Person of Interest Episode Order Reduced for Season 5

Person of Interest Season 5 Premiere Date

We’ll bet The Machine didn’t see this one coming.

Person of Interest, which was recently renewed for a fifth season, has received a partial, 13-episode order for its next go-round, our sister site Deadline reports.

The Mentalist, which wrapped earlier this year, went into its final season with 13 episodes, though a rep for Person of Interest has not yet commented on whether Season 5 will be the show’s last.

The May 5 season finale drew 8.2 million total viewers and a 1.1 demo rating, both series lows. Person of Interest was one of 15 CBS series renewed Monday, along with fellow bubble dramas Hawaii Five-0 and Elementary.

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167 Comments
  1. millsgroves says:

    if they don’t fix this hopefully netflix picks it up. 13 episodes is not enough to wrap up that show.

    • Lexi says:

      Absolutely!!! Sucky shows get the full 22 and POI Gets 13… what a shame ! But at least we got POI back

      • L.T. says:

        It’s all about the syndication money CBS is going to lose since they don’t own the show :( I understand it’s a business decission and not a creative one, but PoI is a solid product that bring in the coveted 18-49 demo CBS needs more of.

        • amanners says:

          I’m sorry, but the article even says the finale only drew a 1.1 demo rating (a series low, and a terrible rating). It’s my favorite show, but it’s definitely not a ratings success

        • Lee Cuttler says:

          No, no it does NOT bring in the coveted 18-49 demo. And that’s why this happened. The demo sank heavily from the first and part of the second season when Nolan changed the direction of his show. The L+7 numbers now are no where near were they were two years ago.

      • Rachel says:

        Glad if got picked but what is CBS doing!!!
        This has to me one of the most unique TV shows I’ve ever seen.
        I hope cbs extends the season but if not I hope another network picks its up to give the Nolan time to finish his incredible story

    • John says:

      If they’re all mythology episodes, 13 should be plenty. There are usually far more than 9 “filler” episodes per season.

      Frankly I’m just glad it gets to script an ending!

    • Ellinas78 says:

      13 is enough if they do it right.

  2. crazyforsushi says:

    Wow… if that’s not some huge slap in the face of Nolan and Plageman who just last week said they wouldn’t want to wrap the show in season 5. CBS will most likely announce it as the final season. If they can’t pitch it to another network, I hope they go full on fast and furious to wrap this up.

  3. Eric H says:

    The writing is on the wall here with POI and its future on CBS. Unless a miracle happens, CBS is not keen on renewing short season shows so they should just announce it as the final season. I just don’t think 13 episodes is enough to finish what Nolan/Plageman put forth in the S4’s finale so this show will never reach the full vision that they initially set out to do.

  4. Cornelius says:

    Here’s hoping the network tells them its the final season :( It cannot end with a cliffhanger, it’s one of the best shows on TV.

  5. B says:

    I’m so upset. CBS WHY. Can’t you just… or let some other company take over… just please. The Machine, do something!! :cc

  6. Isa says:

    Thanks for ruining my day, CBS. POI is the best show on TV at the moment. Only 13 episodes is just ridiculous.

  7. Kevin H says:

    One of the better dramas on tv. It’s a shame it comes down to who owns the show, but business is business in Hollywood. There is too much junk out there getting renewed and smart dramas get cancelled

    • Eric H says:

      Agreed. I get the feeling it’ll get CBS’ traditional spot for killing off shows (Sundays at 10 PM) so they don’t have to worry about it next renewal season. Only ways it stays on are if ratings tick upward or CBS has a lot of other shows that do worse.

  8. chrisleder says:

    This is sad but totally expected. I am a huge fan of the show and have been anxiously awaiting the news of renewal or cancellation. I’m thrilled that it was renewed, even for a shortened season. The fact of the matter is, if the writers know in advance that they are crafting a 13-hour final season, then they can pull out all the stops and give the viewers a real thrill ride to bring the show to a satisfying conclusion. The worst thing is a show winding down with wasted episodes and a lack of purpose — this obvious call to end the show should be the catalyst for a GREAT end!

  9. girlmeetsworld says:

    person of interest is the best show on tv, i can’t believe this. hopefully it will at least get a sixth season so jonah nolan can complete his vision.

    • Patrick says:

      I love the show, but I get it. It must be ruinously expensive to shoot. Most of the regular stars were high priced actors before setting foot on the series. It shoots in NYC, which is very expensive on production costs. And the numbers have gone down. I enjoy the heck out of the show, but I get what others are complaining about wrt its recent tone. Usually, the studio that owns the show would reduce the price of the show so as to make it more profitable for the network. But the owners of the show probably can’t lower the price that much due to the afore mentioned high costs.
      .
      All that said, this could be CBS’s negotiating ploy to force the price down, so this could change by November.

