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The Best TV Shows About Hackers | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Online security is tantamount, especially now with the rise in artificial intelligence (AI) technology, online shopping, and stories about devastating data breaches at massive companies. It’s no surprise, then, that hackers are an interesting topic and character type to cover in TV shows.




Hackers typically fall into a specific stereotype: they’re reclusive and socially awkward but also fiercely intelligent. In some shows, hackers have sinister ideas, even if there are good purported intentions behind them. In others, they’re downright heroes, using their computer skills for good, often as the brains behind an operation that the brawn can’t do their jobs without.


10 Mr. Robot’s Elliot Wants To Take Down a Conglomerate

Mr. Robot

Release Date
June 24, 2015

Cast
Rami Malek , Christian Slater , Carly Chaikin , Martin Wallström , BD Wong , Portia Doubleday

Seasons
4

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Year of Release

Number of Seasons

IMDb Score

Where to Stream

2015

4

8.5/10

Prime Video

An intriguing drama thriller that takes tons of twists and turns, Mr. Robot centers around Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a reclusive hacker who works as a cybersecurity engineer by day but secretly conducts hacks at night. It’s all with good intentions, trying to stop bad people from doing bad things. But his ultimate goal is to take down a greedy, controlling world conglomerate. His methods and intentions, however, are confused by his dissociative identity disorder.

There’s a lot more to the story in Mr. Robot, with reveals that will cause shock and awe for those who haven’t yet watched. But hacking is central to the plot as Elliot, along with his hacktivist group called “fsociety.” The group meets in secret and slowly chips away at E Corp (which they nickname “Evil” Corp) until they break down the very fabric of the economy.


9 Scorpion Is About An Elite Team With Diverse Skills

A man at a computer while several others look on in the series Scorpion.
Image via CBS

Year of Release

Number of Seasons

IMDb Score

Where to Stream

2014

4

7.0/10

Paramount+


Very loosely based on the life of a real hacker, Scorpion follows a team of elite, though socially awkward, computer experts and hackers who work alongside the Department of Homeland Security. When there’s an issue the government can’t handle, they turn to the Scorpion team for assistance, knowing that they’ll use their combined skills to solve almost anything. The team involves not just hacking expertise but dives into other areas as well, like psychiatry and engineering. It’s all about the combined genius of the team members coming together to be an unstoppable force. It all began when Walter O’Brien (Elyse Gabel) hacked into NASA as a child, putting him on the FBI’s radar and in the sights of Agent Cabe Gallo (Robert Patrick), who realized how special he was.

Despite being able to fix the most complicated problems and save society from dangerous situations, however, the team members aren’t comfortable in everyday social situations. But when they’re in their dark, dank garage headquarters, they light up. Scorpion might have some pie-in-the-sky storylines that are totally unbelievable, but when it comes to entertainment value, it will keep viewers interested.


8 Person of Interest’s AI Machine Helps Humanity

Person of Interest

Person of Interest

An ex-CIA agent and a wealthy programmer save lives via a surveillance AI that sends them the identities of civilians involved in impending crimes. However, the details of the crimes, including the civilians’ roles, are left a mystery.

Release Date
September 22, 2011

Seasons
5

Year of Release

Number of Seasons

IMDb Score

Where to Stream

2011

5

8.5/10

Freevee

Arguably one of the best and most underrated sci-fi crime dramas of the 2010s, Person of Interest has an intriguing concept. Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) is a reclusive billionaire computer programmer who developed a machine that can predict terrorist attacks. Fearing that the machine would be used by the wrong people and for the wrong reasons, however, he fakes his death and goes into hiding with it. He recruits John Reese (Jim Caviezel), a former Special Forces soldier and CIA operative to help him use the machine for good.


Each day, the machine spits out two names: one is a victim and one the criminal, but it’s not clear who is who. It’s up to Reese to investigate and take down the criminal before the crime is committed. As the season progresses, the duo works secretly alongside members of law enforcement, and even meets and joins forces with a genius hacker named Root (Amy Acker) who is obsessed with the machine and Finch’s incredible genius. The show combines plenty of action with a gripping plot, a fabulous cast, and a compelling and original story.

