“Prison Break” exec producer Matt Olmstead has been sentenced to another two years of hard labor at 20th Century Fox TV, where the scribe has renewed his overall deal.
Under the new two-year pact (with the option for a third), Olmstead will continue to act as showrunner on “Prison Break.” At the same time, he’s also developing a “Prison Break” spinoff, although it’s only in the script stage; pact also includes other development down the line.
Olmstead first came to the attention of 20th Century Fox TV via Steven Bochco Prods., where the scribe exec produced “NYPD Blue” and co-created “Blind Justice.” Bochco introduced Olmstead to 20th Century Fox TV chair Dana Walden, who recruited the scribe to join the studio.
“Matt, along with Paul Scheuring, has done a phenomenal job in running an incredibly difficult show,” Walden said. “The show is produced in Dallas, it was produced in Chicago, they’re based in L.A. The storytelling is complicated and detailed, yet they manage to maintain an emotional core to these characters.
“He’s a problem solver, and a pleasure to work with,” she added.
Olmstead called 20th “a pretty damn good place to work.”
“A lot of times people leave hit shows to create other shows,” he said. “But my whole thing is, am I creatively happy working with the people around me? Am I supported by the studio and network? That all is happening here.”
Olmstead said “Prison Break” is enough of a well-oiled machine that he’ll be able to focus some of his attention on the “Prison Break” spinoff in the coming months. He’s currently casting the lead, Molly, who will show up later this season on “Prison Break.”
“There are a lot of people here in place to move up and help out,” Olmstead said of the “Prison Break” staff. “If I was struggling on the show, I wouldn’t have done it. But so many people here are carrying their own weight. I’m feeling great about it.”
The “Prison Break” team are currently putting the finishing touches on the show’s mid-year cliffhanger — as the show will give way to “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” for several months. Coincidentally, that cliffhanger could double as a shortened-season cliffhanger should a strike prematurely put a halt to things this year.
Olmstead’s credits also include Bochco’s “Brooklyn South.”