Person of Interest Cancelled

Person of Interest Likely Headed Into Final Season, J.J. Abrams Confirms

Person of Interest‘s number is, apparently, up.

“My guess is [Season 5] is the final season,” executive producer J.J. Abrams shared on Saturday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “The only heartbreak there is how much good story there was to come if it were to have continued.”

Planning ahead of time for the Season 5 finale to also serve as a series finale, Abrams confirmed, was “the goal. But, obviously, things can be adjusted if [there’s] a miraculous [ratings] performance. But I think the idea is that this would be the finale.”

The discussion of shopping the series around to a new possible home, “in theory, will be had at the right time,” Abrams said. “But at the moment that’s not what we’re doing.”

“[Showrunners] Jonah Nolan and Greg Plageman have done such an amazing job on the show,” Abrams continued, “and I know what these episodes are that they’ve done, wrapping it up. We don’t yet have a schedule, but I know these episodes will see the light of day. People will get to see these episodes.”

Speculation about the ambition drama’s sad fate was first born of its shortened, 13-episode order for Season 5.  Its absence from CBS’ original 2015-16 schedule — and then any subsequent midseason announcements — only added fuel to the fire. (Due to the strength of CBS’ schedule and freshman series launches, available real estate has been scarce; POI will likely be scheduled “opportunistically,” as the saying goes.)

Want scoop on POI, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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241 Comments
  1. Annie says:

    *sigh* :(

  2. Schatzi49 says:

    I have watched this show since the beginning and am so sorry to see it go. Please reconsider!!!!!

  3. justtobesane says:

    This is really upsetting but not unexpected. I will still hold out that there is a way to save this show though.

    • Joe Doakes says:

      Comments like this might help the network (or Netflix/Amazon etc.) decide to keep POI going. I’m with you 100 percent – Thanks!

      • Joe says:

        No it won’t. It’s done. The writing was on the wall last season. Maybe USA or TNT may pick it up. But drastic salary adjustments would have to be made. I doubt the ‘actors’ would be willing to do the show for 1/4 or 1/3 of their original salary.

        • bhoj says:

          It’s really great show. why cancel great show like this!! It is great to see ethical point of technology and human relation with a virtual life in POI.It would have shown it in all angles!

  4. Ash says:

    This is such crap. We finally have an original show like POI but CBS would rather show its 47 versions of NCIS/CSIs (which are basically the same story over and over again for YEARS) or unfunny garbage like Two Broke Girls.

    Thanks for insulting our intelligence, CBS. I’m done with you.

    • retsim says:

      Totally agree with you.All these cop shows are the same now just set in a different city. Been waiting for NCIS Land of Oz.

      • Patrick says:

        What we as fans don’t like to acknowledge is that TV is a business. And those cop shows (and the moderately funny and entertaining 2BG) are relatively cheap. The NCIS actors were/are all some combo of unknown or well-known-but-in-need-of-a-comeback-vehicle type actors/actresses. In other words, cheap. Conversely, the POI leads were both big ticket items on the launch day, and salaries in TV only go up. Plus, POI shoots in NYC, which can be ruinously expensive for many reasons. As good as POI was and is, the serialized nature was a misstep creatively. Also, the loss of Traji P. Henson’s character hurt, even though that was amicable on both sides. It wasn’t bad TV by any stretch of the imagination, but it cost some viewers. POI was expensive, and the numbers didn’t support the costs. Now, CBS is actively trying to kill it, and they’ll succeed by scheduling it in a wonky time slot. And don’t hold out hopes for resurrection elsewhere. No streaming service, or cable outlet, can afford the high production costs. If they picked up the show, it would have to be for reduced costs, leaving it a shell of itself.

        • TDXI says:

          You obviously have no idea how much the cast of NCIS are paid. I suggest Google.

