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Escape at Dannemora

Escape at Dannemora

Photo Credit:  Wilson Webb/Showtime
  • Premiered: 
    November 18, 2018
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Showtime
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Based on the real-life story of the prison escape by David Sweat & Richard Matt 
  • Subject Matter: Crime
  • Tags: prison

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Plot Synopsis

Executive produced and directed by Ben Stiller, ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA is a limited scripted series based on the account of a prison break from the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York in the summer of 2015 that spawned a massive manhunt for two convicted murderers. The prisoners -- David Sweat and Richard Matt -- were aided in their escape by a married female prison employee, Joyce 'Tilly' Mitchell, with whom they both became sexually entangled. Matt is a shrewd and mercurial force within the maximum-security prison, equally comfortable threatening to murder a fellow inmate in his sleep or putting the finishing touches on a portrait of Julia Roberts. Matt believes in the power of positive thinking and when he catches a glimpse of the hidden place behind his cell, he knows he can escape. Sweat has the mind of an engineer and the dexterity of a surgeon, spending his time repairing fellow inmates' headphones. Preferring to quietly read in his cell than join a card game with other inmates, Sweat's solitary nature masks a darker side. When pushed, Sweat can explode in a quick burst of anger and violence. His closest thing to a friend is Matt, who gives him an opportunity for all the peace and quiet he could ever want. Feeling trapped in the monotony of her marriage, Tilly's only escape comes inside the prison walls. She plays fast and loose with prison procedures, blasts music and flirts with the inmates. And as she continues to push the boundaries, she finds herself in the middle of something she can't escape. Her husband, Lyle, is a complacent but caring husband who can't understand why his wife isn't happy. Working maintenance at Clinton Correctional, he hears the rumors about Tilly but believes her excuses. He is oblivious to why every attempt to make things better fails. But when the investigation into the prison break finally lands at his door, Lyle has to ask himself what he really wants. A true public servant, Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott is calculated and unrelenting, whether she is investigating workers compensation fraud, or the causes of the most daring prison break in New York State history. ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA had its world premiere screening in the Palais des Festivals on Monday, October 15, 2018 during MIPCOM 2018. One month later, Showtime premiered ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA on Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT.
On Sunday, December 30, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT, Showtime premiered the seventh and final episode episode of ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA. Matt and Sweat run for their lives as the tension between them is pushed to the extreme. Tilly gets out of the hospital and does her best to evade the authorities. But as the law closes in, all three are confronted with hard truths about who they really are.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Red Hour
  • Produced by Michael De Luca Productions


  • Clinton Correctional Facility - Dannemora, New York USA