  10. Jose says:

    Better go out with a bang. I remember Jonathan Nolan saying he had a 5 year plan for the show.

  11. L.T. says:

    Here is to hoping some other network picks it up because this show is far too good to die this early on. The cast is fantastic, the writing is one of the most solid I’ve seen on tv in the past few years, the genre is popular, the viewers are loyal… Kicking all this to the curb for money is an insult to viewers.

  12. This is all wrong – it deserved a 22 episode finish.

  13. Jenna says:

    So, will all the dramas at CBS be inhouse productions? Hardly seems fair to the non-network studios. Besides, inbreeding is never a good thing, Les.

    • Eric H says:

      I see that Les is looking at the bottom line but when the bottom line is only getting you cookie cutter TV shows with not much creativity, then it’s on him and Nina Tassler when people stop seeing much difference and go elsewhere.

  14. Hamza says:

    If it is indeed the final season, I hope they can announce it early so that the writers have to prepare 13 epic heavily-serialized episodes.

  15. Jerry says:

    I’ve felt for awhile that the lack of streaming for older seasons of this show has been hurting its ratings. I have a few friends who are definitely interested in picking it up, but don’t want to buy the seasons to do so. I believe the first three seasons are FINALLY going on Netflix in the fall, but that’s probably too little, too late

    • gary s says:

      The lack of streaming may not have helped, but for many/most all it takes is a visit to your friendly public library to find each season on DVD/Blu-ray and borrow it. I love this show; one of the few on TV that require your actual attention span for the whole hour because it is so creative with plot and character, but I started watching at the beginning of the third season, got hooked, and found season 1,2, and 3 available through the library for free. Fantastic way to get caught up. Take advantage of it folks, and enjoy the last 13 episodes next fall. I just hope they can get SS back for a few of the last ones.

  16. Mr. Tran K says:

    Would be great if POI gets a 13-episode “final season”. Guess we’ll find out during the CBS upfronts on Wednesday.

  17. kmhermanson says:

    Well this is a buzzkill. And if it is the last, I hope they drop the Iris plot line asap. With only 13 episodes to wrap it up, they can’t waste time.

  18. The Kaibosh says:

    Guess this means Shaw isn’t likely to be back full time.

  19. Nickr says:

    That is so disappointing to hear.
    Gutted :(

  20. Diva DIary says:

    I don’t mind 13 episode count. It’s jut means more concise writing and less fillers. You can do a lot in 13 episodes. I’m just happy it was renewed.

  21. abz says:

    I’ll only be okay with this if it means that they are just changing the show’s format to 13 episodes per season from this point on (which isn’t necessarily bad…less filler, more consistent storytelling) and that this doesn’t mean it will be the final season because that would absolutely suck. I hate the fact that show like the Kartrashians and The Bachelor (yes, I know they are on different networks) are on the air and people watch and great shows like this are at such risk.

  22. TraciWells2 says:

    13 ep seasons are the best thing on television. From breaking bad to sons of anarchy to the shield to Justified, etc. Gets rid of the filler eps. With syndication waiting this will be the wrap up for POI. They will probably rescue Shaw in ep 13.

  23. Britt says:

    I can see why.

    No boobs showing, no sexual tension, no people in their thirties acting like 12 year olds.

    Actual storyline, unpredictable, not based on a cliche script where they just change the names from week to week.

    (You know who you all are.)

  24. rusty says:

    I blame the writers and producers for the low ratings. This story line with Samaritan always winning and the good guys always losing was getting old. Nobody wants to watch a show where the good guys always lose. They could have had the battle royal between machines after about a dozen episodes and then have the good guys slowly winning. But no, not these stupid writers and producers. They get cocky and think that whatever they write will be good and they will have a couple of seasons to do a story line. Hopefully this is a wake up call to have the show get back to it’s original format. Take the first 5 episodes getting the machine back together and at the same time start showing the plan to attack and kill Samaritan. Have a two-part battle , win and go back to doing what the show did great by helping folks.

    • Eric H says:

      While it’s still my favorite show, I do think that Nolan/Plageman got too set in their AI battle that they forgot about the contingent of fans who watched for the team interacting with other humans, which is why we’ve seen such a large dropoff in viewers. They forgot all about that balance once they killed off Carter and made it a completely serialized, sci-fi show.

    • Renee says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Our family loves this show, and we always record it, but now find that we aren’t as excited to watch it. It’s this stupid Samaritan storyline where Samaritan always wins. And remember when Reese could beat up a bar full of bikers? Now he gets punched once and he’s down, being saved by Root (when did the computer geek learn to fight so well?) And we need more characters to love, sans Carter and Shaw. Despite these issues, it’s still one of the best shows on TV. Give it more time, beef up the storyline and add a few nice characters. The viewers will come back!

