'The Unit' Takes Over CSI's Old Studio

By Carolina
August 12, 2005 - 10:51 PM

Santa Clarita film office head Jason Crawford can finally relax: he's found a new show willing to take over the studios vacated by CSI: Crime Scene Investigation when, after five seasons, it shifted production to Universal City.

Back in May, Crawford expressed his disappointment at learning the original CSI show would be leaving Santa Clarita so it could film on a big studio lot, rather than the relatively small studio complex which it had used since the first season. Local business owners feared a loss of film-related revenues, but now Crawford has been able to entice CBS to film its new drama series The Unit in the old CSI studios. "The city worked with Santa Clarita Studios to find and bring up the show," Crawford told the Los Angeles Daily News.

The Unit is a drama series revolving around a covert team of special forces operatives who risk their lives on undercover missions around the globe. The show was picked up by CBS for midseason, meaning that if any of the network's new fall shows fails to win over an audience, The Unit will be put into its place. Besides 24's Dennis Haybert, Felicity's Scott Foley and Angel's Amy Acker, The Unit also stars two CSI alumni: Max Martini, who played Bob Keaton in three episodes of CSI: Miami, and Michael Irby, who appeared as Ignacio Paez in Miami's "Breathless" and as Eduardo in CSI: New York's "Night, Mother."

Santa Clarita isn't merely providing studio and office space for The Unit, as the city's surroundings will be used to portray the many foreign countries to which the series' military agents will travel. "Santa Clarita has a mix of the residential city life location, as well as the undeveloped hillsides that they need for the action," Crawford said. In fact, Santa Clarita is so versatile that CSI will continue to shoot some of its outdoor scenes there, even after moving to Universal City for its indoor shooting -- Crawford revealed that last week, CSI came to Santa Clarita again to film the trailer park explosion with which this year's season premiere begins.

For more on The Unit, head over to the Los Angeles Daily News.

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