          • Patrick says:

            They started out cheap. Traji P. Henson, the third most expensive actor when POI started, probably made more when POI started than anyone on NCIS did when that show started, including Harmon. Sure, the NCIS guys make bank now, but the show is a huge hit all over the world and is in heavy syndication in this country. POI was much more expensive in its first 5 years than NCIS was in its first 5 years. But NCIS grew into a juggernaut, and POI…..didn’t. So, yes, NCIS gets more NOW. Because its a huge success. Given how hot the POI leads were at the start of the show, they probably have some profit sharing deals that further crimp the profits of CBS. Shooting in NYC is prohibitively expensive for such an effects heavy drama. Its one thing when you film a half hour comedy in an old warehouse (30 Rock) in one of the burroughs. POI films a lot of exterior shots in a hugely expensive city. That isn’t cheap.

          • Joe Doakes says:

            Right. And I also disagree with his assessment of “the loss of Traji P. Henson’s character”. Harold, John and The Machine are the only non-expendable characters and I don’t think they’re “too expensive”.

    • Joe Doakes says:

      You got that right. They’re going with vampires, goofy girls, mind readers/human lie detectors and a bunch of “crap” nobody wants. Person Of Interest is the best network series to come along since Gunsmoke (20 years) — and they’re going to let it die.

      • Patrice says:

        Joe you are right I say they keep the show and find another bad ass like Taraji and cast her like a sister to Detective Carter. But I love Shaw and Root who are totally in their own world with really no feelings on things other than making bad people pay for their crimes. Or they can place Control on the good side with Harold and John since they have tried to kill her over Samaritan.

    • Patrice says:

      Ash, I agree with you there are da different NCIS and CSI, so they can take some of those off and keep Person of Interest.

      • Mike says:

        I agree. Keep POI!! This new show where the guy takes a pill to be a genius, please…there are several shows that need to go before POI.

  5. Anna Karima says:

    This just doesn’t make sense. One of the best show to come a long in a very long time and you don’t want to keep it going? NCIS is finished now that Tony is leaving. That show holds little interest for me since he’s been sidelined this season. You have formulas that come together and work to make shows successes and then you just throw this stuff away. Well – suite yourselves. There’s always Netflix.

  6. This is terribly sad news as POI is one of the best, and definitely the smartest shows on TV. It’s always the good ones that go, and the silly, idiotic ones that carry on forever it seems.

  7. Andrea says:

    Most depressing article I’ve read from the TCAs. Sigh.

  8. Pete Bowley says:

    In the UK this program is well loved – please don’t!!!!

  9. This sucks! So, CBS cancels this great written show but yet keep crap like CSI:Cyber? What a dumb move.

  10. David4 says:

    It’s on a hugely popular channel and wasn’t pulling in the ratings to match the other shows on the channel. This isn’t a shock to anyone.

    Does it suck? Sure, they need more unoriginal cop shows because that’s what CBS’s old dying viewers want to watch, nothing smart.

    Hopefully Netflix can pick it up, they are doing a ton of new shows this year and add an another for next year.

    • Really? says:

      Huh, CBS has quite a few viewers, but, per you, they are “old dying viewers”, so all those millions of viewers are getting ready to kick off? Are you psychic–or just arrogant and stupid? I’m going with the second one there, I am patient with stupidity, but not with those who are proud of it….SMFH

  11. retsim says:

    Sad news .I have been watching since the beginning .I just hope they give it a decent send off.

  12. B. Thompson says:

    We were avid POI watchers, however once Carter left it seemed to lose something. I love the two main characters, but Carter added that special something to the plots.

    • Brandon says:

      I agree with you. I still love the show, but Carter added that extra special layer.

    • Lizz says:

      Carter or no Carter the series did not lose a thing. It still has a potent subject matter that works. CBS made a BIG mistake. My hope is that another network picks it up.

