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ABC's 'Homeland Security' Ending Its Run, for Now

By Ed O'Keefe

It's 'lights out' for "Homeland Security USA," at least temporarily.

Homeland Security
"Homeland Security USA," debuted on Jan. 6 and profiled various parts of DHS, including Customs and Border Protection. (Photo by Ron Tom/ABC)

The ABC reality television series starring rank-and-file employees of the Department of Homeland Security ends its run tonight, having aired only seven of its 13 produced episodes. The network has not announced when or if the remaining episodes will air.

The show debuted in early January to mixed reviews. It showcased the work of several DHS agencies, including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard. Men and women in federal uniforms did little to draw viewers to its 8 p.m. ET time slot however and the show usually placed far behind Fox's reality superstar "American Idol," CBS's "NCIS" (apparently a big hit with federal bureaucrats) and NBC's "The Biggest Loser." Adding to the low ratings, various minority and immigrant rights groups repeatedly raised concerns about portrayals of Latino and Middle Eastern people at border crossings.

Show producer Arnold Shapiro vowed to showcase the human side of DHS, hoping to make viewers "feel good about these people who are doing their best to protect us," he told the Hollywood Reporter.

Next week ABC replaces "Homeland" with a special two-hour episode of "Dancing With the Stars" and then plans to air back-to-back episodes of the half-hour comedy "According to Jim" starting in late March.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 10, 2009; 6:35 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Comments

I guess people got tired of watching fliers being forced to remove their shoes at airports.

Posted by: rcvinson64 | March 10, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Please allow the viewpoint of a retired U.S. Customs Inspector concerning the work we performed be presented to critics of the show. There is much that is experienced in our work that is not fit to be aired. Try imagining a 5 foot 2 inch 350 pound male stripping naked before your eyes! Imagine what it is like to have to conduct strip searches or periodically visually "inspect" a traveler's anus. Imagine what it is like having to coordinate the clearance and the removal of a person who had died on a long international flight. I could go on and on. Much of what inspectors and other DHS personnel experienced in their work would make an observer's head spin 360 degrees.

Posted by: wolfholst | March 10, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the show was pretty tame compared to the reality of being a DHS employee. Miserable working conditions, irresponsibly low starting pay, having to relocate to place you don't want to be. Then the job... sitting for hours waiting for a suspect to pass a load. Arrogant travelers who make threats instead of giving answers. Agitated, intoxicated couples who's relationship is breaking up before your eyes... violently. Intoxicated teenagers coming back from spring break, immigrants from places you' barely heard of who've traveled for weeks in the same clothes. Boxes of "food"from West Africa: smoked bats, wood rats and antelope meat. Also putrid fish complete with maggots.

Catching every communicable disease, known or unknown. We got every new flu strain that entered the country. I was always told that I would be exposed to many things, they didn't mention TB.

Plus the fact that some people might want you dead for doing your job.

There was also internal problems that would warrant a 2 hour expose. America, there are people who get up every morning and work damn hard for you. At a certain base level there are women and men who give a damn

Posted by: thors45 | March 11, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

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