Prison Break maintains an ensemble cast for each season along with many recurring guest stars. The first season features a cast of ten actors who receive star billing, who were based in Chicago or at Fox River State Penitentiary.
The second season features a cast of nine actors who receive billing; three characters are downgraded from series regular to recurring status, another is upgraded, and a new character is introduced. The third season introduces four new characters; two of whom are prisoners at Penitenciaría Federal de Sona.
Most of the changes in the cast have been due to character deaths. Series creator, Paul Scheuring, explains that killing off major characters “makes the audience that much more fearful for our protagonists” and that “it actually does help us in terms of reducing story lines”. The two protagonists of the series, Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows, are the only characters to have appeared in every episode of the series.