Person of Interest

Person of Interest Information

Person of Interest is an American television crime drama broadcasting on CBS. It is based on a screenplay developed by Jonathan Nolan. The series revolves around a former CIA agent (Jim Caviezel) recruited by a mysterious billionaire (Michael Emerson) to prevent violent crimes in New York City. Season two premiered on September 27, 2012.


See List of Person of Interest episodes for more information </ref>}}

John Reese (Jim Caviezel), a former Green Beret and CIA field officer, is living as a derelict in New York City after the death of the woman he loves, and is presumed dead. He is approached by Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), a reclusive billionaire computer genius who is living under an assumed identity. Finch explains that after September 11, 2001, he built a computer system for the government which uses information gleaned from omnipresent surveillance to predict future terrorist attacks. However, Finch discovered that the computer was predicting ordinary crimes as well. While the government was not interested in these results, Finch is determined to find a way 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 CIA. Through a back door built into the system, Finch receives a Social Security number for 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 (Kevin Chapman), a corrupt cop Reese coerces into helping them, and Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson), who had originally been investigating Reese for his vigilante activities. Although Reese arranged for Carter and Fusco to be partners in the NYPD early in the series, for the entirety of the show's first season, neither was aware that the other was also working with Finch and Reese. Periodically, the team also enlists the aid of Zoe Morgan (Paige Turco), a professional "fixer" who applies her skills to particularly difficult tasks. The series features several subplots, including "HR", an organization of corrupt NYPD officers in league with budding mob boss Carl Elias (Enrico Colantoni) in which Fusco is forced to go undercover, as well as Root (Amy Acker), a murderous female hacker who is determined to gain access to the Machine.

The Machine

The Machine is a mainframe computer programmed to monitor and analyze data from surveillance cameras, electronic communications, and audio input throughout New York. From these data, the Machine is able to accurately predict violent acts. Currently under control of the U.S. Government, its stated job is to foresee terrorist attacks allowing the government to forestall terrorist activity. However, the Machine can detect all future violent acts, not just terrorism. At some point in the development of the Machine, Finch created a routine that would pass on so-called "irrelevant" data to him in the form of social security numbers, via coded messages over a public telephone. Unknown to Finch, Ingram also created a routine called "Contingency" on the eve of the government handoff. It is as yet unknown what this program does, or if it is currently active.

Over the course of each episode, the viewer periodically sees events from the Machine's point of view, including an on-screen display of data about a character of interest: identification, activities, records, and more as needed. The viewer also sees the Machine's perspective as it monitors New York, including commercial flights outlined by green triangles, red concentric circles indicating no-fly zones around tall buildings, and dashed boxes marking individual people The Machine classifies the people it watches by color-coding the boxes: white for no threat or an irrelevant threat, red or red-and-white for perceived threats, and yellow for people who know about it, including Finch, Reese, Ingram, Corwin and Root. It is from the white-boxed irrelevant threat targets that Reese and Finch draw the Person of Interest they assist.

As the series progresses, a wider governmental conspiracy revolving around the development and utilization of the Machine, known as "The Project", begins to emerge. Seemingly lead by an mysterious figure known only as "Control", an unnamed official from the Office of Special Counsel (Jay O. Sanders) begins eliminating key personnel who are aware of the Machine's existence by deploying teams of Intelligence Support Activity (ISA) operatives who believe they are acting to eliminate perceived terrorist threats on the recommendation of a department known as "Research". The members of the elimination teams are classified by the Machine using a blue box.


Main article: List of Person of Interest characters

Main characters

  • John Reese (Jim Caviezel): a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces and later a CIA field officer, who is presumed dead following a mission in China. Little is known about Reese's background, and his name is one of several aliases he uses. He lost his lover, Jessica, prior to meeting Finch, which appears to have marked him deeply. Reese demonstrates skill in the use of a range of weapons, hand-to-hand combat, and surveillance tactics. He knows very little about Finch and often is rebuffed when he attempts to learn more about him.
  • Harold Finch (Michael Emerson): a reclusive, security conscious, and intensely private billionaire software engineer. His real name is unknown and he has many aliases, using various species of birds as the last name. Finch has developed a machine that can isolate the Social Security numbers of people with either premeditated homicidal intent or who will be homicide victims, based on its analysis of surveillance data. Following a traumatic event in his own life that led to the death of his business partner and close friend, Nathan Ingram, he recruits Reese to help him deal with the people the Machine identifies. Finch lives and works in an abandoned library, and shows the results of severe physical injuries, including the inability to turn his head, a rigid posture, and a limp.
  • Detective Jocelyn "Joss" Carter (Taraji P. Henson): a NYPD homicide detective whose husband was killed in the line of duty, and the mother of a teenaged son, Taylor. Carter is a former U.S. Army interrogator who passed the bar exam in 2004, but gave up practicing the law to return to police work. Carter first crosses paths with Reese following his encounter with a group of young men on a New York subway, but knew him principally as a mysterious man in a suit. Carter is initially determined to apprehend Reese, but eventually forms an alliance with him and Finch. She is unaware of the Machine's existence.
  • Detective Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman): a corrupt cop Reese blackmails into being a source inside the police department. Finch later arranges for Fusco to be transferred to Carter's precinct so that he works with her. Over time, Fusco becomes increasingly loyal to Finch and Reese, but continues to keep a secret regarding the death of a cop involved with HR. Like Carter, he does not know about the Machine.
  • Bear (played by a pair of dogs: Graubaer's Boker and Midas van't Rietje): a Belgian Shepherd Malinois with military training that Reese rescues from Aryan Nationalists using him as an attack dog. Bear spends the day with Finch, who was reluctant to have him in the library at first, but has become attached to him over time.

