Person of Interest (TV series)

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Person of Interest
PersonOfInterstLogo.jpg
Intertitle, season 2 onward
GenreCrime
Drama
Created byJonathan Nolan
StarringJim Caviezel
Michael Emerson
Taraji P. Henson
Kevin Chapman
Sarah Shahi
Amy Acker
Composer(s)Ramin Djawadi
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes68 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Jonathan Nolan
Greg Plageman
J.J. Abrams
Bryan Burk
Richard J. Lewis
Producer(s)Athena Wickham
Margo Lulick
Kathy Lingg
Stephen Semel
Erik Mountain
Location(s)New York City, New York
Running time43 minutes
Production company(s)Bad Robot Productions
Kilter Films
Warner Bros. Television
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channelCBS
Original runSeptember 22, 2011 (2011-09-22) – present
External links
Website
 
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Person of Interest
PersonOfInterstLogo.jpg
Intertitle, season 2 onward
GenreCrime
Drama
Created byJonathan Nolan
StarringJim Caviezel
Michael Emerson
Taraji P. Henson
Kevin Chapman
Sarah Shahi
Amy Acker
Composer(s)Ramin Djawadi
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes68 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Jonathan Nolan
Greg Plageman
J.J. Abrams
Bryan Burk
Richard J. Lewis
Producer(s)Athena Wickham
Margo Lulick
Kathy Lingg
Stephen Semel
Erik Mountain
Location(s)New York City, New York
Running time43 minutes
Production company(s)Bad Robot Productions
Kilter Films
Warner Bros. Television
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channelCBS
Original runSeptember 22, 2011 (2011-09-22) – present
External links
Website

Person of Interest is an American crime drama television series broadcasting on CBS. It is based on a screenplay developed by Jonathan Nolan.[1] The series revolves around a former CIA officer (Jim Caviezel) recruited by a mysterious billionaire (Michael Emerson) to prevent violent crimes in New York City. Season three premiered on September 24, 2013.[2] The show was moved from its season one and two time slot, Thursday at 9:00 p.m., to Tuesday at 10:00 p.m.[3] CBS renewed the show for a fourth season on March 13, 2014[4] which is set to premiere on September 23, 2014.[5]

Plot[edit]

"You are being watched. The government has a secret system: a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I know, because I built it. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror, but it sees everything. Violent crimes involving ordinary people; people like you. Crimes the government considered 'irrelevant'. They wouldn't act, so I decided I would. But I needed a partner, someone with the skills to intervene. Hunted by the authorities, we work in secret. You'll never find us, but victim or perpetrator, if your number's up... we'll find you".

Season one opening voice-over by Mr. Finch[6]

In the beginning, John Reese, a former Green Beret and CIA operative, is living as a vagrant in New York City after the death of the woman he loves, and is presumed dead. He is approached by Harold Finch, a reclusive billionaire software genius who is living under an assumed identity. Finch explains that after September 11, 2001, he built a computer system for the government that uses information gleaned from omnipresent surveillance to predict future terrorist attacks. However, Finch discovered that the computer was predicting ordinary crimes as well. The government is not interested in these results, but Finch is determined to stop the predicted crimes. He hires Reese to conduct surveillance and intervene as needed, using his repertoire of skills gained in the military and the CIA. Through a backdoor built into the system, Finch receives the Social Security number of someone who will be involved in an imminent crime, at which point he contacts Reese. Without knowing what the crime will be, when it will occur, or even if the person they were alerted to is a victim or perpetrator, Reese and Finch must try to stop the crime from occurring.

