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.”

Canceled and renewed TV show

1,571 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Beverly Choice says

    Please, Please, Please, Please return the UNIT. I love the UNIT. I watch all the reruns on different channels, 50, 307, I forgot the other channel.

  2. stonecoldmrclean says

    I try not to watch CBS i quit after the unit and transfered to usa network, cbs sucks my dad was D.C police and mom FBI NCIS agent i’ll listen to their day at work before watching cbs

  3. SGT G says

    Soldiers Love watching military shows…period!!! Was one of the best series to watch. I bet if you were to put a season 5 out, your fans would be through the roof compared to the lame and boring shows that are on now.

  4. Anonymous says

    I was able to watch every episode thanks to my brother .. I believe a lot of military folks would find something to like now more than ever .. I am disappointed the show was not renewed .. perhaps a movie could be made?

  5. says

    This is the one Tv show that show. Then it gets canceled. I do nlot understand the thinking behind that. BRING IT BACK. It’s to good not to continue. The shows we have today have NO TALENT, NO CREATIVITY, NOTHING worth watching. Becaues of my working hours. I couldn’t stay awake to watch the whiole show. SOOO, I actually bought the series. Why? Because it was to good to miss.

  6. Pat says

    Why is it that CRAPPY shows go on forever and shows that have some teeth are put in the trash cab? Please put The Unit back on the the air.

  7. Anonymous says

    average age 55! That’s hard to believe. When everyone i know who enjoys the show are from 25-39.
    After catching an episode for the first time about a year ago, i can’t get enough of the show. Bring back The Unit!!!

  8. Marc says

    One of my favourite shows and have watched every episode from season 1 to the last of the 4th. You cannot end it there with everything up in the air like that! the 10 million plus viewers deserve a better finale and so does the series!

  9. armynurse says

    PLLEEAASSEEE bring back the Unit! It’s an amazing show and it’s refreshing in regards to politics… finally a major station that isn’t trying to paint our troops in a negative light but instead showing that they do more than the public realizes. The cast was great and the show itself was entertaining with a great balance of action, drama and romance. Outstanding, bring it back!

  10. Sharlean Williamson says

    Please Revive The Unit, You Won”t be sorry! That goes for any Broadcast Station CBS or not.

  11. Sharlean Williamson says

    I agree totally with most of the above posts, and I have to say I have been watching the show since it began back in 2006, loved it immediately from the very 1st episode, and i am just now 44 and my husband is 37, my kids love it too! and they are between 4 & 14 years old. So i don’t believe there numbers either.

  12. Trish says

    I am slightly offended at the average age grouping, 55, really? uhm, where did you get those numbers? As the oldest in “this house”, the average age is 22. My 4 year old loves the “army guy” show. My 8 year old wants to watch because our family background, and it “looks real”, they are the “good guys”!
    Please bring back this amazing show that actually brings the “whole family” together!


  13. Anonymous says

    La s razones de mercadeo parecen ser mayores que el respeto por la aficion o los fans de tan excelente serie lo que no da dividendos lo cancelan y ya el publico a la basura y la excelente interpretacion de estos actpores se enluta por no poder entregarle a su publico el desenlace de esta maravillosa serie de pana que el mundo del espectaculo y la television es pura farsa asi paso con el avispon verde la famosa serie del mega star Bruce Lee yberan otras epocas. Que pena me da esta noticia….mis felicitaciones a todo ese elenco maravillloso.

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