So when TNT said they wanted to get a TV show out of me, I said I wanted to do a throwback type of show. I don’t want to live in a dark world." The show's pilot was filmed on-location in Chicago, with the remainder of the first season set and filmed in Los Angeles.For the second through fourth seasons, the show was primarily set in Boston, but filmed in Portland.Each con, either as originally planned or as complications develop, typically requires the specialized skills of all the members of the group.Towards the end of each episode, the villains seem to get the upper hand, only to be outwitted by the team.The team operates free of scrutiny as "Leverage Consulting & Associates", until Nate's former colleague, James Sterling, attempts their capture.In response, they steal a collection of valuable art from Nate's former boss, Ian Blackpoole, returning it in exchange for Blackpoole being kicked out of his own company, and disband for six months. The team reunite and resume their activities, still followed by Sterling, until Nate surrenders to the latter in exchange for the others' freedom, finally admitting to Sterling and himself that he is a thief.The team comes together when Victor Dubenich, a wealthy aerospace executive, persuades Ford, disgraced and an alcoholic after the death of his son, to lead a team of talented criminals to steal aeronautical plans allegedly stolen from him by a competitor.After a successful heist, Dubenich withholds their payment and attempts to have them killed, whereupon they implicate him in a bribery attempt, which leads to his arrest by the FBI.
Leverage follows a five-person team: a thief, a grifter, a hacker, and a retrieval specialist, led by former insurance investigator Nathan Ford, who use their skills to fight corporate and governmental injustices inflicted on ordinary citizens.This formula is followed by every episode in seasons one, two, and three.With the exception of the final season, each season ends with a two-part finale which involves a two-part, multi-stage con designed to bring down a major adversary, such as an international crime financier in season three, with an ending that advances the team's story into the new season.Devlin said of the show's creation: "I just wanted to do the type of show that I grew up with and loved.I missed Mission: Impossible and The Rockford Files.Executive producer Dean Devlin announced the fifth season would not only be shot in Portland, but set there, as well.Shooting, editing, and all post-production work were done digitally, using no physical film or videotape at any point in the process.These flashbacks, which are featured in most episodes, excepting 113, sometimes reveal only in retrospect that an earlier scene was actually a clue to the Leverage team's plan.More often, the flashbacks reveal new information to which the viewer has not been privy.Season 5 opens with Nate having moved the team to Portland and setting up shop in a microbrewery (Bridgeport Brew Pub), but the season premiere ends with the revelation that Nate is working with Hardison on a secret project unknown to the others.After a series of extremely intricate confidence tricks, the secret project is revealed and carried off, despite the recurrent Sterling.