  13. barbaramorningstar says:

    I was afraid of this when I couldn’t find it on the schedule, as well as the previous announcement that there would be only 13 episodes in the new season. This is one of the best shows on TV with an amazing cast. Perhaps if CBS has too many good performing series at this time, maybe POI can be shopped to Netflix or a cable channel. In any case, I hope the producers won’t let this show go down without a fight.

  14. SherryB says:

    Been waiting for the return of POI, still waiting…And now this!!! What a crock!! Good show, good characters, hoping Shaw returns, but come on CBS put the show back on!! So many programs that should be GONE..Mom..2 Broke Girls..Life in Pieces..Supergirl (really, CBS, really?)…

    • GMom100 says:

      Isn’t that the truth?? And Supergirl is AWFUL!! (Sorry to say since the actress was misused on Glee-she has a beautiful singing voice)!

  15. aph1976 says:

    I’m not surprised because this season’s episode count was cut.So even though the show is planning for final episode of the season to be the season finale my guess is they might leave the door open slightly just in case.So everything might be wrapped up but not entirely.

  16. Ann says:

    I am beyond upset. I have watched this show since the beginning and never miss an episode. It has become one of my favorite shows of all times. I do hope CBS will reconsider.

  17. carolyn says:

    The first two seasons were wonderful. My favorite series ever. Then someone changed it from a show where a number is pulled and a person is saved or someone else is saved from that person to a serialized government is bad show. A new concept turned into the same old stuff that every other show has. I will be glad to see it go. THe only way to save it would be to reboot from series two and forget 3 and 4.

    • johnhelvete says:

      The show questioning if it would be a good idea for the government to have a system to spy on Americans has been there since the first episode.

    • Dennis S says:

      I completely agree with everything you said. Season 1 & 2 had great ratings. Showrunners explained the loss of Carter as real life portayal, and followed with a bunch of junk fantasy. When they made the Shaw and Root affair a center storyline, I think most viewers lost interest. It’s too bad that a good show has to go by the wayside to satisfy a demographic to small to support it’s ratings. RIP POI

  18. Todd says:

    As much as I love the series, I think it is time for it to end. While I’m sure the creators have a lot of ideas for the future, it feels like the stakes have been raised to the point where everything afterwards will feel anticlimactic and weak. It’s better to go out strong than limp to the finish line.

  19. Logan says:

    Karma for killing off Taraji ha! Viewers want to see diversity and representation. BIG MISTAKE killing a beloved black character.

    • johnhelvete says:

      Your comment overlooks the small detail that Henson only wanted to do 2 seasons of the show when she signed on for POI. She stayed on for season 3 to finish Carter’s character arc. Isnt part of diversity about casting the best actor, which the show did with Henson, the writers could have cast another actor to play Carter and the character would still be on the show, which would have been the diversity you speak of but that actor would not have been as good as Henson.

      • Patrice says:

        They can write her back in as a twin dat she didnt know she had, which would bring her character back. All other shows d9 it to find a long lose sibling dat was given up at birth because the mom could only take care of one of them not two of the or as a cousin look alike.

  20. Mr. Tran K says:

    POI deserves to end. Can’t wait to see how the final 13 episodes go from here. JJ Abrams did a spectacular job as the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

  21. JL says:

    Wow, so next season could be the first time since Felicity premiered in 1998 that J.J. Abrams doesn’t have a series he has created and/or produced on network TV?

    Can’t say I’m surprised about POI, though, but it’s still a shame!

  22. Michael says:

    So sorry to see POI ending what a shame!
    Along with Mike&Molly .
    I feel that both of these shows pretty much received the Bums rush treatment from the “geniuses” at CBS who don’t have a clue as to what the heck constitutes a quality show.
    They would rather shove the CSI/ NCIS garbage down our throats until we puke.
    Just remembering over the last few years how CBS would barely have a commercial or ad spot for POI & M&M but every damn time you turn around there were tons of ads for ncis/csi .
    It looks like it is not stopping there either they do it to Elementary also and now they are moving them to late sunday nights- which means another show cbs has no interest in.
    Sure wish Hulu /Netflix or Tnt /Tbs would pick up these shows-

  23. Gail says:

    Sorry to hear it is ending. Sorrier that CBS is taking so long to schedule a date for series to return. I assume POI will be a summer series . That is better than it ending up as an exclusive of CBS All Access streaming service like the next Star Trek series.

