If you’re looking forward to new episodes of Escape at Dannemora in 2019, I have bad news for you. While there’s no official word, the Showtime offering, which has been billed as a miniseries, likely won’t continue beyond the originally planned seven installments, which concludes with a monster finale on Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. ET. The dramatic tale has limited source material, so if you’re asking will there be a Season 2 of Escape at Dannemora, the answer is probably no.
For those not in the know, let me catch you up: Escape at Dannemora is based on true events. In 2015, two prisoners at the Clinton County Correctional Facility (which is often referred to simply as ‘Dannemora’ because of the village it is located in) in upstate New York escaped and were missing for weeks. Further investigation into the matter showed that a correctional officer at the facility, Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell, was involved in helping the men escape, and was apparently romantically involved with both of them.
Created by Brett Johnson (Mad Men) and Michael Tolkin (The Player), this miniseries has a lot of star power both in front of and behind the camera. Tilly is played by Patricia Arquette, who has been nominated for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television Golden Globe this year. The prisoners, Richard Matt and David Sweat, are portrayed by Benicio del Toro and Paul Dano, respectively. Talk about a stacked deck.
These are major movie stars, directed by a major movie star himself, so while the fact that they’re on TV isn’t surprising (it is the golden age, after all), tying themselves to something that could potentially extend beyond what was originally commissioned seems unlikely (at least to me). Stiller has admitted that he poured his heart and soul (not to mention years of his life) into this project. And when the story is done, it’s done.
That being said, there’s still a lot of content for a seven-part miniseries. The runtime of the episodes ranges from the standard 42 minutes long to the whopping 98-minute Escape at Dannemora final episode, which is basically a movie in and of itself. So it seems unlikely that there’s going to be anything left unsaid at the end of all of that.
Attention to detail was a major factor for this miniseries. Escape at Dannemora director Ben Stiller — yes, Zoolander and Meet the Parents Ben Stiller — took the script written by Johnson and Tolkin as well as dug into the report that was released in the aftermath by New York State Inspector General. He even went on to interview Sweat, who survived his subsequent arrest, and was able to shoot in the actual prison. And his hard work clearly paid off — in addition to Arquette’s nomination, Escape at Dannemora was nominated for the Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Golden Globe. So suffice it to say that the miniseries is perfect as is, and a second season would probably just ruin that.
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