Wondering where Person of Interest went? Yeah, me too. The CBS procedural-serial hybrid from J.J. Abrams, Greg Plageman, and Jonathan Nolan had been renewed for a truncated 13-episode fifth season and said episodes have been produced. They’re simply waiting for CBS to air them. Prior to the new fall season, CBS promised they would surface sometime in midseason, but now we’re in January and there’s still no word as to when Samaritan will continue to wage war on Team Machine.
At a panel promoting 11.22.63, a new Abrams-produced thriller based on the novel by Stephen King, J.J. commented on the matter with a statement I think all POI fans saw coming and yet it still stings.
“My guess is it is the final season,” Abrams said. “The only heartbreak there is how much good story there was to come if it were to have continued. Jonah [Nolan] and Greg Plageman have done such an amazing job on that show. I know what these episodes are, that they’re done wrapping it up. We don’t yet have a schedule. But I know they will see the light of day, [and] people will get to see these episodes. I know the power of that story. Again, to have a show that goes on as many years as that has, it’s very hard to complain. It’s a miracle to get a show on the air and to have it last that long is something that we should just be grateful for. But I do love that show and I would’ve loved to see that continue.”
If you take CBS sitting on season 5 and pair that with J.J.’s comments, it certainly looks like this is the beginning of the end for Person of Interest. Of course, this isn’t the final nail in the coffin. POI could return to better ratings if, perhaps, CBS decides to air it in the summer where’s there’s less competition. “Things can be adjusted if [there’s] a miraculous [ratings] performance,” Abrams added. He even speculated about potentially shopping the series elsewhere if CBS indeed decides to cancel it. “In theory, [those conversations] will be had at the right time. But at the moment that’s not what we’re doing.”
If this is the end, at least our consolation prize is that the producers and writers went into making this fifth season knowing that it would probably serve as the series’ swan song. This means that storylines, including the fate of The Machine and Shaw and the takedown of Greer and his evil artificial intelligence Samaritan, should wrap up come the finale.
As we sit here patiently for new episodes, do yourself a favor and enjoy the Pink Floyd-infused dramatic sequence from last year’s memorable finale.
Update (1/12): CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller, who recently took over the reins from Nina Tassler, was asked about the fate of the series at the Television Critics Association winter press tour today and he didn’t dodge. See what he had to say after the break. READ MORE Is ‘Person of Interest’s number up? Producer J.J. Abrams comments on its absence [Update: CBS responds]