Common Sense Media says

Smart crime drama OK for teens.





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 this crime drama 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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?


Numb3rs 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 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

Cast:David Krumholtz, Judd Hirsch, Rob Morrow
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Numb3rs was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

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
AGENot rated for age

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.
Teen, 16 years old Written byluke3854 November 8, 2009

Amuseing,educationalish show

this is a great series to get has educational value too with the math they explain. I highly reccomend this for 12+
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models


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