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April 16, 2014

Short-Lived Shows: UNSUB

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 20th 2009 8:02PM
UnsubNow here's a show that was before its time.

UNSUB was a show that ran for a few months (eight episodes) on NBC in 1989. It was about an FBI forensics team that investigated murders and other serious crimes. Sound familiar? This was CSI and Criminal Minds before there was a CSI or a Criminal Minds.

Looking back, it had a rather interesting cast. David Soul was the leader (the "Grissom" of the group - his name was even similar, John Westley "Westy" Grayson), and he was helped by a team that included Kent McCord, Richard Kind, and M. Emmet Walsh. It was produced by Stephen J. Cannell and written by people like Randall Wallace (Braveheart) and Stephen Kronish (24). If I can remember correctly (it's been 20 years since I've seen an episode) it wasn't a "great" show, but it was probably just as good as any of the similar shows we have on the air today.

UNSUB is one of those shows that will probably get lost, even in the age of DVDs, iTunes, and 200 channels. It was too short-lived but also barely remembered, not one of those short-lived shows that become a cult classic that people remember. There probably aren't a lot of people writing e-mails to NBC clamoring for the show to be released on DVD. Which is too bad. It would be interesting to see what people think of the show today, when every show like this uses the term "unsub" ("unknown subject") several times a season.

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ArcLight

Yep, I enjoyed it. And thought it was funny and a little sad later when the whole craze took off and barely anyone remembered one of the shows that was there first.

Networks need to follow the Warner Bros. archive approach and make short-lived series available on DVD-on-demand. There's a ton of shows I'd gladly fork out $20 for a bare-bones DVD set straight from the studio.

August 21 2009 at 12:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

"Before its time" and "Ahead of its time" both mean the same thing... kinda strange.

August 20 2009 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ðan

I caught every episode back when it ran and YES it was quite a good show too bad there weren't a few more episodes or even 2nd season

August 20 2009 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
litehousebeacon

Calling the lead guy "Westy" was their first failure.

August 20 2009 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
onyxsci

You missed the most obvious connection to CSI: Paul Guilfoyle was the baddee in the pilot episode.

August 20 2009 at 8:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to onyxsci's comment
Kemp

Wow, And I thought I was the only one who remembered that.

If I remember correctly he was a mama's boy who inserted razor blades into his victim's shoes, and ended up killing himself as the squad was closing in by jumping out of his mother's bathroom while she was bathing.

Yeah, it's a sickness.

August 21 2009 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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