7 Chuck Is At Risk For Having His Brain Hacked

Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski in Chuck (2007)

Chuck

When a computer geek inadvertently downloads critical government secrets into his brain, both the CIA and the NSA assign an agent to protect him and exploit his newfound skills.

Release Date
September 24, 2007

Cast
Zachary Levi , Yvonne Strahovski , Joshua Gomez

Seasons
5


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Year of Release

Number of Seasons

IMDb Score

Where to Stream

2007

5

8.2/10

Max

Chuck takes a more humorous look at the concept of hacking. In the action comedy spy drama, the title character, played by Zachary Levi, is an average young man working at a consumer technology chain store. When he receives an encoded e-mail from an old friend who works for the CIA, it embeds a copy of a software program containing government secrets into his brain. Now, people are after him, and he is at first reluctantly forced to work with assigned handlers to help with top-secret missions. It’s important that no one can hack his brain to get these trade secrets.


The series ran an interesting course, almost canceled after two seasons until a fan campaign led Subway restaurants, a sponsor of the show, to help fund a third season. Chuck went on to air for five seasons and made stars of Levi and his co-star Yvonne Strahovski.

6 Black Mirror’s Most Riveting Episodes Are About Hacking

Black Mirror Netflix Poster

Black Mirror

An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech multiverse where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.

Release Date
December 4, 2011

Cast
Michaela Coel , Hannah John-Kamen , Douglas Hodge , Brian Pettifer , Zazie Beetz , John Hamm , Aaron Paul

Main Genre
Sci-Fi

Seasons
6

Year of Release

Number of Seasons

IMDb Score

Where to Stream

2011

6

8.7/10

Netflix

As an anthology series, each Black Mirror episode touches on different tech-related topics, including worst-case scenarios when technology is taken too far. But many of them involve hacking. One of the most notable is called “Shut Up and Dance” from season 3 whereby a hacker records a young man performing an indecent act from his webcam. The hacker threatens him with disclosing the terrible misdeeds if the man doesn’t go through with a series of blackmail activities.


In another episode from that season called “Hated in the Nation,” a hacker taps into robotic bees that were developed to combat extinction and makes them attack people who are engaging in bad behavior via social media. Arguably the most popular, however, is “USS Callister” from season 4 whereby a talented reclusive programmer creates a secret version of his game with sentient clones of his employees who bow to his every command. Hacker-related episode or not, Black Mirror is one of the best sci-fi series ever made.


5 StartUp Pits Tech Entrepreneurs Against A Crooked FBI Agent

A young man with his arms out walking wearing a blazer and jeans, two others behind him in StartUp.
Image via Crackle

Year of Release

Number of Seasons

IMDb Score

Where to Stream

2016

3

7.8/10

The Roku Channel

An under-rated crime drama, StartUp is about the invention of a technology called GenCoin, a digital currency that seems to have promise. That is until it’s incubated by a group of individuals, including a crooked FBI agent, who wants to take down and eliminate the company and any possibility of GenCoin seeing the light of day.

With a star-studded cast that includes Adam Brody, Edi Gathegi, Martin Freeman, Ron Perlman, and Mira Sorvino, StartUp received mixed reviews through its three-season run. While it isn’t necessarily about hacking, per se, the themes dive deep into the world of high-tech, and the high stakes that come with it.


4 Halt and Catch Fire Touches On The Early Days Of Computing

Halt and Catch Fire TV Show Poster

Halt and Catch Fire

In the early 1980s, a visionary, an engineer, and a prodigy risk it all to build a revolutionary computer that could change the future of computing. Set against the backdrop of the personal computer boom, their personal and professional lives intertwine as they navigate intense competition, ego, and innovation in their quest to reimagine technology.

Release Date
June 1, 2014

Cast
Lee Pace , Scoot McNairy , Mackenzie Davis , Kerry Bishé , Toby Huss , August Emerson , Alana Cavanaugh , Morgan Hinkleman

Seasons
4

2:18

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Year of Release

Number of Seasons

IMDb Score

Where to Stream

2014

4

8.4/10

AMC+


Set in the 1980s, Halt and Catch Fire is a period drama that covers the beginnings of the personal computer revolution along with the onset of the World Wide Web for consumer use in the 1990s. The name of the show refers to the execution that makes a computer’s central processing unit (CPU) cease operation. Highlighting innovative (though fictional) pioneers of the personal computer and the work of computer engineers and a prodigy programmer to drive innovation forward, Halt and Catch Fire is an exciting deep dive into the world of computing, the Internet, and the potential for hacking.

