Follow TV Tropes


Series / Wisdom of the Crowd

Go To
From left to right: Tariq, Det. Cavanaugh, Sara, Jeffrey, Congresswoman Hale, Josh, and... Jeffrey again.

Wisdom of the Crowd is an American drama television series (based on the Israeli series of the same name by Shira Hadad and Dror Mishani). It premiered on CBS October 1, 2017 and ended on January 14, 2018. The series was produced by CBS Television Studios and Universal Television.

Driven by a need to solve his daughter's mysterious murder, Silicon Valley tech innovator Jeffrey Tanner takes crowdsourcing to a new level. After selling off his shares in the search engine giant AllSourcer to raise capital, he creates a digital platform called "Sophe" that allows people around the world to publicly share and evaluate evidence for criminal investigations. The software forms the basis of a new company with a staff of passionate specialists — including the Detective Tommy Cavanaugh, the original police officer who searched for his daughter's killer; Tariq Bakari, a genius hacker whose issues with authority put him at odds with the law; Sara Morton, a brilliant engineer who followed Jeffrey from AllSourcer to Sophe for reasons that aren't strictly professional; and Josh Novak, the technically-minded head programmer.


Concerned with Tanner's obsession is his successful ex-wife, Congresswoman Alex Hale, with whom he shares an unbreakable bond over their shared grief. As Tanner taps into the "wisdom of the crowd" to dig up new clues, his unexpected success fuels his determination to solve even more cases than just the one that's personal to him.

Tropes Present in Wisdom of the Crowd:

  • Bland-Name Product: Before they founded Sophe, Jeffrey and Sara worked for AllSourcer — the biggest name in search engines. And when they leave the company AllSourcer hires an army of lawyers to try and wrest control of Sophe away from them, claiming the crowd-sourcing platform's code is copied from work Sara did while employed by AllSourcer and thus belongs to them.
  • Forensic Drama: Of the digital sort. Sophe's users are encouraged to submit and evaluate evidence on criminal cases — this includes picking apart the details of photos, dissecting the metadata attached to videos, researching weather patterns, and trawling through the social media profiles of victims and suspects alike for clues.
  • Advertisement:
  • Friend on the Force: Detective Cavanaugh of the San Francisco Police, who was part of the team originally assigned to investigate Mia's murder. Although he's initially reluctant to involve Tanner and the team behind Sophe in his work, Cavanaugh eventually accepts the usefulness of the platform and in turn provides access to police resources.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The death of Jeffrey and Alex's daughter, Mia, drives him to create the crime-solving crowd-sourcing platform "Sophe."
  • Serial Killer: Appears in episode three, "Machine Learning." Utilizing the evidence fed to Sophe's "crowd," Jeffrey's team concludes that several seemingly unrelated murders are the work of a single individual.
  • Short-Runners: Ran for one season before it was cancelled, due to a combination of poor ratings and allegations of sexual harassment brought against star Jeremy Piven.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: Josh and Tariq's relationship at work — Josh is a nerdy, straight-laced, by-the-book programmer, while Tariq is a hip, snarky hacker.
  • Wacky Startup Workplace: The disused warehouse in Oakland that serves as the base of operations for Jeffrey's "Hive." While the working portion of the warehouse is overflowing with stripped-down computer equipment and server stacks needed to host Sophe's web-based interface, the employee lounges and conference rooms are much more trendy. They've been retrofitted with a juice bar, espresso machine, retro arcade cabinets, pop-art inspired murals, refurbished-chic bar stools, lighting fixtures straight from Restoration Hardware and egregiously hip hanging-egg-chairs.