What Really Happened to Sara Tancredi on PRISON BREAK? - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

What Really Happened to Sara Tancredi on PRISON BREAK?

October 9, 2007 by  

There’s going to be a lot of plot points given away, so I’m going to throw this information after the jump. But if you’re a fan of PRISON BREAK this is all pretty interesting stuff.  MAJOR spoilers for the October 8th episode of Prison Break.

We’ve all known for a while now that Sarah Wayne Callies would not be returning to her role of Sara Tancredi on Prison Break for Season 3, but until tonight we didn’t know why.  In this interview with TV Guide, executive producer Matt Olmstead gave us the skinny on what went down.  Sarah Wayne Callies also released a statement which can be found below as well.

Last January, after it was announced that Sarah was pregnant, your colleague, Paul Scheuring, assured fans that he had no intention of killing off her character. What changed?
Matt Olmstead:
What changed is that our initial pitch to the network was [rejected], so we had to go back to the drawing board. I remember we were sitting in the room thinking, “How do we unlock Season 3, motivation-wise?” Since we’re not a procedural, we have to keep everyone moving forward. We have to evolve. And given what Michael’s been through, how do you keep him going? And then it was tossed out, “What happens if Sara gets killed as an extension of what we already had planned for Season 3?” We knew that would work. But clearly it was a big conversation. And when we pitched the network, they wanted to know if there was any way we could avoid that, because everyone loved Sarah’s work. But in order to make the season work, we really didn’t have any other motivation for Michael. We determined that this was the right thing to do in order to really jolt the series.

Did you ever stop to consider that this might be a slap in the face to fans who had invested two years in the Michael-Sara relationship?
We took everything into consideration. Our initial idea was to have [Sarah/Sara appear in] the first 13 episodes, so she and Michael could have a proper goodbye. There were going to be some really emotional scenes where he tried to save her from dying, but she ultimately passed. So then we whittled it down to 11 episodes, then 10 episodes, then nine episodes, then four episodes…. Then we suggested flying to her — she was pregnant [at the time] and living in a remote part of Canada — and bringing a camera crew to her house, but that wasn’t accepted. We then whittled it down to just a phone conversation, and that was turned down, too. We were really looking forward to paying off that relationship. But [when] it became evident that that wasn’t going to happen, we made lemonade out of a lemon.

So, as a result, you were forced to kill her off sooner than you had planned?
Much sooner. We used the story to our advantage in that she was being held hostage. [Sarah] was gracious enough to let us use her image, which really helped. I totally get it, personally. She was, at the time, pregnant and living in a remote part of Canada and nesting; [she] kind of looked at the options and didn’t want to go forward. No hard feelings whatsoever. The show is an ensemble. The show moves forward. There are very few untouchable actors on the show.

Wasn’t Sarah under contract? Didn’t she have to return?
That’s a business-affairs question.

[At this point, 20th Century spokesperson Chris Alexander interjects: “We had to either pick her up for the entire season of 22, according to her contract, or we had to make a new contract with her. We determined in May that we didn’t plan to use her for the full 22, so we chose not to renew our existing contract with her. And so, to get her back for the 13 or 14 that we wanted, we had to make a new deal, and she declined.”]

(Continue reading at TV Guide)

A Response from Sarah Wayne Callies
In addition to the very telling interview she gave to a French magazine, Sarah Wayne Callies released this statement to TV Guide:

“As hard as we all tried, the Prison Break powers that be and I were unable to find a way to meet both the needs of the story and the needs of my family. We parted wishing each other well. I had a wonderful time working with the creative team and have a world of respect for all of them; they took great care of Dr. Sara. I’m also enormously grateful to the fans. They’ve been so gracious and supportive, and I hope they continue to enjoy the show.”


24 Responses to “What Really Happened to Sara Tancredi on PRISON BREAK?”

  1. What Really Happened to Sara Tancredi on PRISON BREAK? — All This Nonsense on October 9th, 2007 1:20 am

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  2. Flutie on October 9th, 2007 1:58 am

    However this all went down, I have to say it’s all extremely confusing….and disappointing….

    Can’t we just go back to the good old days of Season 1…their relationship was what made the show so good! I’m one of those fans who devoted 2 years to that, and now…POOF! it’s gone!

