2013-10-25 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

Underrated and under the radar

CBS’s ‘Person of Interest’ is a covert winner
By Kyla Brewer
TV Media

Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson star in “Person of Interest” Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson star in “Person of Interest” In the TV industry, buzzworthy shows often get exposure for all the wrong reasons. From backstabbing reality TV to egomaniacal comedy stars, sometimes ratings are all about the hype.

But CBS has a drama that transcends all that and rises above, thanks to stellar performances, solid writing and a crack behind-the-scenes crew.

“Person of Interest,” which airs Tuesday evenings this season, has been covertly flying under the radar for years, but that doesn’t mean the show hasn’t earned a loyal following. Those in the know faithfully tune in to the action drama each week, helping it reach its ratings peak at more than 14 million viewers at the beginning of Season 2.

Jim Caviezel (“The Passion of the Christ,” 2004) and Michael Emerson (“Lost”) star in the series about a former CIA agent, John Reese (Caviezel), who is recruited by eccentric billionaire and computer genius Harold Finch (Emerson) to help him prevent crime. While working for the government in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Finch designed a computer system known as The Machine, which is capable of using surveillance to predict terrorist attacks. As it turns out, The Machine can predict all sorts of crimes, and Finch needs Reese’s unique skill set to enact his own brand of justice, since the U.S.. government has turned a blind eye to anything not deemed a national threat.

In Season 1, Finch rigged The Machine to pass him coded information in the form of people’s social security numbers to identify those about to be involved in a crime. The problem is, it doesn’t say whether the person in question, or person of interest (POI), is the victim or the perpetrator. That’s where Reese comes in. He often goes undercover to shadow the POI and prevent any wrongdoing.

CBS seemed to identify “Person of Interest” as the next big thing when it moved its coveted crime program “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” from its prime Thursday night slot after 10 years to make way for “Person of Interest’s” debut in

2011. The move was prompted by

“Person of Interest’s” test numbers, which ranked among the highest pilot ratings for any drama in 15 years, and the show did not disappoint.

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