They are helped by NYPD detectives Lionel Fusco, a corrupt officer whom Reese coerces into helping them, and Joss Carter, who in early episodes investigates Reese for his vigilante activities. Although Reese arranges for Carter and Fusco to be partners in the NYPD early in the series, for the entirety of the show's first season, neither is aware that the other is also working with Finch and Reese. Periodically, the team also enlists the aid of Zoe Morgan, a professional "fixer" who applies her skills to particularly difficult tasks. The series features several subplots. One significant story arc involves "HR", an organization of corrupt NYPD officers who are initially in league with budding mob boss Carl Elias and later with the Russian mafia; in earlier parts of this arc, Fusco is forced to go undercover. Another important storyline revolves around Root, a psychopathic hacker who is determined to gain access to the Machine. During season two, another organization of powerful business figures, Decima Technologies, is revealed to be attempting to gain access to the Machine. Carter vows vengeance against HR after they have her boyfriend, Detective Cal Beecher, murdered. Reese and Finch recruit Sameen Shaw, an ISA assassin on the run after being betrayed by her employers. Shaw learns about the Machine in the season two finale and subsequently becomes a member of Reese and Finch's team. In the third season, Carter delves deeper into her investigation of HR, eventually uncovering its leader, but ending up getting killed. Reese briefly leaves the team in his grief but returns. The team also battles Vigilance, a violent anti-government organization devoted to securing people's privacy.

The Machine[edit]

The Machine is a mass surveillance computer system programmed to monitor and analyze data from surveillance cameras, electronic communications, and audio input throughout the world, built in two unoccupied floors at Ingram's company, IFT. From this data, the Machine accurately predicts violent acts. Under control of the U.S. government, its stated purpose is to foresee terrorist attacks, allowing the government to forestall terrorist activity. However, the Machine detects future violent acts of all kinds, not just terrorism. Originally unknown to Finch, his partner, Nathan Ingram, created a routine called "Contingency", on the eve of the government handover, to access the non-relevant data. Ingram and Finch are seen accessing this program in the episode "Zero Day". In the episode, Finch is appalled that Ingram has the data sent directly to him and shuts down the routine, reactivating it after Ingram's death. He presumably modified and updated the Contingency routine as well, as the Machine then begins to pass on the "irrelevant" non-terrorism data to him in the form of Social Security numbers, via coded messages over nearby public telephones.

Over the course of each episode, the viewer periodically sees events as a Machine-generated on-screen display of data about a character or characters: identification, activities, records, and more may be displayed. The viewer also sees a Machine-generated perspective as it monitors New York. Commercial flights are outlined by green triangles, red concentric circles indicate no-fly zones around tall buildings such as Congress, and dashed boxes mark individual people. The Machine classifies the people it watches by color-coding the boxes: white for no threat or an irrelevant threat, red for perceived threats to the Machine, red-and-white for individuals predicted to be or currently violent, and yellow for people who know about the Machine, including Finch, Reese, Ingram, and Corwin among others; Root is assigned this box during the first two seasons, but is able to communicate with the Machine and act on its behalf in season three, thus giving her a unique black-and-yellow box designating her as the Machine's "analog interface". The white-boxed "irrelevant threat" targets include the persons of interest that Reese and Finch assist.

As the series progresses, a wider governmental conspiracy emerges. Known as "Northern Lights", it revolves around the development and utilization of the Machine. It is headed by a mysterious figure known only as "Control", an unnamed official who deploys teams of Intelligence Support Activity (ISA) operatives who are identified by the Machine using a blue box; classified as "assets", they have no knowledge of the Machine, but work within its own parameters. They are used to eliminate perceived terrorist threats on the recommendation of a department known as "Research". "Control" also used the team to eliminate key personnel who are aware of the Machine's existence. In the third season, Control physically makes her first appearance, and the organization Vigilance exposes the government's Northern Lights program to the public, forcing Control to shut it down. The cyber-terrorist group Decima Technologies steals Samaritan, a creation of Finch's MIT classmate Arthur Claypool that is similar to the Machine, and plans to use it against the Machine.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Michael Emerson in NYC shooting Person of Interest
Graubaer's Boker filming in NYC

Recurring characters[edit]

The Government[edit]

The following characters are tied to a government conspiracy related to the development and use of the Machine.