  3. Jamatic on October 9th, 2007 6:16 am

    Well I am seriously glad I stopped watching Prision Break this season. Without Michael and Sara I have NO desire to watch this show anymore.

  4. kilwiggle7 on October 9th, 2007 7:37 am

    how can they say that killing off sara is making the show move forward? i just don’t understand how it does so. i’ve been very underwhelmed by the show thus far in the season and given that i don’t have the michael-sara relationship to look forward to when michael gets out of sona, i’m not sure it’s worth it…

  5. Michelle on October 9th, 2007 8:01 am

    I agree totally with Jamatic. I have only skimmed the first 3 eps, and I missed last night’s entirely. Thank God. I, too, am done with the show. The Michael/Sara relationship was a huge draw for me, and now that it’s gone, so am I.

  6. PRISON BREAK Recap: Good Fences » Give Me My Remote on October 9th, 2007 10:33 am

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  7. Clare on October 9th, 2007 11:23 am

    Sara?…Sara?… Come back… 🙁

  8. Patty on October 9th, 2007 11:58 am

    It will be interesting to see what this does to the ratings…

  9. dev on October 9th, 2007 12:20 pm

    I think this is bull, frankly. Maybe they were unable to see the forest for the trees, maybe some writerly groupthink convinced them that they had to do something crazy to maintain interest.

    What sort of ‘motivation’ did Michael need, exactly? Motivation to get out of a dangerous prison in another country? I believe that motivation is intrinsic. Motivation to get back at someone? How about the fact that his brother was imprisoned and almost killed and that he spent years of his life trying to right things? They have established the character as a good man, and can’t that be logically spun into a desire for justice in such a man? Also, as long as Tancredi was on a different side of the wall from Michael, he would have been motivated to get back to her.

    Tancredi was more than a romantic interest in the show. She brought a softness and a perspective that was not found elsewhere. Having a woman (a non-evil one) and a love interest (or even just a really good friend) provides ‘excuses’ for exposition of emotion in characters like Linc and Michael.

    Needless to say, I am long-windedly disappointed in this decision.

  10. Zergqueen on October 9th, 2007 1:34 pm

    What kind of motivation are these guys takin’ about? Are they f*** nuts? You’ re so right Dev, this is totally bull.
    I am so done with this show!!!

  11. Chuck on October 9th, 2007 1:37 pm

    “Also, as long as Tancredi was on a different side of the wall from Michael, he would have been motivated to get back to her.”

    That’s exactly it. Motivation schmotivation. What greater motivator is there than True Love?

  12. Carli on October 9th, 2007 4:06 pm

    What a disappointment! I’m finally done.

  13. am on October 15th, 2007 10:18 pm

    it’s a bummer, but they have done a good job with character development and the plot so far (as far fetched as it’s gotten). I think if they slowly introduce a female character that michael can “rescue” the show might be saved. I’m still a fan!!

  14. am on October 15th, 2007 10:26 pm

    it’s a good show and the plots and character development has been good. I think if they can introduce a female character at some point that michael must “rescue”, it could work. But it would have to be someone really special – i’ll still watch, I’m impressed it’s lasted this long! maybe there is some room for sara to come “back from the dead” some day?

  15. Mc007 on October 23rd, 2007 12:57 am

    Ok so my friend and I always joked around about how hot sarah was, and we always considered scofield the man for getting her interest. We watched the show because it had such an indepth storyline, and such a great cast. My friend and I were both, needless to say, completely disappointed with their decision to kill her off. I mean honestly, atleast kill her off properly. Like that episode came out of nowhere…. *boom* she was dead.. that was it. She played a HUGE role in both the first and second season and then they kill her off in the third like shes some bleeping extra. It got me so pissed off.. I mean I understand that she’s pregnant or whatever and didnt want to continue the show… but could you not have atleast killed her off in a better manner? And as for michael finding a new interest… screw that, I’ll be even more pissed off if he just up and moves on like it was nothing. This show was by far my favorite and its slipping further and further away.. I am actually in disgust. I dont have the same urge to watch it… I just can’t beleive the writers thought that was a good idea. Anyways.. I think the real prison break fans will feel the same way considering I havent missed an episode and consider it a great show.. despite these recent upsets. I hope the show can still interest me as much as it has….. and for the record, michael is (or better) go apeshit when he finds out sarah is dead….. god I’m angry… why did she have to die? anyway I’ll stop ranting. Does anyone else agree with what I have to say??

  16. CS on November 12th, 2007 10:53 pm

    They should have done more to keep her in the show. sarah and michaels relationship kept the story going. I think that the producers could bring her back into the story, after all writers are very imaginative.

  17. Sarah Scofield on November 28th, 2007 7:02 am

    Ofcourse Sara Tancredi is not dead, and if ya’all had paid attention, you would have already figured it out.

    In the first episode of Season 3, Lincoln gets send to the morgue were Sarah was supposed to be, found dead. But it turns out the dead woman is actually someone else, looking alot like Sarah.

    It is this woman’s head that Lincoln found in the box. Whenever the producers feel the need to bring Sarah Tancredi back on the show (and can meet an agreement with Callies), they can and will use this twist angle.

    Come on guys, did you really think this show would ultimately have no happy end for Michael and Sarah?

  18. noella on December 1st, 2007 6:32 am

    we`re gonna miss u sara. u know how it made us happy to see u with michael? i liked the way u called him”michael’it was so fantastic.i waited 4 the moment he will marry u and u be his doctor 4ever.why this?come back sara.don`t live michael alone.even u`re pregnant i hope u`ll come back with thebaby we will try to consider like the baby is michael`s.i love u and michaelaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  19. JC on February 15th, 2008 11:33 am

    I agree with sara scofield !

    I think that the theory that it was the woman in the morgue that was killed and not Sara make more sense and would be A BETTER storyline if the show went that way. It would also be a terrific twist and would attract a lot of viewers.

    Why else introduce the woman in the morgue in the first place?

    But until I hear that Sara will be returning alive and well, my interest for Prison Break has deteriorated !

  20. dave on October 2nd, 2008 7:35 am

    explain in english pls..

  21. Carla on October 10th, 2008 10:28 am

    I am with all of you on this…First I want to say that I didn’t watch a single episode of Prison Break until about a month ago when I got the seasons on DVD…We just finished watching the 1st DVD of the 3rd Season, so I have been avoiding watching the new season, as I don’t want to spoil the last DVD of Season 3…therefore I have no idea what is happening presently in this season (4).

    I am extremely disappointed and very much saddened that they “killed off” Sara, but when it was “known” that it was Sara’s head in the box, I started thinking that there is no way the writers could kill her off. I thought, “Impossible!!!”
    I just read what “Sarah Scofield” had posted on here last November & I completely agree with her, but with a twist.

    So this is just a theory & my (hopeful) imagination…
    Ok, so we’re dealing with “The Company” or at very least “A Company”. Do you not think that they have more than the power to do whatever it takes to get what they want, to make SURE that Michael & Linc get this job done? Such as getting that dead woman’s body that Linc seen the morgue, and somehow do facial reconstruction on her to look identical to Sara. Not just similar to her, but they needed to make sure that Linc was “positive” that it was Sara’s head in that box.

    Well, that’s just my theory. I really hope Sara comes back and that she never was killed off in the first place…maybe with the grace of everyone involved, they will come to some sort of agreement and we will find her somewhere safe, waiting for Michael’s release, and that this Company was only using her as insurance to make sure they got what they wanted/needed.

    I honestly don’t know how the show is going to do ratings-wise now that Sara is gone. She really needs to come back.

    My enthusiasm for the show was killed when they “killed” Sara, but we’ll see what happens next…it’s just not right. Who kills someone off on a show without actually seeing them die anyways?! None of it makes sense that she would be dead.

    Sorry for rambling, I’m done now.
    Thank you for your time

  22. Bern on January 14th, 2009 7:34 am

    i have a suggestion…how about the head of sarah when found by linc was fake so michael could break out of the prison or get the job done quickly, just like giving someone a false motivation , but the season 3 is already done. I’m hoping that they would bring back sarah in a surprising way to bring back the hope of the viewers. The character of sarah balances the show…thanks

  23. Bern on January 14th, 2009 7:47 am

    ok ok ok …sarah is back !!!!!! let’s rock and roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. jordan on April 15th, 2011 10:31 pm

    i agreed with everyone how stupid it was to get rid of sarah, but watching the first episode of season 4, you guys will be surprised! its already a good start to the season and sarah is back.