Cast: Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless, Coby Bell, Paul Tei, Seth Peterson, Robert Wisdom, Tricia Helfer, Michael Shanks, Chris Vance
- Airs: 9pm Thursdays
- Air Dates: June 2007 – September 2013
The title refers to the burn notices issued by intelligence agencies to discredit or announce the dismissal of agents or sources who are considered to have become unreliable. The television series is a first-person narrative (including frequent stream of consciousness voice-overs providing nuggets of exposition) from the viewpoint of covert-operations agent Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan).
After fleeing a Nigerian operation blown apart by the sudden and unexplained non-cooperation of his U.S. contact, Westen finds himself in his hometown of Miami, Florida, USA, attended to by his ex-girlfriend but abandoned by all his normal intelligence contacts, under continuous surveillance with his personal assets frozen.
Extraordinary efforts to reach his U.S. government handler eventually yield only a grudging admission that someone powerful wants him "on ice" in Miami; if he leaves the city he will "heat up fast", i.e., he will be hunted down and taken into custody, whereas by staying there he can remain relatively free.
Consumed by the desire to find out why he's been burned, and by whom, Westen goes to work as an unlicensed private investigator and freelance spy for anyone in town who can pay him any money in order to fund his personal investigation into his own situation as a blacklisted agent.