Unforgettable (American TV series)

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The word Unforgettable in white block type, against a blurred forest background
Based onThe Rememberer
by J. Robert Lennon
Developed by
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes61 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Ed Redlich
  • John Bellucci
  • Carl Beverly
  • Sarah Timberman
Running time45 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network
  • CBS (2011–2014)
  • A&E (2015–2016)
Original releaseSeptember 20, 2011 (2011-09-20) –
January 22, 2016 (2016-01-22)
External links

Unforgettable is an American police procedural crime drama television series that premiered on CBS on September 20, 2011.[3] The series was developed by Ed Redlich and John Bellucci, and stars Poppy Montgomery as Detective Carrie Wells, a female police detective with an unusually detailed and photographic memory.

After being canceled twice by CBS, Unforgettable was picked up by A&E for a fourth season.[4] The season premiered on November 27, 2015, with two back-to-back episodes.[5] In February 2016, A&E canceled the show.[6]


Former Syracuse, New York, police detective Carrie Wells has hyperthymesia, a rare medical condition that gives her the ability to visually remember everything.[7] She reluctantly joins the New York City Police Department's Queens homicide unit after her former boyfriend and partner, Lieutenant Al Burns, asks for help with solving a case. The move allows her to try to find out the one thing she has been unable to remember, which is what happened the day her sister was murdered.

As season two begins, Carrie and Al are offered a transfer to the NYPD's Major Crimes Section, leaving the 117th Precinct in Queens. Dr. Joanne Webster is the only supporting character to go with them.

The season-one opening narration by Poppy Montgomery is as follows:

I'm Carrie Wells. Only a few people in the world have the ability to remember everything. I'm one of them. Pick any day of my life, and I can tell you what I saw or heard: faces, conversations, clues (which comes in handy when you're a cop). If I miss something the first time, it's okay. I can go back and look again. My life is ... unforgettable.

Cast and characters[edit]

Actor Character Position Seasons
1 2 3 4
Poppy Montgomery Carrie Wells Senior Detective Main
Dylan Walsh Al Burns Lieutenant Main
Jane Curtin Joanne Webster Medical Examiner Main
Kevin Rankin Roe Sanders Junior Detective Main
Michael Gaston Mike Costello Senior Detective Main
Daya Vaidya Nina Inara Senior Detective Main
James Hiroyuki Liao Jay Lee Senior Detective Main
Dallas Roberts Eliot Delson Special Deputy to the Mayor Main Guest
Tawny Cypress Cherie Rollins-Murray Senior Detective Main
Alani Anthony Delina Michaels Medical Examiner Main
E. J. Bonilla "Denny" Padilla Junior Detective Main
Kathy Najimy Sandra Russo Captain Main


  • Poppy Montgomery as Detective Carrie Wells, the show's lead character. An enigmatic former Syracuse police detective, Carrie Wells has hyperthymesia, a rare medical condition that gives her the ability to visually remember everything she has seen or heard. Her ability is very helpful to investigations she and her team are conducting. She has wanted to be a cop ever since her sister was murdered when she was eight years old. She graduated from South Syracuse Prep in 1993, and in high school her nickname was "Scary Carrie". From 1997 to 2002, she worked for the Syracuse Police Department (she became a detective in 1999), but after her sister's murder investigation was shut down, Carrie wanted a new life and moved to New York City. Since then, Carrie has tried to put her past behind her, but in the pilot, she joined the New York City Police Department's 117th Precinct in Queens when her former lover and partner, Detective Al Burns, asks her for help with solving a case. The move allows her to try to find out the one thing she has been unable to remember: the man that was responsible for her sister's murder. In season two, she and Al transfer to the Major Crimes Section. In "Past Tense" (season 2, episode 5), Carrie is nominated by Eliot Delson for the NYPD Medal for Valor for talking down and apprehending an Afghanistan War veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. In "Blast from the Past" (season 4, episode 1), Carrie is mentioned as having an unprecedented 100% case closure rating thanks to her hyperthymesia. In the same episode, it is revealed that after leaving Syracuse, she went to Daytona Beach, Florida where she spent six weeks married to Eddie Martin (Skeet Ulrich), a Daytona Beach police officer, whom she never officially divorced until now.
  • Dylan Walsh as Lieutenant Al Burns, the Commander of the 117th Precinct's Detective Squad. He was also Carrie's partner and lover when she worked at the Syracuse Police Department. After he comes to her for help, Carrie and Al decide to work together once again to solve various cases. Although no longer in a relationship, they are still good friends, Al is very protective of Carrie. In season 2, he and Carrie transfer to the Major Crimes Section. In "Behind the Beat" (season 4, episode 3), it is mentioned that Al attended Ithaca College, where he learned how to play jazz trombone. As seen in "With Honor" (season 1, episode 5), Al is a recipient of the US Flag Bar, NYPD Meritorious Police Duty, NYPD Excellent Police Duty, and NYPD Unit Citation.
  • Jane Curtin as Dr. Joanne Webster (seasons 1–3),[8] the gifted but crusty Chief Medical Examiner of New York, she has been relegated to Queens district for speaking out against her superiors. As she is too senior to be fired, they hope to force her to resign. Carrie and Joanne also do a lot of tag-teams, since they are good friends. She was also the first one Carrie told about having a possible lead on her sister's killer.[9] She is very interested in Carrie and her sister's murder as she has had experience with tenaciously hunting down leads for cold cases. In "Blast from the Past" (season 4, episode 1), it is mentioned that Dr. Webster has retired from law enforcement and has been accepted into culinary school.
  • Kevin Rankin as Detective Roe Sanders (season 1), a junior detective who's one of Carrie and Al's co-workers at the 117th Precinct. He tends to make good-natured jokes about Carrie's ability and he is fond of a female techno-geek who aids the group with their cases. Roe also tends to have doubts about most cases.
  • Daya Vaidya as Detective Nina Inara (season 1), another one of Carrie and Al's co-workers at the 117th Precinct, Nina is a sassy, street-smart cop.
  • Michael Gaston as Detective Mike Costello (season 1), another one of Carrie and Al's co-workers at the 117th Precinct and Al's right-hand man.
  • James Hiroyuki Liao as Detective Jay Lee (seasons 2–4), a detective for the Major Crimes Section of the NYPD, who specializes in technical subjects.[10]
  • Dallas Roberts as Eliot Delson (seasons 2–3: regular, season 4: guest),[8] Special Deputy to the Mayor of New York City and the new boss of the Major Crimes Section of the NYPD.[11] In "Gut Check" (season 4, episode 2), Eliot receives a promotion to Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI's Miami Field Office.
  • Tawny Cypress as Detective Cherie Rollins-Murray (seasons 2–3),[8] a former decorated FBI agent, who begins working for the Major Crimes Section of NYPD.[10]
  • Alani Anthony as Dr. Delina Michaels (season 4)[12] the new medical examiner.
  • E. J. Bonilla as Detective "Denny" Padilla (season 4),[12] a young detective who has a penchant for Carrie.
  • Kathy Najimy as Captain Sandra Russo (season 4),[12] the new captain of the Major Crimes Section of the NYPD as of "Dollars and Scents" (season 4, episode 4). She and Al have a history; approximately eight years earlier, she was a lieutenant at the 117th Precinct while he was still a detective.


