published Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Producer: NSA revelations vindicate CBS drama

  • photo
    This photo provided by CBS Entertainment shows Michael Emerson in a scene from the TV series, "Person of Interest." The show airs Tuesdays, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. The "Person of Interest" producers on a panel at the Television Critics Association on Wednesday said their show's stories about surveillance of ordinary citizens, have turned out to reflect real events.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

By LYNN ELBER

AP Television Writer

PASADENA, Calif. — Producers of CBS' "Person Of Interest" said revelations about government surveillance have proved early critics of the TV drama wrong.

Jonathan Nolan recalled that the show about an all-seeing machine used to prevent crime was labeled far-fetched by some observers when it debuted in 2011.

But after former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden's disclosures about secret government surveillance programs, there was a brief period of gloating at "Person of Interest," Nolan said.

"It validated our decision to wear tinfoil hats for the last two years," he said Wednesday.

Concern about "our nation's descent into an Orwellian nightmare" aside, Nolan said, comparisons between the show and the NSA disclosures have given "Person of Interest" a third-season boost of attention.

The show has had a "pervasive sense of paranoia" from the start, said his fellow producer, Greg Plageman.

"We've always said, if we do our job, at the end of every episode you should be looking at your cell phone a little bit differently on the table," Plageman said.

"Person of Interest," which airs Tuesday on CBS, stars Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel.

Plageman and Nolan made their comments as part of a Q&A session between CBS drama producers and members of the Television Critics Association.

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