    • I’m with you Rusty, they got off into the weeds and I was afraid it would kill it, looks like I was right. I’m gonna miss Shaw

  25. Matthew says:

    I like the show but I think it will benefit from fewer episodes. Less filler episodes more overarching it will help the show.

  26. Jared says:

    POI lost a lot of viewers this season, especially in the 18-49 demo. Add the fact that CBS won’t make any money off of syndication and that’s the reason for the 13 episode “wrap up”. I always felt like this was never a signature series for CBS like The Good Wife, CSI, NCIS etc.

  27. Deion says:

    They can do it in 13 episodes. What I find hilarious is that CBS balks at 8.2 million viewers when other shows/networks seem to survive on 4 million. I just want a show I’ve invested so much time in to get a proper ending. If you’re only going to let them make it to 100 eps, then say it and let a plan be made.

    • Danni says:

      It’s not just the number of viewers. It’s mainly the increasingly downward trend that’s been going for more than 2 seasons now. It only sharpened when they killed Carter so that didn’t help and they’ve never recovered. Some of those other shows with just 4 million viewers may also have lower production costs and high demo numbers, which count more than over all viewers. A lot goes into this and they are very lucky to get the 13 episodes. This show has been begging for cancellation for a while now.

  28. DanielleZ says:

    I’ll take 13 episodes for POI Season 5. For the past few seasons, the show has been much better, more intense in the second half.

  29. TVPeong says:

    I hope that the characters get a real happy ending. I’m worried that they will go with the pseudo-happy ending (like Bruce Wayne nodding to Alfred across a restaurant). The show has gotten so depressing recently, no happy moments, or inside jokes, or even smiles, just darkness and near-defeat- Finch even tried to kill himself in a recent episode. They have 13 episodes to make the show fun again.

    • Eric H says:

      I say this where Nolan/Plageman went wrong in their direction for the show. They went way too dark and cold for fans to stay with it. I think Nolan may have been around his brother way too much since the show is mirroring The Dark Knight films in how each got progressively darker.

      • kmhermanson says:

        I love the Dark Kinght movies and love POI for the similar darkness. There’s a hundred shows where the heroes fight evil and in the end find true love, save the day and live happily ever after. I love this show because it’s different.

    • CaseyM says:

      Oh, sweetie, Nolan has promised from the first that everyone would die in the end. There has not been a single win for Team machine this season, and I don’t see any lightening up in the future. Nolan has his dystopia and his ego — he has no need of fans or networks.

      • Danni says:

        Very true. I’m almost sorry I ever liked this show. I should considered who was making it, but at the time I didn’t know he was this bad.

  30. Nona says:

    Why renew a show only to get their season cut short in episodes?I dont undestand

    • dys says:

      Cause renewing it with the shorter order is better than completely cancelling it which would get us to complain even more?

  31. dioxinblues says:

    This was the only show I watched on CBS – a waste of a network. Everyone involved in this show is top-notch, from the producers/writers to the actors to the production design so OF COURSE CBS mucks it up. Glad I can go back to not watching network television when this is over.

  32. Vivian says:

    What the heck??? I don’t understand why the the idiots at CBS only give POI 13 episodes. It’s a great show and they give crappier shows a full season. This is a slap in the face for the producers. I hope another network will pick it up. I will be very disappointed, sad, angry and every emotions roll into one when season 5 is the last one. I won’t have much to look forward to when POI is no longer on the air.

  33. Interesting the site tvbythenumbers says it has a 1.53 average for the season either way highly disappointing its my favorite show on CBS.

  34. harry aponte says:

    Perhaps after next season bring poi….to the big screen

  35. This show used to be so good but it lost it’s way at the end of season 2. I’m surprised they even got 13 episodes. I suspect that was simply to let Nolan wrap up the story and hit the 100 episode syndication mark. It’s no longer an intelligent show. The writing is shoddy with gaping plot holes and inconsistent characterizations.All character and relationship development has been thrown out the window for the absurd and cartoonish antics of Root. The finale last week was corny and cheesy. The only reason why I’ve kept watching is for Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel. Hopefully they’ll move on to shows where their acting chops can be fully utilized because they’ve gone to waste this season on POI.

    • CaseyM says:

      Exactly. They abandoned nuanced character development for “story” – and the story included lots of gun fights and explosions without a whole lot of thought or logic. They made Root the avatar of the Machine and shoved Reese and Finch into the background. Then they ignored the falling ratings, failed to course-correct while there was still time .., and here they are.

