"The Unit" was undoubtedly the most thought-provoking, best-written show on television, based upon a fantastic book ("Inside Delta Force," by Eric Haney--Inside Delta Force: The Story of America's Elite Counterterrorist Unit) and featuring an astoundingly talented creative team (Shawn Ryan and David Mamet) and a fantastic ensemble cast. So, the network which features three separate CSI shows--plus two knock-off versions of CSI that involve malfeasance within the U.S. military--couldn't stomach the outright honesty, integrity, authenticity, and patriotism of "The Unit"? Not shocking. However, the manner in which CBS railroaded the show was absolutely deplorable.
If it genuinely came down to a pure ratings-related decision, then "The Unit's" ratings were actually higher than those of many shows that survived the CBS axe. Plus, offering the show increasingly poor time slots as the seasons wore on naturally led to the season to season ratings decline, which CBS has pointed out prominently in justifying its decision not to renew "The Unit." So, what ended up killing "The Unit"? Political correctness? A yearning for safe, formulaic, lowest common denominator programs at CBS? Liberal-minded network programming executives? The fact that it is not one of CBS's own in-house productions, as are the CSIs and NCISs of the world?
How many ways can a crime scene investigation team use a blue light or a neat piece of equipment to find the key previously overlooked clue that breaks open a case? In how many settings can the same story be told with different clues but the same result? (Typically, the white male turns out to be the bad guy. And, if there's more than one, then typically the wealthier of the two is discovered to be the bad guy.) Tune in to CBS and find out. I, on the other hand, will be taking refuge from the mind-numbing shows that dominate network television via my DVD player instead. And, among the most prominently re-viewed DVDs will be Seasons 1-4 of "The Unit." So long, Snake Doctor, Cool Breeze, Dirt Diver, Betty Blue, et. al. It was a heck of a ride!