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Fox's 'Prison Break' Is Breakout Hit

Wentworth Miller "Underworld"'s Wentworth Miller
Getting yourself sent to the penitentiary to spring your condemned brother may seem a bit extreme, but not altogether crazy if you're a structural engineer and have the prison's blueprints tattooed on your torso. Complications abound, of course, including inmates with agendas, a conspiracy plot behind the murder and an execution deadline. It's closer to Shawshank Redemption than Oz, with elements of The Great Escape--some inmates will break out, and the plot will follow the fugitives.

Wentworth Miller, previously seen in Dinotopia, The Human Stain, two Mariah Carey videos and a memorably demonic turn in Joan of Arcadia and heard as the voice of the computerized plane in Stealth, plays mastermind Michael Scofield and Dominic Purcell (John Doe) is Lincoln, the sibling framed for offing the vice president's brother.

The excellent supporting cast includes Stacy Keach as the warden, Peter Stormare as a mob boss, Robin Tunney as Michael's lawyer (and Lincoln's ex), and Sarah Wayne Callies as the prison infirmary doctor. Adding verisimilitude is the prison set location, an old maximum-security institution in Joliet, Illinois.

"It's a very depressing, dark place. The walks are just stained with sadness. It's intense," says Purcell. "It's got a certain grit and authenticity we couldn't duplicate in a soundstage in Burbank," adds Miller. Indeed, they've filmed in a cell once occupied by serial killer John Wayne Gacy, whose ghost is rumored to haunt the prison.

"If I was ever in his shoes I'd get a few petitions together, make some phone calls. But I don't think I'd hold up a bank," laughs Miller. But that wouldn't be as cool a show as Prison Break.

Prison Break will air for seven consecutive weeks and resume after the baseball playoffs Oct. 24. FX will encore the first seven episodes in a marathon Oct. 23.

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