[[caption-width-right:350: [-For once, you'll be glad that BigBrotherIsWatching...-] ]]
->''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.
-->-- '''Harold Finch''', Season 1 OpeningNarration
''Person of Interest'' is a science fiction action-thriller TV series that started airing in September 2011 on CBS. It was created by Creator/JonathanNolan and developed along with Creator/JJAbrams and Bryan Burk. Prior to airing, it was much-hyped for the strong pedigree of cast and crew, and later the pilot received positive reviews. The show aired five complete seasons, wrapping on June 21, 2016.
John Reese (Creator/JimCaviezel) is a former CIA agent, reduced to living rough as a drunk homeless man in New York City after a falling-out with the United States government. He's bailed out of trouble with the NYPD by a mysterious billionaire named Mr. Finch (Creator/MichaelEmerson), who has a strange and potentially-dangerous job offer. As it turns out, Finch is a software genius who designed the government supercomputer--"The Machine"--that monitors all surveillance data, analyzing and filtering for persons involved in potential threats to national security. When The Machine identifies one of these persons, it transmits the individual's Social Security number to the government.
As a side effect, The Machine also spits out "irrelevant" numbers that correspond to someone that it predicts will soon be involved in a violent crime which is not relevant to national security. To help these potential victims (or to stop these potential killers, as the case may be), Finch hires Reese and together, they use their collective skills and resources [[WeHelpTheHelpless to help innocent people]]. Along the way, they cross paths with Detective Joss Carter (Creator/TarajiPHenson), who is at first an antagonist, investigating a number of violent incidents involving a mysterious "[[BadassInANiceSuit man in a suit]]" (Reese), but who later begins cooperating with Reese and Finch.
Rounding out the cast of [[VillainOfTheWeek weekly rogues]] and [[WeHelpTheHelpless "irrelevant numbers"]] is an ensemble of recurring characters, many of whom are important to the longer [[StoryArc story arcs]]:
* Detective Lionel Fusco (Creator/KevinChapman), a former DirtyCop trying to [[TheAtoner redeem himself]] by working with Reese and Finch.
* Zoe Morgan, a "[[TheFixer fixer]]" who trades in favors and information with the city's elite and flirts with Reese.
* Carl Elias, an elusive mob boss and master criminal, [[WouldHurtAChild ruthless]] yet also [[EvenEvilHasStandards honorable]], whose [[TheChessmaster conspiracies and criminal enterprises]] have generated several [=POI=] numbers.
* "HR", a network of [[DirtyCop corrupt NYPD cops]] and politicians which, at different times, has both opposed and supported other crime syndicates such as the Russian mob and Elias' organization.
* "Root" A.K.A. Samantha Groves (Creator/AmyAcker), a [[TheCracker master hacker]] obsessed with The Machine who becomes its "analog interface."
* Grace Hendricks, Finch's former fiancee, who believes he is dead.
* Northern Lights, the government program that deals with Relevant threats identified by The Machine, and is ruthless in suppressing all knowledge of The Machine. It often acts through personnel from other government agencies, including figures from Reese's time with the CIA.
* Leon Tao, an accountant with [[TooDumbToLive a penchant for getting into trouble]].
* [[TeamPet Bear]], a trained military dog.
* Sameen Shaw (Creator/SarahShahi), a DistaffCounterpart to Reese.
* Decima Technologies, a shadowy private intelligence organization based in China which tries to control The Machine.
* Vigilance, a group of people opposed to the lack of personal privacy caused by government and corporate data mining actions, who became radical enough to start killing the people they considered the most egregious offenders.
* The Brotherhood, a tech-savvy street gang that moves to take over the drug trade in New York.
* "Harper Rose," a skilled grifter.
Please contribute to the [[Characters/PersonOfInterest character]] and [[Recap/PersonOfInterest recap]] pages.
!!''Person of Interest'' contains examples of the following tropes:
* [[PersonOfInterest/TropesAToG Tropes A-G]]
* [[PersonOfInterest/TropesHToM Tropes H-M]]
* [[PersonOfInterest/TropesNToS Tropes N-S]]
* [[PersonOfInterest/TropesTToZ Tropes T-Z]]