Person Of Interest executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman discuss the show’s success in combining procedural with serialized arcs, and the big cliffhanger that will impact all of the characters going into Season 2.
Person of Interest is not your ordinary CBS procedural. While the producers are fine with the term, it’s not strictly a procedural, it’s what we call a serial-procedural, comprising number-of-the-week stories enveloped by longer character and plot arcs that build throughout the season/series.
Speaking at a recent event honoring Person Of Interest at the Paley Center, Nolan acknowledged the show’s dual narrative format :
“It gives us an opportunity as a writing staff to explore a different world each week, tell a complete story. It’s a fun discipline. And then we also get to tell bigger, longer story arcs with our characters. [Serial and procedural elements are] both equally satisfying.”
Plageman was more forthcoming about the merits of longer, serialized elements:
“I got my start at NYPD Blue, and in its first year it broke the record for the number of EMMYs it was nominated for, and it wasn’t because of the case-of-the-week. I think it was a great show, and I don’t see why [serial and procedural] can’t be compatible. You can have a fascinating case-of-the-week and also a longer, serialized arcs that the long-term viewers will be rewarded for watching.”
Both men were tight-lipped about the upcoming season finale, but Nolan promised, thrills, chills, explosions, and “one big old cliffhanger.” Plageman added: “the dynamic of all our characters [will shift going into Season 2]”.
Meanwhile, Jim Caviezel, who plays Reese, describes the last four episodes (two of which have aired at the time of writing) as “a four hour move” building to “a giant crescendo”.
Michael Emerson, who portrays Finch, teased:
“The adversaries are closing in from all sides, and some of them are coming out of left-field. So, it’s exciting that way, and the way we go out at the end is a great cliffhanger because we don’t know how we can pick up again.”
Michael Emerson certainly knows how to put the tease on, doesn’t he? Out of all the seriable finales this coming up this month, POI’s is right up there with those that I’m most looking forward to. Recent episodes have provided strong seriable intent. Now I’m intrigued to see how it all unfolds with the comfort of knowing the story will continue next season.
POI airs Thursdays at 9/8c on CBS
Image credit: TV Watch Tower