  24. Patricia Klassy says:

    I am very disappointed at this news. I enjoyed watching POI because it was so unlike other series. I must say I really don’t care for CBS’s choice new series and am watching their programs A LOT LESS.

  25. Gina says:

    Person of Interest is such an amazing show, with a fantastic cast. I can’t beleive that CBS would just let it go. To the producers and JJ Abrams, please don’t let it go without a fight! Get it on another channel or Netflix or Hulu. I would even pay for either of those services to be able to watch this show! We need an original show with original storylines instead of the same old, same old.

  26. GMom100 says:

    This makes me so mad!! This is one of the few shows I watch! I just love Jim Caveziel (sp.?)! The story is always good. I know CBS has the best lineup of all the networks, but, first Stalker was canceled, now this one? And I haven’t seen CSI-Cyber on lately! Please don’t cancel POI! And, also, wasn’t it just voted a People’s Choice??

  27. Jo Marsh says:

    PoI is one of the few intelligent, interesting, and original shows I have seen in a very long time. Agree with everyone else’s comments regarding NCIS and other shows which are past their sell by date. Constant repetition of a successful formula does not make for interesting watching. I so hope PoI gets more than one more series. It’s been a slow burner which has built to become a great show

  28. Sandy Camargo says:

    The first two seasons of POI were great, but then came Root and Samaritan and the Great Conspiracies and the show went downhill, for me.

    • Lisa says:

      I completely agree with you. Same for me.

    • So wrong! If you only liked the first two seasons of POI when it was mainly just a case-of-the-week show, you’re probably better off watching any of CBS’s 30 versions of CSI.

      • CCorn says:

        Completely agree Pablo. Folks who liked the early seasons should generally enjoy most of the standard run-of-the-mill CBS shows (in a given week something happens, the show’s “team” has to figure it out, etc). As POI evolved into a serial I got more interested. Not unlike Fringe.

  29. Hopeful says:

    Please Netflix or a cable network, take on POI so we can all find out what great stories JJ wants to tell. I miss this show. I love that the women have become as central to the story line as the men. They are all great characters (even the computers).

    As many of you, I’m hoping for a miraculous increase in viewership because this is one show I really want to keep alive for at least 2 more seasons. *Sigh also*

  30. sandycamargo04 says:

    The first two seasons of POI were great, but then came the obnoxious Root, Samaritan, and the Great Conspiracy, and, for me, the show lost its charm and became Person of No Interest.

  31. John HIbert says:

    I can’t believe CBS first it was Unforgetable which did good in its ratings and is doing good on its new network. No they cancel Persom of Interest. Which held pretty good ratings. Now it by by. I can’t stand CBS. I will boycott them for this look at abc with its dumb shows. Like bachorette dumb horney dopes.

  32. this is just sad. I love POI and it is one of the best shows out there. Hopefully it gets picked up by Netflix.

  33. Ruben Cardia says:

    So sad such a good show comes to na end. Unfortunatelly here in Brazil they have aired only those two first seasons and stoped withou a reason. The same occured with Blue Bloods. And from USA we have not seen latelly other good showa. Now we have to watch europeans

  34. R.O.B. says:

    Seems like the perfect show to be bought up by Netflix and allow for more seasons…

  35. Troy says:

    The only surprise to me is that they’re not shopping around, which is what they should be doing if they want the show to continue.

    As for season 5, better to go out with a bang than a whimper. I’ll eventually make peace with it if the series finale is satisfactory.