  36. Jericho says:

    Is this a 13 ep and a chance at a larger back end order? Or is the show not returning until the Winter?

  37. marythegeek says:

    Okay, let me see if I understand this. Cancel a fantastic show like “Person of Interest” but renew sh*t shows like H50, CSI: Cyber, and Elementary? Nice. I just realized tonight that POI is the only show on CBS that I still watch. So, if all of this happens, and this is the series’ last season, I can officially, and honestly, say that I’m done with this network.

  38. BCsDave says:

    Networks are notoriously bad for not allowing a show to wrap up. CBS being the #1 broadcast network never really has to as their schedule is so crowded. But these past couple of years they’ve started to follow the lead of other networks and give a show a few episodes to wrap up.

    Im happy POI gets a few eps, love the show, and Im reading CSI LV will as well. Better than nothing in my books. And a nice gesture from CBS to loyal fans even if they dont own the show. Alot of other shows recently only get 6 episodes so 13 is actually quite a bit if the writers stay focused on the final story they want to tell.

    • Isabel Mushel says:

      So sorry POI only got 13 reps! My fave by far of all shows on TV. I just love J C and Michael and hope they land on another show soon!

  39. Eric H says:

    I don’t think CBS helped the show either by limiting its availability on other VOD services beyond their own. JJ Abrams and Nolan/Plageman had been trying to get CBS to get a deal done since season 2 ended but CBS dragged their feet and didn’t get the Netflix deal done until just before this past season. Now with the show facing a likely final season before they’re on Netflix and then its syndicated run on WGN America, it may be a bit late in the game.

  40. Daniel N says:

    What does this mean? CBS is forcing POI to end the series in 13 episodes?

    • Eric H says:

      This is basically what they’re doing, unless the producers can find someone else who’ll take them, which I find unlikely at this time.

  41. Brandy says:

    Noooooooo. Did Samaritan take over CBS?

  42. Ben says:

    I’m not necessarily convinced this must be indicative of PoI’s final season – the simple reality is CBS renewed nearly everything, which was sort of unprecedented to start with – some hours on the schedule had to give somewhere. Agree with the general sentiment though, that they should negotiate that either it is the final season, or that they get a season 6 to finish it off.

    • Eric H says:

      It’s doesn’t really bode well because CBS’ track record with short season orders on established shows. If CBS believed the show was worth 20+ more shows, then they would have given them a full season. As it stands, I take this as being nice to WB for being partners and this final order gives them a chance to finish up its story (albeit in a more condensed manner than they would have liked) and add some more episodes they can use for syndication purposes (even though they signed a deal back in 2013 with WGN America that begins this upcoming fall and looks like it won’t help POI’s ratings.)

  43. Diz says:

    That just sucks.

  44. Jim J. says:

    Great, CBS reduces the season order of a good drama to 13 episodes all because it is not owned by the network’s in-house studio. I believe that terrible 1.1 demo rating that it pulled for the season 4 finale may have factored into the decision.

    I never knew it was acclaimed critically (probably just as much as “The Good Wife”) until last week. I always thought that “PoI” would be at least a six-season show.

    How about CBS reduces the season orders of some of their other second-tier dramas like “Blue Bloods”, “Elementary” or “Hawaii Five-0”, also, especially to make room for some of their new drama series? I’m betting that at least a third of the CBS Drama Division will not return for the 2016-17 season.

    (Sorry, I tried to submit this comment several times here, but failed I was using Google Chrome.)

  45. don says:

    you ruined my day CBS you are not worthy of this great show :(

  46. Babygate says:

    Might as well go ahead and announce it’s the final season. IMO, since Shaw left the show has suffered. it just doesn’t have the same energy. Reese looks tired and Root has been seriously underutilized. Carter’s death also left a huge gap. The show has looked a lot like three middle aged guys running out of breath trying to fight the bad guys.

  47. Lee Cuttler says:

    This is what happens when you change the direction of your show against the outspoken cries of the viewers who made you what you were. The viewers left and how the show is toast.

  48. dman6015 says:

    CBS is doing the “let’s give them just enough episodes to make it to 100” syndication thing. With 13 more episodes, they’ll hit 101 episodes and will be an easier syndication sell. Expect Season 5 to be the last season.

    • Eric H says:

      Actually they’ll be at 103 with this 13-episode order. They already signed a syndication deal back in 2013 so the total episode count never really mattered, especially to CBS since they don’t own the show.

  49. luanmorina says:

    with Elementary and Hawaii Five-0 getting enough episodes for the syndication after the next season, they might re-consider a sixth season for PoI… it’s way better than both those shows, and could survive for years on Fridays paired with Blue Bloods…