Jonathan Nolan recalled that the show about an all-seeing machine used to prevent crime was labeled far-fetched by some observers when it debuted in 2011.
But after former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden's disclosures about secret government surveillance programs, there was a brief period of gloating at "Person of Interest," Nolan said.
"It validated our decision to wear tinfoil hats for the last two years," he said Wednesday.
Concern about "our nation's descent into an Orwellian nightmare" aside, Nolan said, comparisons between the show and the NSA disclosures have given "Person of Interest" a third-season boost of attention.
The show has had a "pervasive sense of paranoia" from the start, said his fellow producer, Greg Plageman.
"We've always said, if we do our job, at the end of every episode you should be looking at your cell phone a little bit differently on the table," Plageman said.
"Person of Interest," which airs Tuesday on CBS, stars Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel.
Plageman and Nolan made their comments as part of a Q&A session between CBS drama producers and members of the Television Critics Association.