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. Juliet M says

    Ive always loved this show and lately ive been watching a marathon of all seasons… Fell in love all over again! Honestly, one of the best show on television and great cast! I was sad to see it go.. Bring it back! Why is it that most good shows are cancelled?

  2. Will B. Cacelled says

    It cancelled because of the administration trying to eliminate show that were to close to reality! There is a lot more to it than what your reading

  3. Robert says

    This was canceled in 2009 and what happened in America in 2009??? obama was elected and he said he would treat the rag heads better than anyone before him and this show was about terrorists and who are the terrorists??? rag heads so that is why it was canceled in my mind and that was wrong to do but obama has to support his fellow rags.

  4. Princess Powers says

    I love this show the unit , its so action pack , the cast very talented and please bring this show back !!!!!!

  5. unclebig says

    you got alot of stupid shows that does not make any since and they cancel a wonderful show like the unit i was looking for the rest of the seasons and to my disappointment its not so sad

  6. unclebig says

    it was a big mistake taking the unit off i am in afghanistan and i just found this seris and i love it i really wish they would put it back on

  7. Erik says

    Bring it back! Even though there are many different military drama series out there, this one is unique. It´s amazing. Bring it back!

  8. Nick says

    That show is one of the greatest shows on t.v. It made me want to see the next show …. It made me even join the army and I’ve been in for four years and I love it. I went out and brought all the seasons me and my mates watch it non-stop we fight about which season to watch. We want a season five come on CBS us boys over seas want the unit back.

  9. Kelly Baker says

    It s very sad and disappointing that this amazing show was canceled. I have bought all four seasons and can’t stop watching it! I really hope that they can come back and keep this amazing seasons going, I’m a former military wife and alway had a dream of joining, I I did I would want to do exactly what they are, they aren’t just a team they are a very close family! Thank you to all who have made it last for as long as it did as to if it were to come back I would be watching every second of it, thank you for making such a true and honest show! I’m a huge fan!

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