Numb3rs TV Poster Image


Smart crime drama OK for teens.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Network: CBS
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2005

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Good message about using brain power to solve crimes, and teamwork is emphasized.


Murders are depicted as bloody crime scenes.


The two main characters are bachelors; they kiss their dates, and there are sometimes implied sexual relations.


Mild ("ass," etc.).

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Numb3rs is a crime drama that regularly includes scenes in which violent acts such as murder are committed, and they can be pretty gory (think CSI, rather than Bones). In one episode, for example, a woman is strangled and pulled into bushes, her feet twitching, and then the perpetrator walks away, leaving bloody footprints.

What's the story?

In CBS' procedural drama NUMB3RS, a team of FBI agents and investigators use mathematical formulas and forensic evidence to help solve L.A.-area crimes. Rob Morrow stars as Don Eppes, a FBI agent who uses his brother, Charlie (David Krumholtz), a mathematical genius and professor, to help him solve some of the bureau's toughest cases. Don deals with the evidence in each case, while Charlie relies on mathematical equations and probability. The pair, both bachelors, live with their father, Alan (Judd Hirsch), and work alongside eccentric problem-solver Dr. Larry Fleinhardt (Peter MacNicol), and dogged FBI agents Megan Reeves (Diane Farr) and Colby Granger (Dylan Bruno).

Is it any good?


This series is a refreshing take on the primetime crime drama. The storylines are current (in one episode, an Iraqi woman attempting to out Saddam's henchmen is murdered) and the acting is quite good. Viewers get a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the FBI and the unusual ways its agents go about solving crimes. If teens can get past the sometimes violent crime scenes, they'll find Numb3rs highly enjoyable.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the characters in Numb3rs use math to help solve crimes. Does this make math a more appealing subject for teens? Can you think of other ways math might come into play in adult life?

  • Families can also talk about why people commit crimes and whether the punishments they receive are appropriate. Kids might also like discussing law enforcement as a career. Is that something that interests them? If so, what particular kind of role could they see themselves filling?

TV details

Premiere date:January 23, 2005
Cast:David Krumholtz, Judd Hirsch, Rob Morrow
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

this is a great show!

i you had to pick one of the many crime investigation shows Numb3rs is the best! it is a great show that the whole family can sit down and see! it is Friday nights at 10. this one isn't another trashy crime show, it is very enjoyable and real.all though there are always murders and bloodeness not much is actually shown. 13+
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

i luuuuuuuuuv it

my second fav show okay for younger kids as long as they dont mind the whole looking at bloody and sometimes gruesome people at crime areas also sometimmes parents are killed wich could upset younger kids but i've been watching it sense i was 11 and it was fine.
Adult Written byLowe's man January 26, 2015

Will introduce adults and teenagers to a new way of thinking about math.

"We all use math every day", goes the opening line in the first season. Especially Charlie Epps. His brother Don, an FBI agent, thought that the FBI could use someone like Charlie, who's highly skilled in mathematics. NUMB3RS shows how math is sometimes used to solve crimes. In one episode, for example, when a college student died it was at first thought to be a suicide. But when Charlie did all his calculations it was concluded that the death happened because of some faults with a building. In what turned out to be the final episode mathematics even enabled Don to find and get back his gun! While some may find the show nerdy, everyone can benefit from watching the show. While parts of each episode will go over viewers' heads unless they've taken up serious study of mathematics, they'll see nevertheless the role math sometimes plays in solving crimes. As for the violence, while it's more intense than that in crime dramas of the 70s or 80s, it isn't really any more intense here than in many other crime dramas today, and it only lasts briefly in this show. Certainly it isn't anything that teens haven't already seen. (Even if parents disapprove of or forbid such shows, teens hear about them from kids at school or family gatherings or perhaps even from teachers.) In summary, I'd highly recommend NUMB3RS, as it introduces viewers a new way of thinking about math. But don't get the wrong idea. In October of 2005, at the start of the 2nd season, David Krumholtz (Charlie) told TV Guide that children as young as 6 were watching. NUMB3RS isn't for kids that young! Kids at that age should be learning about numbers from SESAME STREET or CAPTAIN KANGAROO! I'd give this show a red light for 11 and under, a yellow light for 12-14 and a green light for 15 and up.