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The Unit: CBS Cancels Dennis Haysbert Series, No Season Five!

The UnitThere’s another casualty on network TV. CBS’ military drama, The Unit, has been cancelled after four seasons on the air.

The Unit revolves around an elite military unit and their civilian loved ones. The series features the talents of Dennis Haysbert, Regina Taylor, Audrey Marie Anderson, Robert Patrick, Max Martini, Abby Brammell, Michael Irby, Scott Foley, Demore Barnes, Alyssa Shafer, Danielle Hanratty, Kavita Patil, and Rebecca Pidgeon.

Created by acclaimed director and writer David Mamet, the series debuted in mid-season 2006. An average audience of 15.5 million viewers ensured a second season for the drama but year two didn’t go as well, attracting 11.1 million viewers. The show has continued to decline in the ensuing years and season four has averaged an audience of 9.67 million. Though the overall viewership isn’t too low, the series does skew older. The average age of The Unit’s viewership is about 55.

The series has been “on the bubble” for awhile and many took it as a bad sign when showrunner Shawn Ryan signed on to helm FOX’s Lie to Me. Ryan however maintained that he would continue on both shows if The Unit was renewed. He’d previously performed double duty while working concurrently on The Unit and The Shield.

Should The Unit have been cancelled?

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Like most of the networks’ actions these days, the decision to renew or cancel came down to finances. CBS had asked for all of its shows to reduce their budgets. The Unit is actually already cheaper to produce than it looks. Shot primarily in Southern California, it costs less than $3 million per episode to produce. That’s about half as expensive as other primetime dramas.

A couple weeks ago, Haysbert told the LA Times that he was unsure if he wanted the show to come back if it meant making too many creative and salary concessions. He said, “There are a number of factors that go into whether I want it back or not. It’s been a great ride and, if I don’t work with these people again, I’ll certainly play golf with them.”

In an age when the networks and studios have to watch every dollar, they’ve all been favoring renewing shows that are created by sister or in-house production companies. Since 20th Century Fox TV produces the show, the network wouldn’t benefit if the show went into syndication.

Prior to the cancellation news, Gary Newman, chairman of The Unit’s studio, said, “For the CBS viewer, this show is unique. The audience may not be huge, but there’s going to be enormous disappointment if it goes off and it’s replaced with one more procedural or forensics show.”

 

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{ 1566 comments… read them below or add one }

Trish March 23, 2015 at 9:13 pm

Whoever did the poll on The Unit isn’t very good at their job. I don’t know a single person in the 50 age range who watched that show, but I do know many younger people who do…..several youth who have been encouraged to sign up and fight for their country as a result of watching that show, and young military wives who got great lessons on how and why to deal with their husbands being deployed.
Cancelling that show was a great disservice to not just your viewers, but to the men and women who serve or aspire to serve their countries.
Please reconsider. The last thing viewers need is yet another show with trampy teenagers being roll models encouraging youth to have multiple sex partners and to look out for “number one”. Bring back that gem of a show that taught women……and men how to be strong and build charter with morals and values. I’m sure the stations can afford one show that send a positive message.

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joe March 21, 2015 at 8:04 am

recently wathe on Netflix such a good show.. such a shame it ends on such a cliffhanger. would love for it to be brought back for one last series

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MaryAnne Maloney February 3, 2015 at 11:40 pm

As a Canadian that finds most American
Programming either, boring, simplistic,
Repetitive, or a bad copy of a British idea,
The Unit was intelligent and programming
Meant to be watched. I fully expect you Americans
To cancel a good thing, and replace it with mindless
Predictable dross. No surprise. I’m almost
At zero American viewing anyway.

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Rev Hardy January 6, 2015 at 9:14 am

With threats looming on every side, from beheadings to weapons of mass destruction and worldwide unrest, we need our heroes. It would be nice to see our heroes to lift up our spirits one last season. I would even take a Unit Movie, silver screen or small screen. Whatever the case, I believe, the fans deserve it. Thanks.

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Reheena January 4, 2015 at 9:31 am

Please bring the show back its great show really we would appreciate it with the same actros it will be so sad see all of them going away :((

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Ernest December 25, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Please bring the show back. I’m currently 20 and I remember watching it years ago when it first aired. Perhaps the average audience age may have been around 50 but i assure that there are more young audiences today that love the show. Thanks to Amazon Prime I have been reconnected with my most favorite show. So please bring the show back with the same actors. The actors made it perfect.

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Anonymous December 13, 2014 at 10:21 am

I love the unit beyone belief! Its a great show and its not just middle aged people that watch it, im 14! Michael Irby is amazing and i will be so sad to see all of them go:(

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Soheil December 8, 2014 at 7:58 am

always the cancelled good shows and kept the rest.
hope come back on 2015 at least
so many good shows cancelled such as :

Unit
Revelution
Flashforward

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Zach March 2, 2015 at 9:50 am

Best show ever bring it back I’m 23 btw most intense show I watched in Awhile it’s the only show I watched

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