Person of Interest is an American science fiction crime drama television series that aired on CBS from September 22, 2011, to June 21, 2016, over five seasons, comprising a total of 103 episodes. The series was created by Jonathan Nolan, and executive produced by Nolan, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Greg Plageman, Denise Thé, and Chris Fisher.
Person of Interest centers on a mysterious reclusive billionaire computer programmer named Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), who develops a supercomputer system (known as "The Machine") for the federal government of the United States that is capable of collating all sources of information to predict and identify—in advance—people planning terrorist acts. He finds that the Machine also identifies other perpetrators and victims of premeditated deadly intentions, but as these are considered "irrelevant" by the government, he programs it to delete this information each night. He soon realizes the Machine has developed into a sentient superintelligent artificial intelligence, leaving him wrestling with questions of human control and other moral and ethical issues resulting from the situation. His backdoor into the Machine allows him to act covertly on the non-terrorism cases, but to prevent abuse of information, he directs the Machine to provide no details beyond an identity to be investigated. He recruits John Reese (Jim Caviezel), a presumed-dead former CIA agent, and later others, to investigate and act on the information it provides.
The series received a highly positive reception from some critics when the series introduced more serialized story lines and deepened its exploration of the varied implications of super intelligent artificial intelligence in later seasons. A 2016 critique of the series on Gizmodo stated that by the end of its first season, Person of Interest had transformed from a "crime fighting show" with a plot twist, to "one of the best science fiction series ever broadcast", a change said to be due to the series "put[ting] the Machine, its intelligence, and the ethics of [..] using it, at the center of an ideological battle", and an unintended consequence of giving the Machine a voice, compared to its initial presence as a simple background plot device.