Person of Interest
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Jonathan Nolan, Creator/Executive Producer
Moderator: Matt Roush, Senior Critic, TV Guide Magazine
Actors Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, and creator/executive producer Jonathan Nolan are among the people of interest who make CBS’s Person of Interest one of the most provocative shows on television, assuming even greater relevance in the wake of recent revelations of widespread government surveillance programs. Created by Nolan (whose previous works include collaborations with his brother Christopher: Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises), the series, now in its third season, stars Caviezel as John Reese, a presumed-dead former CIA agent who teams up with the mysterious billionaire Harold Finch (Emerson) to thwart violent crimes that Finch’s surveillance software invention has identified as about to happen (Time magazine calls them “quasi-legal vigilantes – using power to achieve a definite good, saving the lives of the innocent"). Though typically classified as a crime show—TV Guide praised it as a “rare crime drama that revels in actual mystery, its dark, paranoid tone embodied by two damaged heroes”—Nolan himself told a San Diego Comic Con audience over the summer that he is “unabashed about the fact that it’s a science fiction show.” When news broke this year of PRISM and other real-life government surveillance programs, television critics were quick to draw analogies to Finch’s invention, The Machine, and Nolan responded by saying, “Now that reality has caught up to us, we aim to push a little further in the third season out into that science-fiction space.”
Critics have lauded Person of Interest not only for its riveting, thought-provoking concept, but also its artful depiction of a post–9/11 universe and its splendidly nuanced characterizations. The series also stars Taraji P. Henson and Kevin Chapman as New York detectives, and adds Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi, both joining the regular cast this season. Joining Nolan and JJ Abrams as executive producers are Greg Plageman and Bryan Burk.