  36. It’s such a sad news, POI is an incredible tv show.

  37. lawgroupcomm says:

    Please reconsider … this is an incredibly excellent show … I’m so invested in these characters and could watch it for another 5 years … as I said, please reconsider!!!

  38. Marilyn says:

    This is a sad testament to what the majority of television viewers want to see. The prime time schedule is crammed full of mindless, vapid programs that go straight to the top of the ratings. POI is a thoughtful, intricate and well written show that demands full attention. That, in my opinion, is it’s downfall. The ratings show most viewers do not appreciate quality television, and especially a program that requires an hour away from distractions, i.e. texting, twitter, facebook etc. etc. etc.

  39. Margaret says:

    Agree with all you guys. I’ve watched it here in the UK since the start and will be gutted if/when it goes. You never know, maybe others will start watching and the ratings will soar so the suits reconsider or maybe Amazon could pick it up?

  40. JenJ says:

    Talk about bonehead decisions, this is one of the biggest bonehead decisions! I knew that the ratings were a problem for the network last season, but honestly, one would think that since they did order 13 episodes for this season that we would at least get to see them! This show has a huge fan base, I have loved every minute of it, but for a network claiming to have soooo many good shows that they can’t even fit in this show, is bs. They somehow manage to find places for other shows with low ratings that should have been cancelled last season, remember CSI Cyber? I actually love that show, but that show was in serious trouble even in it’s first year, yet CBS decided to renew it, but to continually to delay the most innovative show on tv, POI. What is wrong with them, I want my POI, and I want it NOW!

  41. Frank Cohen says:

    It’s a shame for CBS to kill its best drama, POI when there has been nothing quite like it on tv.
    Surely a cable channel like TNT/TBS or BRAVO etc. OR even The CW could make room for it.

  42. praise says:

    a very nice and intelligent movie,,, actually season 5 is indeed wow,, ahh did enjoyed it like any other movie,,, we need inspiring movie like these,, thank uuu

  43. Andrew L says:

    Will be a shame to see it go, but no show that gets to run five years and make over 100 episodes can ever really make a credible claim of network mistreatment.

  44. lame says:

    Knowing that this in all probability would be the last season doesn’t eliminate the sadness. Such a wonderful cast and imaginative writers forced to end this series far to early seems like a crime in an industry where there is paucity of originality.

  45. lll says:

    The writing was on the wall when it was handed 13 episodes by CBS and shoved to late midseason/summer. So sad to see a show that was once ‘the fastest-growing show on network television’ fall from grace and bow out with a whimper. Because of Carter’s death, Samaritan, Root overkill, and adding romance when the show wasn’t based on romance, it will indeed take a miracle to get to season six. Until then, you will be missed dearly.

  46. Paul says:

    This comes as no surprise from the network where shows like Mom, Life in Pieces, and Angel From Hell qualify as worthy comedies. Shows like Person of Interest, Elementary and Mike and Molly (before the retooling) are given no love despite the loyal viewers with a brain that enjoy intelligence in a show instead of the raunchy humorless above mentioned comedies taking up valuable real estate at CBS. Time to change the channel.

  47. Carey says:

    Just like Burn Notice, Person of Interest moved drastically away from what it was at the beginning. The convoluted stories about The Machine and its foes became central and helping people all but disappeared. Too bad. We really loved it in the beginning. Now, I could care less.

  48. Liv says:

    NOOOOOO!!! It is hands down, the smartest, most well-produced show on broadcast television. What a bunch of fools CBS execs are… Why the heck would you want to lose such a dynamic, young, demographic?! Come on, Netflix… You are our only hope!!

  49. Deion says:

    I’m just glad that they are planning for this to be the final season instead of waiting on CBS to have the guts to say it will be. Now if CBS will just announce when it will be back, the show’s fans will know where to find it for its send off. The show may have lost a step by losing Carter, I think it quickly found a new rhythm that worked. I’ll miss it though.