Much to the dismay of the show’s loyal followers, The Unit was cancelled by CBS in May. The series’ viewership had declined in its later years but, despite being preempted several times, still attracted 9.67 million viewers in season four.
The Unit was supposedly being seriously considered to continue in first-run syndication but the deal didn’t work out, likely because of production costs. Sadly, while the military drama and Dennis Haysbert, Regina Taylor, Robert Patrick, and Scott Foley will be around in syndication for years to come, we won’t be seeing season five of The Unit.
It turns out that the writers had a full plan for year five which Executive Producer Shawn Ryan was expecting to be the show’s last. He pitched the storyline ideas to the CBS execs but ultimately they weren’t interested.
At the recent TCA press tour, Ryan shared with The Futon Critic what would have happened. He said, “It was going to be a whole new show in the sense that we were going to be training some young people, Bob was going to be training some people for a whole new organization. Jonas was finally going to be seeing his run end.”
Ryan continued, “The final season was going to be, I figured the fifth season was going to be the last… It was going to be a long, sort of final mission for Jonas. He’s not medically cleared, Mac has to go in and sort of change the medical records so that Jonas can keep on [going on missions]. We had a whole thing planned, it was going to be good.”
Of the cancellation, Ryan points to CBS’ last-minute decision to save NBC’s discarded Medium series. If things had been reversed and The Unit “had been owned by Paramount and Medium had been owned by 20th Century Fox, we’d be making the fifth season of The Unit right now. I don’t know how else to say that.”
What do you think? Do the plans for season five sound like a good way for the military drama to finish?
Image courtesy CBS.