NYPD[edit]

HR[edit]

The following characters are involved in the HR storyline, in which a group of corrupt police officers work to control organized crime in New York.

The CIA[edit]

The following characters are part of Reese's backstory relating to his time with the CIA.

Decima Technologies[edit]

The following characters are involved in the Decima Technologies storyline, in which a shadowy organization attempts to gain control of the Machine.

Vigilance[edit]

The following character is involved in the Vigilance storyline, in which a violent organization professes to protect people's privacy.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedDVD and Blu-ray release date
Season premiereSeason finaleRegion 1Region 2Region 4
123September 22, 2011 (2011-09-22)May 17, 2012 (2012-05-17)September 4, 2012[8]March 18, 2013[9]November 7, 2012[10]
222September 27, 2012 (2012-09-27)May 9, 2013 (2013-05-09)September 3, 2013[11]June 16, 2014[12]October 16, 2013[13]
323September 24, 2013 (2013-09-24)May 13, 2014 (2014-05-13)September 2, 2014[14]TBATBA
4TBASeptember 23, 2014 (2014-09-23)[15]TBATBATBATBA

Production[edit]

Michael Emerson filming Person of Interest in NYC

The series was officially picked up by CBS on May 13, 2011,[16] and debuted on September 22, 2011.[17] It was renewed for a second season on March 14, 2012 by CBS, which premiered on September 27, 2012.[18] CBS renewed Person of Interest for a third season,[19] with Sarah Shahi[20] and Amy Acker[21] joining the cast full-time.

Reception[edit]

According to CBS, Person of Interest received the highest test ratings of any drama pilot in 15 years,[22] what one CBS executive called "crazy broad appeal you don't usually see", prompting CBS to move CSI, which was broadcast on Thursday for over 10 years, to Wednesday, opening up a slot for Person of Interest.[23] The pilot episode won its time slot, drawing 13.2 million viewers.[24] On October 25, 2011, the show received a 22-episode full season order. The order was later increased to 23 episodes.[25]

Critical reception[edit]

On Metacritic, season 1 scored a 65 out of 100. Of the pilot, David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle said "Person of Interest separates itself from the gimmick pack, not only because of superbly nuanced characterization and writing but also because of how it engages a post-9/11 sense of paranoia in its viewers."[26] David Hinckley of the New York Daily News gave the pilot four stars out of five, commenting on Caviezel's and Emerson's performances, saying Caviezel "brings the right stuff to this role" and Emerson "is fascinating as Mr. Finch."[27] Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times stated that in regard to the pilot, "the notion of preventing crimes rather than solving them is an appealing twist... The surveillance graphics are very cool."[1]

In regards to season 3 of the show, Slant Magazine says that the show "is at its best when sticking to cutting-edge topics"[28] and calls it a "solid action-thriller that intersperses twist-filled standalone episodes into its season-long arcs." The A.V Club said that the show captures the "national post-post-9/11 mood"[29] and that with the mid-season arc in season 3, "turns conspiracy theory into art".[30]

Ratings[edit]

SeasonTime slot (ET/PT)PremiereFinaleTV seasonRankViewers
(in millions)
Live + DVR
viewers
DatePremiere
Viewers
(in millions)
DateFinale
Viewers
(in millions)
1
Thursday 9:00 PM
September 22, 2011
13.33[31]
May 17, 2012
13.47[32]2011–12#1314.34[33]16.28[34]
2
September 27, 2012
14.28[35]
May 9, 2013
13.16[36]2012–13#516.07[37]17.87[38]
3
Tuesday 10:00 PM
September 24, 2013
12.44[39]
May 13, 2014
10.95[40]2013–14#8[41]14.05[41]

CBS has said that Person of Interest is, ratings-wise, the fastest-growing drama on broadcast television from the 2011–12 season to the 2012–13 season, using ratings up to December 2.[42]

Broadcast[edit]

Person of Interest has been picked up by many networks for broadcast outside the United States.

