Scorpion (stylized as </SCORPION>) is an American action drama television series loosely based on the life of computer expert Walter O'Brien. In the series, O'Brien and his friends help each other to solve complex global problems and save lives. The series premiered on September 22, 2014, and airs in the United States on CBS. It ended on April 16, 2018. October 27, 2014, CBS placed a full season episode order for the first season. In March 2017, CBS renewed the series for a fourth season, which premiered on September 25, 2017.
On May 12, 2018, CBS cancelled the series after four seasons.
Scorpion is said to be the last line of defense against complex, high-tech threats around the globe. Drawing on a diverse set of skills and experience such as coding, psychology, and engineering, they are able to solve these situations. The team tackles a variety of problems, many of which are extremely complicated. While they are frequently called into service by the Department of Homeland Security, they also accept work from private individuals and organizations.
Cast and characters
- Elyes Gabel as Walter O'Brien is a genius with an IQ of 197; Walter was notably arrested for hacking into NASA's mainframe as a child, seeking a set of blueprints to put on his bedroom wall.
- Katharine McPhee as Paige Dineen serves as office manager for the team, and helps to 'translate' the real world for them, helping them interact with the people they meet. In turn, the team helps her understand her genius son, Ralph.
- Eddie Kaye Thomas as Tobias "Toby" Meriweather Curtis, M.D., is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist; Toby serves the team as a behaviorist, 'reading' people whom the team encounters. His gambling addiction occasionally causes trouble for the team and him.
- Jadyn Wong as Happy Quinn is a gifted mechanical engineer; Happy was named for her parents' favorite song, R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People". After her mother died in childbirth, her father gave her up for foster care; her experience makes it difficult for her to interact with and relate to others.
- Ari Stidham as Sylvester Dodd is a gifted mathematician and statistician; he is described as a "human calculator". He is a highly sensitive person and struggles with obsessive–compulsive disorder and anxiety, and harbors fears of germs, air transportation, boats, and open water, among others.
- Robert Patrick as Agent Cabe Gallo is a former Marine and an FBI agent before joining Homeland Security; Gallo initially recruits the team to fix a serious air traffic control problem; afterward, he asked them to become a liaison team to tackle difficult missions that the government does not have the manpower or technological prowess to handle.
- Riley B. Smith as Ralph Dineen (recurring season 1, main seasons 2–4) is Paige's son; he is initially believed to be a troubled child before meeting and interacting with Walter, who tells Paige that he is actually a genius. He interacts well with the team, and on occasion, assists with cases.
- Camille Guaty as Megan O'Brien (season 1–2) is Walter's sister and Sylvester's wife, who had multiple sclerosis, a condition that Walter sought to "fix" to repay the favor of her always being there throughout his childhood.
- Brendan Hines as Drew Baker (season 1) is Ralph's biological father, who is a struggling minor-league baseball player.
- Daniel Zolghadri as Young Walter (season 1)
- David Fabrizio as Paul Merrick (seasons 1–2) is the Director of Homeland Security. After the events of season 1, Merrick was demoted and reassigned as Homeland Security's liaison to NASA.
- Andy Buckley as Richard Elia is a billionaire technology mogul who wants Walter to work for his company.
- Jamie McShane as Patrick Quinn is a mechanic and father of Happy.
- Joshua Leonard as Mark Collins is a former member of Team Scorpion, who kidnapped Toby.
- Alana de la Garza as Adriana Molina (season 2) is the new Director of Homeland Security, who is Merrick's successor, eventually as of "Fish Fillet" she is no longer interacting with team Scorpion since Cabe called her a disappointment for offering to leave Sylvester in a prison to die.
- Kevin Weisman as Ray Spiewack (seasons 2–3) is Walter's new buddy from community service; Ray is a former firefighter who has post-traumatic stress after losing his best friend in a fire 10 years ago. After Paige leaves the team briefly, Ray temporarily joins Scorpion. He also conducts Toby and Happy's wedding, and sometimes hangs out outside the Scorpion headquarters.
- Peri Gilpin as Katherine Cooper (season 2) is the Deputy Homeland Security Director who takes over for Molina as Scorpion's Homeland liaison; prior to working with Scorpion, Cooper had never served in the field.
- Pete Giovine as Chet (season 2) is Happy's "date", a comedian who is her comedy coach.
- Horatio Sanz as Heywood "Jahelpme" Morris (season 2) is a lawyer with his own TV commercial who first takes on Sylvester's game-show contract case, then eventually becomes the team's personal attorney.
- Brooke Nevin as Linda (season 2) is a matchmaker in speed dating whom Walter ends up briefly dating in an attempt to try to connect emotionally with others.
