FBI CBS. It’s Just a TV Show. What’s the Big Deal?

CBS’s new show – FBI – from TV producer Dick Wolf premieres this month on Tuesday, September 25, at 9/8c and I’ve decided to write a weekly recap and review blog post about each episode (I changed my mind about doing a second podcast. One is enough).
I believe that at this time more than ever, the public is curious about who the FBI is and what the FBI does. Most people have never met a real FBI agent. FBI, the TV show, will become a reference point. As a true fan of police procedurals (I love Law & Order), I plan to watch the show but also jot down a few notes about FBI clichés or scenes where creative license was used. I’m sure the show’s writers and technical advisers will do their best to present an accurate portrayal of the FBI, but sometimes that can be difficult to do within TV time constraints. I’ll provide a review of FBI CBS, a reality check.

As you may recall, in 2016, Dick Wolf was able to convince the FBI to allow him to embed a TV production team and film crew inside the FBI’s New York office to capture behind-the-scenes real-life action stories of FBI agents and analysts at work. That should mean that CBS writers will have lots of real-life scenarios to use for the TV drama’s storylines and character development. But I wouldn’t have been able to come up with 20 clichés and misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies (podcast episodes 50 and 100) if there was no chance of an occasional factual digression.

You’ll be able to read my weekly review of FBI CBS blog posts here at  Jerri Williams.com. I’ll also link to them on Twitter – @jerriwilliams1 and Facebook – Jerri Williams Author. Once the show premieres, let me know if you have any questions. If I don’t have the answer, I think I might know a few retired agents willing to help me out.

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 250 episodes available for free on all popular podcast apps.


  1. BiffNovember 27, 2023


  2. NigfNovember 27, 2023

    Acting terrible.
    Plot’s unbelievable
    Acting terrible
    Great for people 80 plus years old, coma patients and just dumb people

  3. Richard PalmerApril 4, 2023

    My consistent frustrations are two-fold: 1) when the agents so often identify themselves to a suspect 30 feet too soon, providing the opportunity to bolt and 2) when the agents not attempt to shoot the tires of escaping suspects.

    1. Jerri WilliamsApril 5, 2023

      I agree. They might as well as yell, “Run! “Haha!

      FYI. The FBI Deadly Force Policy does not authorize agents to shoot out tires. A gun is only to be discharged when the agent has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the agent or another person.

  4. Ann syrattonOctober 18, 2022

    Why is Missy and Zeeko not the stars of the FBI series anymore. They are the most
    Talented, Charismatic and believable characters and now they’re hardly ever on the show.!!!

  5. James A GayhardtMarch 23, 2022

    First time I have ever commented on a TV show, but enough is enough. If the FBI really operates a TOC like what is portrayed by having Jubal waving a pencil and yelling at everyone as if they have all had lobotomies, we’re all in trouble. Where’s teamwork and respect for others? Plus, he’s now mimicking Matthew McConaughey with “OK, OK, OK!” My six year old grandson says “that’s lame, what’s his problem!”

    In addition to stale dialog that sounds like ’50’s Westerns, I watched Scola talk about “…a box of bullets”, not even blinking that “cartridge” was the correct term. Propagating things like this, along with poor grammar, just reduces the viewing public to lower standards and erodes facts just from laziness and lack of knowledge.

    With your experience, I would hope you could influence the writers to do better research for their scripting, and find a way to reshape Jubal into a leader instead of a blowhard that diminishes the value of the intent of the show.

    Thanks for reading.

    1. Jerri WilliamsMarch 23, 2022

      I appreciate your insightful comments. The FBI shows on CBS have millions of fans and the writers do a fabulous job of showcasing the work FBI employees do. Although not perfect, the writers create good stories that resolve full field investigations in less than an hour. They, therefore, make many creative compromises.

      We are not their target audience and we can make it difficult for others to enjoy the shows when we’re watching. LOL.

  6. graceOctober 6, 2021

    I just finished watching of FBI, season 4 episode 3, and I can’t believe they are allowing a plot that throws a hurting veteran under the bus. I love OA’s character, but I can’t believe he allowed them to talk him into altering his report that could have allowed his friend to get the help help he needed but instead would send him to prison. I hate show like this. They better writers.

    1. Jerri WilliamsOctober 6, 2021

      I didn’t watch. I’m not a regular viewer. I know too much to really enjoy the show, but I think the writers are great at keeping the plot tight and drama high. I guess they were giving OA his big scene.

      1. Maggie McBrideNovember 16, 2022

        I agree plus Missy Peregrine is so stiff, never smiling and I just don’t like her. I quit watching the show but when she left for medical leave, I started watching it again and her replacement was much better now she’s back, so quit watching it again.

  7. Anne.August 11, 2020

    I’m trying to watch an episode of the FBI series. The volume is so overpowering and unbelievably loud that I can’t hear the voices. I keep watching the show, but the. It’s just toooo loud. Has anybody else ever commented on this?

    1. Jerri WilliamsAugust 12, 2020

      I didn’t notice the volume, but I understand how distracting that must be for you.

    2. Mary BlakeNovember 1, 2022

      The sound is terrible on this show. The music is so loud, you can’t hear the words or what they are saying.


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