about the theme that helped kind of unlock the show for us when we’d start to first talk about it, which was everybody is running from something. And so it really kind of unlocked the characters in that we then went in and made sure that all of the characters had that thing that they were running from and towards.”
Refresher: Breakout Kings follows an unconventional partnership between the U.S. Marshals’ office and a group of convicts as they work to catch fugitives on the run. Laz Alonzo (Avatar) and Domenick Lombardozzi (The Wire) are the veteran U.S. Marshals; their special task force is comprised of Jimmi Simpson (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Malcolm Goodwin (American Gangster) and Serinda Swan (Smallville); Brooke Nevin (The 4400) is a civilian who assists the group.
Expect the villains to be terribly awful criminals. Santora says, “It’s integral. You have to have really bad, bad guys, or there’s just no stakes from the beginning of the episode. At the same time, each week it can’t be the Son of Sam who is breaking out of prison. It would get repetitive. So it’s a challenge, and we have been so fortunate this year. The actors were just telling Matt and I how great the guest actors are that we’ve had this season on the show.” Just last week I reported on two of the show’s guest actors: Lost’s Mark Pellegrino and Prison Break vet Robert Knepper. Knepper will be reprising Break‘s T-Bag for a four-episode arc. The producers were asked if we can expect other Break alum to come on as surprise guests and Santora replied, “You never say never, but we don’t want it to become a reunion show where we are constantly bringing guys back from Prison Break. And I think we can say safely of all of the bad guys on Prison Break, how are you going to top T-Bag? T-Bag is T-Bag.” Very true. (Click here for more…)
It’s official: Robert Knepper will reprise T-Bag in A&E’s ‘Breakout Kings’, bringing Lost’s Jacob with him
Good news all around! Back in early October Prison Break producers Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora shared their interest in reviving Prison‘s ultimate villain Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell for their new fugitive-themed drama Breakout Kings. And guess what? Since 20th Century Fox approved the character crossover, actor Robert Knepper has agreed to bring him back. Not only has he agreed, he’s overly excited to do so. In an interview with Give Me My Remote, he shared his elation about working with Olmstead and Santora again. It’s going to be a pretty wild ride. It’s a very trusting thing I have with these guys,” said Knepper. “We spent four years together. All the writers and I, we always wrote back and called each other and said really positive things to each other in those four years. I have tremendous faith in them and I’m not worried at all about what they’re going to do.” He continued, “It may be career suicide, but I loved playing T-Bag. This is a very, very funny, deep, complex character who really scared the sh– out of people and yet people loved him.” If you’re a Prison Break fan, you should read the entire interview; Knepper goes down memory lane reminiscing about how much he loved playing T-Bag, especially in season one which he describes as “sheer gold.” He also says that he might land a part in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming series Alcatraz–now wouldn’t that be something! He says that T-Bag is locked into at least one episode, but if all goes well I’m hoping that the guest role becomes something more substantial.
Lost fan are you now? According to TV Line, the man who played Island protector Jacob–Mark Pellegrino–has been cast as a “trained assassin” and will appear in episode ten of the series. Pellegrino is Virgil Downing, “a notorious international contract killer who always gets the job done…Although he’s suspected in at least-three dozen other killings, his only conviction was for murdering a police commissioner — six years prior to breaking out of his maximum-security cell.”
Breakout Kings is “a new action-packed ensemble drama following an unconventional partnership between the U.S. Marshals’ office and a group of convicts as they work to catch fugitives on the run.” Originally pitched to FOX but later picked up by A&E, the series is set to premiere on Sunday, March 14 at 10PM.
Well that’s the plan, according to Breakout Kings producers Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora. The former Prison Break producers want veteran actor Robert Knepper to play Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell in the their upcoming fugitive-themed drama. According to various sources, EW’s Michael Ausiello reports that 20th Century Fox, the studio behind Break and Kings has “signed off on the [character] crossover.” All there’s left to do is get Knepper on board to play the part again. If my memory serves me right (of course it does!), T-Bag was voted by the Brothers Scofield and Co. in the Prison Break series finale and to be forced to go back to jail. He’s scum, and that’s where he belonged.
Though both shows revolve around the life of fugitives, Breakout Kings has a slightly altered plotline. It’s being described as “a new action-packed ensemble drama following an unconventional partnership between the U.S. Marshals’ office and a group of convicts as they work to catch fugitives on the run.” I really hope Knepper bites the bait (former Prison Break producers are at the helm) and signs on to revive T-Bag for the new series. T-Bag is a dark, flawed character with quick wits and a totally creepy attitude. He’s definitely one of the best written villains in recent TV history, so to watch his character make a comeback would be beyond awesome. Originially produced for FOX, the A&E series will premiere in 2011; 13 one hour episodes have been ordered. Look after the break for the first teaser trailer.