The Unit: Michael Yarish/ CBS
Alynda Wheat
December 23, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

STARRING Dennis Haysbert (above left), Scott Foley (above right), Robert Patrick, Regina Taylor

WHAT IT’S ABOUT Inspired by Eric L. Haney’s 2002 tome Inside Delta Force, the drama follows a supersecret cadre of operatives who conduct surgical strikes in the U.S. and abroad while their wives maintain the domestic front.

WHAT TO EXPECT These guys are ”the modern-day equivalent of ninjas,” says executive producer Shawn Ryan, creator of another intense thriller, The Shield. The Unit handles everything from targeting a drug lord in Brazil to rescuing Christian missionaries in Indonesia, all under the command of Jonas Blane (Haysbert, still cloaked in the gravitas of 24‘s President David Palmer). New to Blane’s crew is Bob Brown (Foley), a fresh-faced but steely-eyed recruit who, says Ryan, is ”ready to begin sacrificing.”

WHY IT’S WORTH WATCHING The pedigree alone. Besides Ryan, The Unit‘s other exec producer is Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet, famous for his saddle-up-and-hang-on dialogue. ”[The show] forces you to pay attention,” says Haysbert. ”It’s not as obscure as 24. You don’t have to watch every episode, but you’ll feel compelled to.”

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