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Arts and Culture News

David Mamet and Shawn Ryan: 'The Unit'

The latest project from playwright David Mamet teams him up with Sean Ryan, who created the FX series The Shield. Their new show is The Unit, about a covert military team and their lives at home and at work.

The Unit, broadcast by CBS on Tuesday nights, premiered on March 7. Mamet created the show; he and Ryan are co-executive producers and writers. In a departure for a show about a highly trained and secretive special forces group, The Unit spends a portion of its time with the wives back home, who operate as a team in their own right.

Since the 1970s, David Mamet has written plays and movies from 1975's American Buffalo to the 2004 film Spartan. His inimical style -- scattershot, fast-moving lingo, often based in testosterone-fueled enterprises -- has spawned imitators and fans over the past three decades. His current collaborator, Ryan, has admitted to being a fan himself.

Ryan's other credits include creating and writing the critically acclaimed FX drama The Shield. The show starring Michael Chiklis as a renegade police detective is now nearing the end of its fifth season. In 2003, The Shield won a Golden Globe as Best Drama Series; Ryan has been nominated twice for an Emmy for his writing on the show.

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