Numbers (stylized as NUMB3RS) is an American crime drama television series that ran on CBS from January 23, 2005, to March 12, 2010. The series was created by Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton, and follows FBI Special Agent Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) and his brother Charlie Eppes (David Krumholtz), a college mathematics professor and prodigy, who helps Don solve crimes for the FBI. Brothers Ridley and Tony Scott produced Numbers; its production companies are the Scott brothers' Scott Free Productions and CBS Television Studios (originally Paramount Network Television, and later CBS Paramount Network Television).
On May 18, 2010, CBS announced that Numbers had been cancelled after six seasons.
The show focuses equally on the relationships among Don Eppes, his brother Charlie Eppes, and their father, Alan Eppes (Judd Hirsch), and on the brothers' efforts to fight crime, usually in Los Angeles. A typical episode begins with a crime, which is subsequently investigated by a team of FBI agents led by Don and mathematically modeled by Charlie, with the help of Larry Fleinhardt (Peter MacNicol) and Amita Ramanujan (Navi Rawat). The insights provided by Charlie's mathematics were always in some way crucial to solving the crime.
Cast and characters Edit
- Rob Morrow as Don Eppes
- David Krumholtz as Charlie Eppes
- Judd Hirsch as Alan Eppes
- Alimi Ballard as David Sinclair
- Sabrina Lloyd as Terry Lake (Season 1)
- Dylan Bruno as Colby Granger
- Diane Farr as Megan Reeves (Season 2–4)
- Navi Rawat as Amita Ramanujan (Season 2–6, recurring Season 1)
- Sophina Brown as Nikki Betancourt (Season 5–6)
- Aya Sumika as Liz Warner (Season 5–6, recurring Season 3–4)
- Peter MacNicol as Larry Fleinhardt
- Main article: Episode Guide
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|1||13||January 23, 2005||May 13, 2005|
|2||24||September 23, 2005||May 19, 2006|
|3||24||September 22, 2006||May 18, 2007|
|4||18||September 28, 2007||May 6, 2008|
|5||23||October 3, 2008||May 5, 2009|
|6||16||September 25, 2009||March 12, 2010|
The idea for Numbers was generated in the late 1990s when Nick Falacci and Cheryl Heuton, the show's creators, attended a lecture given by Bill Nye, a popular science educator. The premise of the show is similar to that of author Colin Bruce's reimaginings of the Sherlock Holmes character, and to the "Mathnet" segment on the children's television show Square One.
Gabriel Macht was originally cast to portray the character of Don Eppes. Also, the original concept for the show had the events take place at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; this was later changed to the fictional California Institute of Science, commonly called CalSci. Scenes which take place at CalSci are filmed at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of Southern California. One of the most frequent campus locations at Caltech is the vicinity of Millikan Library, including the bridge over Millikan Pond, the Trustees room, and the arcades of nearby buildings. At USC, locations include Doheny Library and the Town and Gown dining room. Exteriors for the FBI offices are on the distinctive bridge at Los Angeles Center Studios.
Another common location is the Craftsman home of the Eppes family. The house shown in the first season is real; it is owned by David Raposa and Edward Trosper, although a replica set was used from the second season onwards.
Representation of mathematics Edit
Several mathematicians work as consultants for each episode. Actual mathematics are presented in the show; the equations on the chalkboards are mathematically valid, and are somewhat applicable to the situations presented in each show. This mathematical validity and applicability of the equations have been asserted by professional mathematicians.
A book entitled The Numbers Behind NUMB3RS: Solving Crime with Mathematics (ISBN 0452288576; published August 28, 2007), written by Keith Devlin and Dr. Gary Lorden, a consultant to the show along with Dr. Orara, a physics consultant, explain some of the mathematical techniques that have been used both in actual FBI cases and in other law-enforcement departments.
Since the premiere season, the blog edited by Prof. Mark Bridger (Northeastern University) has commented on the mathematics behind each episode of the show.
Wolfram Research (the developers of Mathematica) is the chief math consultant, reviewing scripts and providing background mathematics for the show. Starting with season four, their website in collaboration with CBS is entitled "The math behind NUMB3RS".
Alice Silverberg, a part-time mathematician consultant to the show, expressed concern with its use of mathematics, asserting that the math is inserted after the initial script and written to provide plausible-sounding jargon, rather than having consultants involved at all stages of story development. The same part-time consultant offered criticism of the show's portrayal of female mathematicians and expressed concern over the appropriateness of the relationship between Charlie Eppes and his graduate student Amita Ramanujan.
Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Numb3rs on CBS.
Awards and nominations Edit
Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton, the show's creators, have won several awards for the show, including the Carl Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science in 2006, and the National Science Board's Public Service Award in 2007. Also, the show's stunt coordinator, Jim Vickers, was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Stunt Coordination in 2006 for episode 14 of Season 2, "Harvest".
Home media Edit
CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment) has released all six seasons of Numb3rs on DVD in Regions 1, 2, and 4.
On June 2, 2017, CBS DVD released Numb3rs: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1