''Prison Break,'' Glenn Close, and Emily Blunt were in the news this week

By Lynette Rice and Nicole Sperling
Updated January 16, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

Prison Break is going to that great big slammer in the sky: Fox has announced that its once-signature drama will end its four-season run later this year. Exec producer Matt Olmstead tells EW exclusively that there was ”nowhere to go beyond this season,” adding that he ”didn’t want the show to become a parody of itself.” Ratings-wise, the decision was easy since viewership is down 22 percent from last year. Luckily, fans will get some closure when Break returns April 17 to air its remaining six episodes. Michael and Lincoln (Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell) will finally catch a break — at a huge cost — in May’s finale. Says Olmstead, ”There will be deaths.” But since Fox extended Break’s 22-episode order by two hours earlier this year, that ”finale” may not even be the show’s last gasp. Olmstead has filmed a couple of extra segments that he says ”address a couple of other story lines [and] can play as a stand-alone [movie].” What’s more, there are rumblings that Break might get a stay of execution under somewhat different circumstances. Explains exec producer Dawn Parouse: ”I would love to do a show about a women’s prison. It would have to be a fresh start — if not by us, then somebody.” Given that L Word creator Ilene Chaiken is planning the exact same thing for the proposed spin-off to her Showtime drama, perhaps Parouse should think about a different approach. + Lie to Me debuts Jan. 21 on Fox, and lest you think its setup — Tim Roth plays a scientist who helps solve crimes by reading faces — sounds like a rip-off of CBS’ The Mentalist, costar Brendan Hines would like to set things straight: ”Our show is based on actual science, while The Mentalist is more scam…and they deal with a murder each week.” Oh, it’s on! — Lynette Rice

Chandra Wilson tells EW that she’s among the Grey’s Anatomy cast members who will appear on Private Practice beginning Feb. 5. Not only will Kate Walsh’s Addison return home to Seattle, but ”some of us will then go to L.A. to work in her office,” reveals Wilson + Damages‘ season 2 premiere on Jan. 7 didn’t do much, pulling in just 1.8 million viewers. But FX remains committed to the show that’s garnered an Emmy for star Glenn Close and a third-season pickup. ”Some series have mass appeal and some have depth,” says FX president John Landgraf, who adds that it attracts high-end advertisers and revenue from strong overseas sales. ”We are confident it will remain on our schedule beyond season 3.” — LR

So just who will be the next big-name actor to join the cast of Iron Man 2? Marvel Studios remains mum on details, but sources say Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) could play a lead character named Natasha, who goes by several aliases including the Black Widow. Blunt is apparently one of many actresses the filmmakers are considering, though she’s believed to be the front-runner. In other Iron Man 2 news, comeback kid Mickey Rourke is in discussions to play a villain, but he’s also slated to film a part in Sylvester Stallone‘s actioner The Expendables at the same time. It’s unclear whether he’ll be able to do both. + Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) will direct screenwriter Michael Gilio‘s script Big Hole for Universal. The project — which was on last year’s widely circulated ”Black List” of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays — is about an ex-cowboy’s quest to recover his money after he falls for a sweepstakes fraud. — Nicole Sperling