- Scott Porter as Tim Armstrong (seasons 2–3) is a Homeland Security trainee and former Navy SEAL, whom Cabe brings in to work with Scorpion. Armstrong starts to develop feelings for Paige on their first meeting, and he soon takes Paige out on a date. Armstrong also takes Paige to a jazz concert upon Walter's insistence; however, Walter intended the tickets to the concert for Paige and himself. Although initially established as a master chief petty officer, Tim's uniform for the United States Marine Corps birthday ball in "We're Gonna Need a Bigger Vote" is that of a lieutenant. In "Don't Burst My Bubble", Paige and Tim are revealed to have broken up.
- Lea Thompson as Veronica Dineen (season 3) is a con artist and Paige's mother, with whom Paige does not get along.
- Reiko Aylesworth as Allie Jones (season 3–4) works for the campaign of the city councilman against whom Sylvester is running, and who later dates Cabe.
- Nikki Castillo as Patricia "Patty" Logan (season 3–4), a high-schooler and Sylvester's manager for his campaign, and has been a reporter since 6th grade. After interviewing Sly, Patty becomes his intern and often hangs out around Scorpion, occasionally getting caught up in their cases. She is a perfectionist who is known for never being tardy. Ralph develops a romantic interest in Patty, something she appears oblivious to though she and Ralph are good friends.
- Tina Majorino as Florence "Flo" Tipton (season 4), a chemist whose lab is next to the team's garage. After initial tensions between Flo and Scorpion's members, she develops a friendly relationship with the team and begins assisting them with cases. Sly develops a romantic interest in Flo and attempts to court her with Ralph's help.
According to Walter O'Brien, the idea for the show came from his company Concierge Up when they asked the question, "How do we attract more bright people to contract with our company to work on interesting projects?". They decided to pitch the idea for a 10-season show that would compete with CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and "inspire a whole generation to see that 'smart is cool'".
CBS leadership viewed the show as a dramatic variation of another CBS show, The Big Bang Theory – at that time the nation's most popular TV comedy – which featured a cast of similar brainy-young-nerd characters. CBS Primetime senior executive vice president Kelly Kahl, in a 2014 interview, indicated that CBS had intended the show as "kind of an extension of The Big Bang Theory but in the drama world." 
Scorpion debuted on CBS on Monday nights in the fall of 2014, in a 10pm (Eastern) time-slot that had become an under-performer for CBS.
To give Scorpion an initial boost in audience for the first few weeks, CBS scheduled it to come on immediately after an episode of The Big Bang Theory—at that time television's most-popular comedy (which portrayed, in comedic form, a cast of young "super-brainy nerd" characters comparable to the "young geniuses" in the dramatic Scorpion series. CBS saw Scorpion as a logical extension of the cast stereotypes in The Big Bang Theory—though in dramatic form, with "younger", "fresher faces.")
To CBS's surprise, Scorpion outperformed expectations, and immediately became CBS's highest-rated drama series for the advertiser-sought 18- to 49-year-old TV audience demographic.
The ranking was borne out by "Live + 7" numbers — showing a 4.5 rating in the key demographic — and by Nielsen ratings, where “Scorpion” scored a 3.7.
The results fed CBS's primetime growth-leadership that fall—CBS’s Monday night having improved more than any other night, not only for CBS, but also more than any night for any of the so-called “Big 4” networks.
The boost to CBS's own ratings in the Monday 10pm time slot was sizeable: a 65% total-audience increase over the same period a year earlier, and a 23% boost since that period for the age 18-49 audience.
Even after it was detached from The Big Bang Theory, the show continued to rank as the second-most-popular new drama on CBS.
In the older-focused 25-54-year-old audience demographic segment (a key focus for CBS), “Scorpion” initially averaged a 4.9 -- the second-highest ranking new show in that audience—improving the network’s previous-year performance in that time slot by 29%. (L+7's measurement of 25-54 year olds put “Scorpion” at 6.0.)
Scorpion 's initial popularity extended beyond immediate-broadcast audiences, to include delayed-viewing audiences, making Scorpion CBS’s most-streamed new show of the season, initially—across multiple platforms—signaling popularity with young audiences.
Scorpion has received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, season one holds a rating of 42% based on 48 reviews, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Typical procedural plot lines and boring characters using a distracting amount of geek-speak make Scorpion a forgettable show without sting." On Metacritic, the show has a score of 48 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
The show premiered on September 22, 2014, earning a 3.2 rating in the 18–49 demographic and 13.83 million total viewers. This improved CBS' Monday 9 p.m. time slot from the previous season by 66% in total viewers and 22% in the 18–49 demographic. It was also Monday's top new series in viewers and key demographics. The number of viewers during the first season across all platforms was 26 million.
Scorpion was picked up in 13 countries, including in the UK by ITV2 for broadcast starting on October 23, 2014. The series premiered in fall on RTÉ2 in Ireland. Australian Network Ten began airing the show on September 28. In New Zealand, Prime began airing the show on October 10. The show airs in Canada on City simultaneous to CBS.
A special 63-minute episode, "Tech, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll", was originally aired as a single episode in season two, but shown in Britain and its overseas territories in two parts.
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