Recurring characters

  • Zoe Morgan (Paige Turco): a fixer who specializes in crisis management. Finch and Reese first meet her as a person of interest; later, she works with them on cases that require her skills. She has an ill-disguised interest in Reese.
  • Nathan Ingram (Brett Cullen): Finch's deceased collaborator on the Machine who died under unknown circumstances. Ingram acted as the interface between the government and their company while the Machine was under development.
  • Grace Hendricks (Carrie Preston): Finch's former fiancee who believes him to be dead.
  • Root (Amy Acker): a highly intelligent hacker and contract killer with a keen interest in both Finch and the Machine. Her real name is Samantha "Sam" Groves.
  • Carl Elias (Enrico Colantoni): a nascent crime boss and the illegitimate son of Mafia don Gianni Moretti. Elias is determined to revive the crime families of New York and to eliminate the Russian mob, with the assistance of criminal elements of the NYPD (HR). He first meets Reese while masquerading as a high school teacher supposedly under threat in Brighton Beach.
  • Leon Tao (Ken Leung): a former financial criminal who has assisted in some cases.
  • Special Agent Nicholas Donnelly (Brennan Brown): an FBI agent who becomes interested in Reese when his case crosses one of Reese's. He periodically offers Carter the opportunity to work with him as he pursues Reese.
  • Special Agent in Charge Brian Moss (Brian Hutchison): the FBI agent sent to close Donnelly's investigation of "The Man in the Suit", he works with Carter, and attempts to recruit her to the FBI.
  • Det. Cal Beecher (Sterling K. Brown): a narcotics detective with whom Carter has begun a relationship. Beecher has a connection to Alonzo Quinn, but may be unaware of Quinn's activities.
  • Detectives Raymond Terny (Al Sapienza): Bill Szymanski (Michael McGlone) and Kane (Anthony Mangano), NYPD homicide detectives with whom Carter and Fusco periodically work.
  • Jessica Arndt (Susan Misner): Reese's deceased lover. After Jessica's relationship with Reese ended, she married another man, but remained in contact with Reese. She is eventually killed by her husband during a domestic dispute.

The Government

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

  • Special Counsel (Jay O. Sanders): a shadowy figure from the Office of Special Counsel who appears to be engineering the activity regarding the machine, and sees Reese as a threat.
  • Alicia Corwin (Elizabeth Marvel): a liaison between Ingram and the government while the Machine was being developed, and a former member of the National Security Council. Corwin began living in hiding in a small town after Ingram's death.
  • Denton Weeks (Cotter Smith): the official who commissioned the development of the Machine; he is in league with the Special Counsel.
  • Hersh (Boris McGiver): Special Counsel's enforcer, a former member of the ISA.


The following characters are involved in the HR storyline, in which a group of corrupt police officers work in collaboration with an up and coming mob boss to control organized crime in New York.

  • Alonzo Quinn (Clarke Peters): the Mayor's Chief of Staff, and the head of HR. Quinn, along with Simmons, plan to rebuild HR, with or without Elias' assistance.
  • Officer Patrick Simmons (Robert John Burke): a uniformed officer who is now a right-hand man to Quinn; he handles HR activities on the street level.
  • Officer Anthony Marconi (David Valcin): a uniformed officer who works as Elias' principal enforcer. He is easily identifiable by a large scar on his right cheek.
  • Captain Arthur Lynch (Michael Mulheren): a major figure in HR with whom Fusco must appear to be working.
  • Captain Womack (John Fiore): the captain in charge of Homicide and Carter and Fusco's supervisor; he protects members of HR when Carter gets too close. Reese blackmails him into transferring Fusco to Carter's precinct.


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

  • Mark Snow (Michael Kelly): a CIA operative who once worked with Reese and is now trying to find and kill him.
  • Tyrell Evans (Darien Sills-Evans): a CIA agent working with Snow.
  • Kara Stanton (Annie Parisse): Reese's former CIA partner who was widely believed to be dead.