The show is one of those series that wasn’t watched by many viewers, but those who did tune in loved it. Long after it ended, sources like Rolling Stone called Halt and Catch Fire one of the best TV series of all time.

3 Silicon Valley Is A Hilarious Look Inside The Tech Industry

Silicon Valley TV Poster

Year of Release

Number of Seasons

IMDb Score

Where to Stream

2014

6

8.5/10

Max


Silicon Valley is hilarious, providing an inside look at the technology hub of North America, Silicon Valley. When a talented but socially awkward programmer develops a revolutionary program, he discovers that the journey to turning his idea and coding into a viable business is easier said than done. Filled with parodies of top tech companies, influential figures, and Silicon Valley culture, Silicon Valley demonstrates just how challenging making it in the tech world is. Richard (Thomas Middleditch) and his friends, including programmers, network engineers, and incubators, try desperately to avoid being taken advantage of by the bigwigs of tech. But while they know coding, they don’t necessarily know the cut-throat business world.

Those who are familiar with the tech space will love trying to figure out which characters are based on which people, from the billionaire founder who seems like a mix of Bill Gates and Mark Cuban to the tech conglomerate head who has been likened to Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.


2 Tracker’s Colter Relies On His Talented Hacker Ally

Tracker TV Show Poster

Tracker

Colter Shaw travels the country in his old-school RV to help police and private citizens solve crimes and locate missing persons until his latest case changes everything.

Release Date
February 11, 2024

Creator(s)
Ben H. Winters

Cast
Justin Hartley , Robin Weigert , Abby McEnany , Eric Graise

Main Genre
Crime

Seasons
2

Creator
Ben H. Winters

Year of Release

Number of Seasons

IMDb Score

Where to Stream

2024

1

6.9/10

Paramount+

While Colter Shaw (Justin Hartley) is the central character in Tracker who does all the heavy lifting, he can’t solve his cases without the help of his talented hacker friend and co-worker Bobby Exley (Eric Graise). Shaw accepts cases from across the U.S. where individuals are looking for private help to find missing persons, offering hefty rewards for a safe return. As a skilled survivalist, there’s nothing Shaw can’t handle, and his no-fear attitude means he doesn’t shy away from any situation, no matter how dangerous.


However, in every case, Shaw inevitably calls up Exley to help him trace a phone or location, run facial recognition software, find a digital footprint for someone, download and access building schematics, hack into a security system, and more. Anything and everything he needs that involves technical prowess is handed off to Exley, an appreciated and important part of his team.

1 24’s Jack Bauer Is Nothing Without Chloe O’Brian

24

24

24 is a groundbreaking television series that stars Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, an agent of the Counter Terrorist Unit in Los Angeles. Each season unfolds in real time, with each 24-episode season covering a single day in Bauer’s life as he thwarts multiple terrorist threats, making personal sacrifices along the way.

Release Date
November 6, 2001

Creator(s)
Robert Cochran , Joel Surnow

Cast
Kiefer Sutherland , Mary Lynn Rajskub , Carlos Bernard , Dennis Haysbert , Elisha Cuthbert , James Morrison

Main Genre
Action

Seasons
8

Story By
Robert Cochran

Writers
Robert Cochran

Streaming Service(s)
Hulu

Directors
Robert Cochran

Showrunner
Robert Cochran

Year of Release

Number of Seasons

IMDb Score

Where to Stream

2001

9

8.4/10

Hulu


As the limited series 24: Live Another Day proved, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) might have been the fearless brawn of the long-running, iconic series, but he was nothing without Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub). While Jack was out in the trenches, doing all the physical work and putting his life in danger, he almost always relied on the work of O’Brian, a socially awkward but incredibly skilled co-worker behind the computer.

There was seemingly nothing O’Brian couldn’t do, especially on the fly with the clock ticking. Every minute counts as Bauer found himself in increasingly dangerous situations. Cool under pressure and able to hack into just about anywhere, O’Brian was an integral part of the operation through every season of the show. Part of some of the most intense moments of 24, Bauer would not have come out alive on numerous occasions had it not been for O’Brian.


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