Emmys: The Writer
Class of 2005-06: Paul Scheuring, Creator, "Prison Break", Fox
Because it revolves around a single caper, "Prison Break" resembles a feature film more than a serialized TV drama. A man is wrongly convicted of attempting to murder the vice-president. His brother, a structrual engineer, believes he's innocent and conspires to have himself thrown in the same prison to help him escape. Along the way they enlist a crew of rather unsavory protagonists.
"One thing we aspired to do is have a lot of gray area both in the good guys and bad guys," Scheuring says. "When you think about it, you are rooting for seven people-- some of whom have committed serious crimes."
The first season was about prison where Scheuring focused on getting the flavor of prison vernacular. The second season will be spent on the run, which has proved liberating to the writers of the show. "It's emancipating to get out of that prison because in some ways you're in a (creative) box," Scheuring says. "Now we have the whole country as our playground."
But don't get too attached. Another TV convention he wants to break is that of the untouchable protagonist. "We're starting out the second season like it's 'American Idol,' " he says. "We'll be lucky at the end if there's even one guy standing."