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50-50 Shot of Survival for Fox’s Alcatraz

January 9, 2012 by Marc Berman in Highlights with 0 Comments

Monday 9 p.m. (debuts with a two hour episode on January 16)

From Lost creator J.J. Abrams, guards from famous prison Alcatraz mysteriously reappear in present day to help a team of FBI agents track down the disappearance of a group of prisoners 30 years earlier.  Sam Neill and Jorge Garcia star.

-Lead-in: Up House
-Competition: The Bachelor (ABC), Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly (CBS), The Voice (NBC), Gossip Girl (CW)

-The Scoop:
 Alcatraz according to director Jack Bender:

“One thing that we try to do in the execution of the show is that never, never forget that it’s Alcatraz and the impact he has.  I remember as a little kid being in San Francisco and looking out there and going, “It’s so close.” And it’s so scary because it’s so close, and it was that scary for the prisoners inside because the real world and San Francisco was so close, and that’s a very unique place in the world.  I think that’s one of the reasons Alcatraz has such almost a contemporary Edgar Allen Poe vibe to it.”

When I first saw the pilot of Alcatraz, it just felt to me like it was a really unique show and grounded enough in the real world with this crazy ass premise that was part of the challenge.”

-The Reality:

Given Prison Break found a home on Fox for four seasons, it is natural to assume the similar appeal sounding Alcatraz is going to succeed.  This is the best network for this type of storytelling.  But the tone is dark, the pilot was difficult to follow, and the serialized nature of the storytelling is asking the viewers to make a true commitment.  Minus the once strong lead-in support of House, odds for succeeding are right in the middle, at best, for Alcatraz.

-Chance of Survival for Alcatrz (Based on odds of 1-1 to 10-1):

Marc Berman
by Marc Berman

Marc Berman is the Editor in Chief for TV Media Insights, the online destination for television and media. Berman has appeared on camera for Extra, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, The CBS Evening News, CNN, and more; and his 2014 desk calendar, “Today in TV History,” is presently available.

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