CountryNetworksSeries premiereTime slot
 AustraliaNine NetworkSeptember 25, 2011[43]Sundays at 9:30 p.m.
 CanadaCity
CTV[44]
September 22, 2011 – 2013
September 2013
Thursdays at 9/8c
Tuesdays at 10/9c
 GermanyRTL Crime
RTL
August 14, 2012
September 13, 2012
Thursdays at 9:15 p.m. (Season 1, RTL)
Tuesdays at 10:15 p.m.
 FinlandMTV3February 20, 2013Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m.
 FranceTF1Tuesdays at 8:55 p.m.
 GreeceStar ChannelSeason 1: April 29, 2014[45]
Season 2: June 10, 2014
Tuesday through Friday at 9:00 pm
 ItalyItalia 1April 27, 2012
 New ZealandTV ONEJanuary 16, 2012[46]Mondays at 8:30 p.m. (final episode of Series 3 broadcast June 30, 2014)
 NorwayTVN2012Thursdays at 23:00
 PortugalRTP
FOX
2012
2013
Wednesday
Monday
 United KingdomChannel 5, 5USASeason 1a: August 14, 2012;[47]
Season 1b: January 27, 2013
Season 2a: October 24, 2013[48]
Season 2b: March 27, 2014[49]
Season 3: Early 2015
Thursdays at 10:00 p.m.[50]
 Czech RepublicTV NovaJanuary 2014

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and nominations for Person of Interest
YearAwardCategoryNominee(s)Result
2012BET AwardBest Actress (also for Larry Crowne)Taraji P. HensonNominated
MPSE Golden Reel AwardBest Sound Editing – Short Form Dialogue and ADR in Television
for the episode "Witness"
Thomas DeGorter
H. Jay Levine
Maciek Malish
Matt Sawelson
NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Drama SeriesTaraji P. Henson
People's Choice Award[51]Favorite New TV DramaWon
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (one Hour)
for the episode "Pilot"
Noah Timan
Keith Rogers
Frank Morrone
Scott Weber
Nominated
2013MPSE Golden Reel AwardBest Sound Editing – Short Form Music in Television
for the episode "Firewall"
Tom Trafalski

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McNamara, Mary (September 22, 2011). "'Person of Interest': TV review". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ "CBS Announces 2013–2014 Premiere Dates". The Futon Critic. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ Blake, Meredith (May 15, 2013). "2013 TV upfronts: CBS announces fall prime-time schedule". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 13, 2014). "CBS Renews 'The Good Wife', 'The Millers', 'Two and a Half Men', 'Hawaii Five-0', 'Mom', 'Blue Bloods', 'Elementary' and 11 More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  5. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 24, 2014). TV by the Numbers http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/06/24/cbs-announces-fall-premiere-dates-2/276598/ |url= missing title (help). Retrieved June 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Pilot". Person of Interest. Season 1. Episode 1. August 14, 2012. CBS.
  7. ^ "Graubaer's Boker Home page". Graubaers-boker.com. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ Lambert, David (June 8, 2012). "Person of Interest – 'The Complete 1st Season' on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo is Announced". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
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  12. ^ "Person Of Interest: Season 2 [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
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  15. ^ Cite error: The named reference S4premiere was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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  17. ^ Seidman, Robert (June 29, 2011). "CBS Announces Fall 2011 Premiere Dates". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
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  21. ^ Mitovich, Matt (July 20, 2013). "Person of Interest: Amy Acker Now Series Regular". TVLine. Retrieved July 20, 2013. http://tvline.com/2013/07/20/person-of-interest-season-3-amy-acker-series-regular/
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  27. ^ Hinckley, David (September 22, 2011). "'Person of Interest' review: John Reese and Mr. Finch partner up in ultimate mystery CIA operatives". Daily News (New York). Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  28. ^ Riccio, Aaron. "Person of Interest: Season 3". 
  29. ^ Dyess-Nugent, Phil. "How Person Of Interest captures the national post-post-9/11 mood". 
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External links[edit]