Back to IndieWire

CBS Boss Says Taraji P Henson’s “Person Of Interest” Role Marginalized; Significant Creative Changes Coming!

CBS Boss Says Taraji P Henson's "Person Of Interest" Role Marginalized; Significant Creative Changes Coming!

Months later, after the rah-rah over her noticeable ommision from the series’ early marketing materials, the TV Guide cover snub, and concern that all of that added up to a limited role for her on the program (all very-well covered here on S&A)… 

At the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour earlier today, Wednesday, CBS’ entertainment president Nina Tassler acknowledged that although she was “extremely pleased” with the ratings performance of Person of Interest, she confirmed that the network requested a significant creative change to the series where Taraji P. Henson’s character is concerned, stating “We felt that the Carter [Taraji P. Henson] character was somewhat marginalized. We felt that the Carrter character was too peripheral… we asked if they [the show’s producers] were open to bringing [her] into the superhero cave. It was a plan that they had in place, but more for the end of the season. We asked them if they were open to moving that up. We felt it was a key ingredient to [help] the show grow and expand.

I’m wondering what may have prompted this request/move on Tassler’s part. 

Regardless, changes are acoming; it looks like viewers will be seeing a lot more Taraji on the series than they have thus far!

Tassler also added that she has “high hopes” for the future of the series, although a second season hasn’t been ordered yet.

Worth noting, Person Of Interest is one of the better-rated new dramas of the season, drawing a just under 13 million viewers per episode.

So here’s the million-dollar question; after all that chatter about the show (specifically Taraji’s involvement in it) last year, how many of you actually watch the series? Secondly, if you haven’t been watching, does the above quote from CBS brass inspire you to start watching it now?

This Article is related to: Television and tagged



Honestly, I'm tired of CBS throwing people of color a bone every now and then to keep us coming back. I used to watch a number of their shows, but the meager character development and screentime for people of color bothered me too much to look past it anymore. I watched the 1st episode of the season for POI to support Taraji. She did a fantastic job with the little time she was given, but at that point, I didn't think they weren't planning to expand her role anytime soon, and since the featured headline actors weren't really interesting enough to make me come back, I didn't. I want to support Taraji, so I may start watching, but it will definitely be with the side-eye…they aren't called the "good ole boy" network for nothing. Though, I guess all of network television could be given that moniker.

S Betts

I love this show. It's my favorite new show. Every episode has been good so far. I'm glad they are giving Taraji a bigger role. The last episode they had her help out.

I have been watching and hope the series will continue.


I think people need to give Taraji credit for speaking out. I think Taraji is such a strong woman she refused to be silent about the TV Guide snub. Taraji is MORE famous than the two male stars on the show. Taraji is an Academy Award nominated actress and she deserves a higher profile. I am glad she will finally get the big attention she deserves. Taraji also got nominated for a Golden Globe last year for her performance in the TV film Taken From Me.


I like the show and her as the only good guy/gal on the entire show. She is Commissioner Gordon to Jesus's Batman. However that back story is kind of contrite. I refused to believe their are black female interrogators in the middle east. Linguistics okay. Focus on her dedication to her job and family and continue to put her at risk. She is the ever evolving stakes character and her qualities should be illuminated through the temporary stakes characters of each episode.


NOW, all I'm gonna say, is that waaaay back when..when folks were up in arms about Taraji getting "snubbed" by TV Guide cuz she was oh so Oscar Nominated (still say her reps fumbled but I digress)…and SOME of US said that her character was NOT the focus of the show & took MUCH heat about it…well I guess y'all had to hear it from the President of the fucking network, huh? Some people don't believe shit 'till they smell it LOL


The above statement from Nina Tassler does inspire me to watch and take an extra interest in the show. As an actor who is of color it's important for me to take notice of this as it also may lead to other opportunities for me & those of my ethnic persuasion. Henson from what I have seen is a great addition to the show.


Yes I watch the show and love it! I think the writing is really good. I have noticed that Taraji's role has increased and will continue to watch and support the show. Good for Taraji!


I watch and this news just makes me eager to continue watching.


The show is awesome. It only suffers because it airs against the juggernaut of Grey's Anatomy…I watch online though. Taraji & James have a great chemistry even though they are hardly physically in the same scenes. Her role was never marginal when you think about it. From the jump she was the only cop connecting the dots with Caviezel's character's trail because of her previous military training (YES, they gradually gave a sister a REAL back story). They spent the balance of the first episodes establishing the shows format and the backstory for "the machine" and Jim Caviezel's character as any new show would…I just want to know who is keeping her hair on point–rain or shine–her mane is WHIPPED FOR THE GODS!!!


I have watched the show from the beginning and I enjoy it, I am all too excited that they're increasing Ms. Henson role. I hope this will mean the show staying on for some seasons to come. Love it!

Swank Tony

I like the show's premise and watch it regularly. Initially Tariji's role seemed like a throwaway and they plugged in a person of color for the sake of diversity. Now that they're giving the role depth, that's good news for her. And as I write this I wonder what's the makeup of the show's demographic as it relates to people of color? Wouldn't be surprised if a lot of black men watch this and this may have been a move to stave off loss of viewership with the continued marginalization of Taraji's character.

Willem DeKooning

I don't watch a single program on CBS and I can't remember the last time I did…


I love this like damn and whoa. Her role has been increasing gradually. The last episode before thy went on hiatus was all about her, gave a little backstory, and lots of teasers. I promote it on Facebook all the time.


I was very interested in the show until all the garbage of what she was going through surfaced. I won't support any network film or show that shows no love for people of color. I put my action where my words are at!


This is indeed good news! I've been watching the show and it would definitely be nice to see more of Taraji and learn more about who she is and her army past.


I've watched all the episodes so far, and was surprised that the Taraji character grew and became more interesting as the series went on, as well as played a bigger role into the story. I'm looking forward to seeing more of her next season, if it's ordered.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *