CBS cans ‘Without a Trace,’ ‘The Unit’

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 1:00am

The seven-year run of 'Without a Trace' came to an end when CBS announced it was canning the show to make room for new fair.

As the only network whose audience increased (12 percent) during the 2008-09 television season, CBS (WTVF-5) had an abundance of riches. So it was only natural there wouldn’t be many changes in its fall lineup.

But it also meant some shows with only slightly above-average ratings would be sacrificed to make room for new offerings and that was definitely the case with longtime staples Without a Trace (seven years) and The Unit (four years), which were both canceled.

The first-year show Eleventh Hour was also canned, while CBS renewed a trio of comedies The New Adventures of Old Christine, Gary Unmarried and Rules of Engagement. None of the programs had the appeal of Without a Trace, which won its 9 p.m. Tuesday time slot almost every week during the season.

But the trio of renewed shows don’t cost as much to produce. Plus Without a Trace is now making millions for CBS in both weekday and weekend syndication.

It came down to a choice for super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer between Without a Trace and Cold Case, and a deal to lower the latter’s expenses proved its salvation. CBS is also going to add Medium, a program canned earlier in the week by NBC and one that is produced by CBS studios.

The legion of Alex O’Loughlin fans won’t get his vampire detective show Moonlight back, but he will be the centerpiece of a new CBS program Three Rivers about a team of organ-transplant surgeons. It joins the still unnamed NCIS spin-off, a Julianna Margulies legal saga The Good Wife, and a Jenna Elfman comedy Accidentally on Purpose among new CBS shows.

Also coming are new reality offering Undercover Boss and another medical number Miami Trauma from the Bruckheimer empire.

2 Comments on this post:

By: Dragon on 5/21/09 at 7:50

Shame. I liked The Unit.

Renewing the trio of comedies with lower rating because they are cheap to produce says alot. I don't watch any of them because I don't find them funny.

By: jas77 on 5/21/09 at 5:09

i liked The Unit also, don't really have a reason to watch cbs now. also im hoping FOX ABC NBC USA or some broadcast / basic cable network will jump on this chance cbs has given them, buy the rights to The Unit, promote it which cbs never did not to mention the pre emptions sports over runs etc cbs never gave this show a chance. another network could buy The Unit, and promote it properly, and have a successful show.