The series was officially picked up by CBS on May 13, 2011, and debuted on September 22, 2011.

It was renewed for a second season on March 14, 2012 by CBS, which premiered on September 27, 2012.


According to CBS, Person of Interest received the highest test ratings of any drama pilot in 15 years, 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. The pilot episode won its time slot, drawing 13.2 million viewers. On October 25, 2011, the show received a 22 episode full season order. The order was later increased to 23 episodes.

Critical reception

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." David Hinckley of the New York Daily News gave the pilot four stars out of five, commenting on Caviezel and Emerson's performances, saying Caviezel "brings the right stuff to this role" and Emerson "is fascinating as Mr. Finch". Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times stated, "the notion of preventing crimes rather than solving them is an appealing twist... The surveillance graphics are very cool."


Season Episodes Timeslot (ET/PT) Premiere Finale TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere
(in millions)
Date Finale
(in millions)
1 23
Thursday 9:00 PM
September 22, 2011
May 17, 2012
13.47 2011"12 #13 14.34
September 27, 2012
May 9, 2013
TBA 2012"13 #5 15.69
CBS has said that Person of Interest is, ratings-wise, the fastest-growing drama on broadcast television from the 2011-2012 season to the 2012-2013 season, using ratings up to December 2.

International distribution

The following table lists the countries in which Person of Interest airs outside the USA.

Country Network(s) Series premiere Timeslot
Warner Channel TBA TBA
Warner Channel TBA Wednesdays at 8:30 pm
Nine Network September 25, 2011 Mondays at 9:30 pm
La Une August 28, 2012 Tuesdays at 8:15 pm
Warner Channel October 18, 2011 Wednesdays at 10:00 pm
City September 22, 2011 Thursdays at 9/8c
Warner Channel TBA TBA
Warner Channel November, 2011 Tuesdays at 9:00 pm
NovaCinema 1, NovaCinemaHD September 30, 2012 Sundays at 9:00 pm
Fox January 8, 2013 Tuesdays at 8:00 pm
Fiji One July 11, 2012 Wednesdays at 9:00 pm
MTV3 February 20, 2013 Wednesdays 9:00 pm
TF1 March 6, 2013 Wednesdays at 9:00 pm
RTL September 13, 2012 Thursdays at 10:15 pm
NovaCinema 1, NovaCinemaHD September 30, 2012 Sundays at 9:00 pm
Viasat 3 March 8, 2012 Sundays at 8:55 pm
WarnerTV Season 1: August, 2012
Season 2: February 21, 2013
Thursday at 10:00 pm
STAR World March 6, 2012 Tuesdays at 10:00 pm
Yes Action March 15, 2012 TBA
Mediaset Premium Crime April 30, 2012 Fridays at 9:15 pm
J:COM December 9, 2012
Warner Channel and Canal 5 (XHGC-TV) September 18, 2012 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:15 pm
Veronica August 26, 2012 Sundays at 9:25 pm
TV ONE January 16, 2012 Mondays at 9:30 pm
TVN 2013 Tuesday at 22:30 pm
Warner Channel November, 2011 Tuesdays at 10:00 pm
Warner Channel Part 1: 18 October, 2011
Part 2: 07 November, 2012
Wednesdays at 10:00 pm
Chase/Jack City 2013 Saturdays at 8:00 pm
ITI Neovision
February 2012
March 2013
Monday at 11:30 pm
RTP1, RTP2 May 8, 2012 Wednesdays at 02:32 am
WAPA TV September 2012 Thurdays at 9:00 pm
January 8, 2013 (episodes 1-6)
February 20, 2013 (from episode 7)
Tuesdays at 9:30 pm
Wednesdays at 8:10 pm
POP TV March 20, 2012 Tuesdays at 10:30 pm
Channel CGV May 11, 2012 Fridays at 10:00 pm
laSexta November 17, 2011 Wednesdays at 10:30 pm
Calle 13 November 17, 2011 Thursdays at 10:25 pm
[[Canal+ Series]]
Kanal 5
November 21, 2011
January 10, 2013
Mondays at 8:00 pm Thursdays at 9:00 pm

Public Television Service November 14, 2012 Monday to Thursday at 11:00 pm
CBS March 8, 2012 Thursdays at 9:00 pm
CNBC-e December 1, 2011 Thursdays at 9:00 pm
ICTV 2012 Mondays and Tuesdays at 23:57; Thursdays at 00:01
Channel 5, Five USA Part 1: August 14, 2012;
Part 2: January 27, 2013
Sundays at 9:00 pm
Warner TV November 2011 TBA


Person of Interest won Favorite New TV Drama at the 2012 People's Choice Awards.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Person_of_Interest_%28TV_series%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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