Fox is adding another year to “Prison Break’s” sentence.
Net has given an early sophomore-season renewal to the 20th Century Fox TV-produced suspense thriller, which returned to strong ratings last week after a four-month hiatus. Pickup follows earlier renewals for “American Idol,” “Bones,” “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill” and “Family Guy.”
“Prison Break” exec producer Matt Olmstead told Daily Variety that season two will focus on the escapees as they try to elude capture.
“Season two is basically ‘Prison Break: Manhunt,’ ” Olmstead said. “It’s constant pursuit. No one’s safe. No one retires to their home in the country.”
In addition to focusing on the search for the prisoners, skein will explore the various backstories and agendas that connect them.
Skein will continue to shoot on location in Chicago for the first half of next season but will relocate — most likely to New Mexico or somewhere in the Southwest — for the final nine segs.
“We want to keep a distinctive look for the show” rather than shoot it in Los Angeles, Olmstead said.
Most of the cast will return, though the bodies will pile up by May’s season finale.
“In the last two episodes, three people bite it,” he said. Among the casualties: one of the eight core prisoners.
While there’s been talk that the concept of “Break” means the skein might last only two seasons at most, Olmstead is convinced it can last much longer.
“There’s no cap on this show, as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “As long as we find compelling stories for the characters, it can go on.”
Ratings for “Break” certainly give Fox incentive to continue the skein.
In its two Monday 8 p.m. airings this month, show has increased Fox’s season-to-date ratings in the slot 57% among adults 18-49, averaging a 4.4/12. Skein’s perf is even more boffo among adults 18-34, improving Fox’s numbers by 81%.
Numbers for “Break” are particularly impressive given the show’s early timeslot and its status as one of Fox’s few frosh not to get some sort of sampling from an “American Idol” lead-in.
Fox Entertainment prexy Peter Liguori made “Break” the focus of his summer marketing strategy, bowing the skein in August to give it a head start on the fall rush.
Paul Scheuring created “Break” and exec produces with Olmstead, Dawn Parouse, Marty Adelstein, Neal Moritz and Brett Ratner.