The premise of this series is partly based on the true story that broke in 2010 of a cell of Russian Sleeper agents who had been "hiding in plain sight" in the United States for decades. Several of them had had children, coworkers, friends, and neighbors who all had no idea that they were spies. These agents were ultimately returned to Russia in a trade for some Americans who were being held by Russia.
Joseph Weisberg created the show. Weisberg worked in the CIA's directorate of operations from 1990 to 1994. As a former agent, any script written by Weisberg must go in front of the CIA Publications Review Board.
In real life, Annet Mahendru speaks 6 languages (German, English, Russian, French, Persian and Hindi) due to a nomadic upbringing all across the globe. She joked that she was hired because the producers thought she was an actual spy.
Real-life Reagan staff member Oliver North, most infamous for his role in the Iran-Contra affair, is a fan of the show. He has even helped consult on the historical accuracy, in particular the Contras training camp arc in season 2 episodes "New Car" and "Martial Eagle."
The actors who play married couple Elizabeth and Philip Jennings on this show, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, also started dating in their real lives (in 2014). In January 2016, Us Weekly reported that Russell was four months pregnant with their first child together.
On the wall of the inner office at Philip and Elizabeth's travel agency, there's a large poster advertising travel to Patagonia. Matthew Rhys starred in Patagonia (2010), speaking his native language, Welsh.