The gadgets "built" by Michael are fabricated by the Special Effects Department. It is a collaborative effort by the writer, production designer, special effects and the prop master. The actual builder is Michael Doyle, the Special Effects Foreman.
The show was originally set in Newark, New Jersey.
The show uses the Coconut Grove Convention Center in Miami as production offices and sets for Michael's loft and Madeline's house. It had originally been slated for demolition.
The building that is supposed to be Michael's loft is located on NW 7th Ave between NW 6th St. and NW 5th St (528 NW 7th Ave) Miami, FL 33136. It can be found in Google Maps at 25.779033,-80.20706.
Was the subject of a skit on Saturday Night Live called "What is Burn Notice?" during the Ashton Kutcher/Them Crooked Vultures episode.
In every episode somebody eats yoghurt in Michael's loft.
During his 15-year tenure as a spy Michael worked mainly in eastern Europe and the Middle East. As a result he speaks fluent Russian and Farsi and describes his command of the Polish language as rusty. He doesn't know Spanish and is mocked repeatedly throughout the series for living in Miami without being able to converse in Spanish.
The scar under Jeffrey Donovan's left eye has been written into the show as something Michael's abusive father gave him "to remember him by."
It's mentioned often throughout the series that the name Michael Westen is notorious throughout Russia. Russian Intelligence talks about Michael Westen as having done too much damage to be one person (they think "Michael Westen" is a code name for a Special Operations team) and they use his name and tales of what he's done to scare rookie operatives.
In the first season Michael says he's had 30 years of karate training but throughout the series Michael also uses a variety of mixed martial arts including (but not limited to) aikido, Brazilian jujutsu, and the Russian martial art sambo. Michael says he has "combat experience on 5 continents" and "two black belts."
DirecTV sponsored a commercial-free premiere; future airings ran at 90 minutes with the addition of commercials.
The producers took issue with Bruce Campbell shaving for the role. Bruce had insisted on it due to Sam's constant romancing of wealthy women, but the producers insisted he remain unshaved in order to provide contrast to Jeffrey Donovan's clean-cut leading man look. Consequently Bruce is only clean-shaven in his introductory scene.
Gabrielle Anwar improvised kicking Michael awake during her audition. It was later added into the shooting script.
A hurricane-resistant picture window at the restaurant where Sam is meeting with the FBI agents watching Michael shattered from the heat of all the lights being used for the scene.
Sam and Fiona identify themselves as Detective Cagney and Detective Lacey. Sharon Gless, who plays Michael's mother Madeline, played Cagney on "Cagney & Lacey" (1981). Bruce Campbell improvised the reference.
Although created on their own by 'Craig S. ONeill and Jason Tracey, Sam's go-to cover name of "Chuck Finley" is also that of a coworker of Bruce Campbell's father.
In the scene after Michael, Fiona and Thomas McKee escape the bounty hunter at Fiona's house, they are at Michael's apartment discussing the plan. When Michael opens his refrigerator, there is a can of SMEAT in the door. SMEAT was used as a fictional food in Waterworld instead of SPAM.
Fiona says that Sam's old bulletproof vest smells of Old Spice and bourbon. Bruce Campbell, who plays Sam, became spokesman for Old Spice in 2006.
Although press releases, on-line listings and cable/satellite companies billed this as "Loose Ends," the official web site, as of October 2007, billed this as "Dead Drop."
The case for the drugs is actually the transit case for a AN/USM 323. This is the military version of the Hewlett Packard 8640M. By the way she is carrying it, it is completely empty. The empty case weighs about 25 pounds.
Michael's cover ID ("Terry Miller") is actually one of the producers.
At the Pakistani consulate Michael Weston introduces himself as a reporter named "Rich Franklin", who is actually a UFC fighter and former Middleweight champion to whom the lead actor, Jeffrey Donovan, bears a very close resemblance.
Michael introduces himself to the con-artist as "Davis Cullen". T. Cullen Davis was a Texas oil heir who was arrested but acquitted in 1977 for the murder-for-hire of his estranged wife's daughter and boyfriend (the wife was wounded and survived). He was arrested again in 1978 for soliciting the murder of the same estranged wife and the judge overseeing their ongoing divorce, but he was again acquitted after forensic discourse analysis concluded that his words in the recorded conversation with the undercover operative posing as a hitman did not constitute solicitation.
Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) at one point says "You know, for the kids." This is a direct reference to The Hudsucker Proxy in which Campbell plays a supporting role. The line is a slightly different version of the movie's famous, oft-uttered line: "You know, for kids." Sam says "You know, for THE kids" because he's referring to 2 kids specifically (Corey and Tanya, the kids he's helping out) unlike in 'Hudsucker' where the line refers to kids in general.
The "phone-book bulletproofing" was tested by Mythbusters (Coll. 7; Ep. 8). They proved that the set-up used would protect from small arms fire used in the ambush scene. (Note: but not against heavy weapons like shotgun slugs or high-powered rifles)
Burn Notice's main protagonist Michael Westen (played by Jeffrey Donovan) meets real-life guest star Michael Weston (who plays the mentally-disturbed client Spencer).
The "spy plane" Michael Westen identifies is actually a Beech 1900 with Gulfstream International, a regional airline out of Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and clearly painted in Continental Connection livery. The "FAA" window which Michael escapes from is in the Sheltair/Jet Center FBO building at FLL; which houses the local FAA/FSDO office.