  • Deanna Dunagan as Alice Wells, Carrie's mother, who has early-onset Alzheimer's disease and is living at a recovery home.
  • Britt Lower as Tanya Sitkowsky, a technology expert who works with the group.
  • Omar Metwally as ADA Adam Gilroy, a persistent assistant DA who is unaware that Carrie has hyperthymesia; he has assisted the squad with some cases.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankViewers
(in millions)
First airedLast airedNetwork
122September 20, 2011 (2011-09-20)May 8, 2012 (2012-05-08)CBS2412.10[13]
213July 28, 2013 (2013-07-28)May 9, 2014 (2014-05-09)369.05[14]
313June 29, 2014 (2014-06-29)September 14, 2014 (2014-09-14)N/AN/A
413November 27, 2015 (2015-11-27)January 22, 2016 (2016-01-22)A&EN/AN/A



The hour-long program is based on J. Robert Lennon's short story The Rememberer.[15] The series was created by Ed Redlich and John Bellucci,[16] and co-produced with Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman for CBS, where it made its debut on September 20, 2011.[3] The series produced by CBS Television Studios and Sony Pictures Television. On October 25, 2011, CBS picked up the series for a full season of 22 episodes.[17]

Serving as a consultant on the series is actress Marilu Henner who, like the series' lead character Carrie Wells, possesses hyperthymesia in real life. She had a guest spot in the episode "Golden Bird", as Wells' aunt, who is suffering from symptoms similar to that of Wells' mother's early-onset Alzheimer's disease.[18][19]

Cancellation and revival[edit]

On May 13, 2012, CBS canceled Unforgettable.[20] TNT and Lifetime soon expressed interest in picking up the show, but ultimately passed on the series.[21] On June 29, 2012, CBS reversed course, and confirmed that Unforgettable would return for a second season in summer 2013 with an order for 13 episodes,[22] of which seven were broadcast in 2013. Season two premiered on Sunday, July 28 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern / 8:00 p.m. Central.[23] On September 27, 2013, CBS renewed Unforgettable for a third season of 13 episodes to premiere summer 2014.[24] Broadcast of the second season was resumed on Friday April 4, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. EDT.[25]

Second cancellation and revival[edit]

CBS canceled the series after the third season in October 2014.[26] However, in February 2015, A&E picked up Unforgettable for a fourth season consisting of 13 episodes.[4]

Third cancellation[edit]

In February 2016, A&E opted not to order a fifth season.[6] The final episode of season four ended with Al being shot by a sniper. The cancellation leaves that plot element unresolved.


The series received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes season 1 has a score of 40% based on 20 reviews.[27] On Metacritic season 1 has a score of 57/100 based on 20 reviews;[28]


Unforgettable was nominated for a People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama in 2011.[29]


  1. ^ "Unforgettable". Sony Pictures Television. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Unforgettable". CBS Television Distribution Syndication Bible. Archived from the original on May 6, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Seidman, Robert (June 29, 2011). "CBS Announces Fall 2011 Premiere Dates". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (February 6, 2015). "Unforgettable To Be Resurrected Again With Season 4 Order At A&E". Deadline Hollywood.
  5. ^ "Unforgettable". A&E. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (February 16, 2016). "Unforgettable Canceled: No Season 5". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  7. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (September 19, 2011). "Remembering All but a Sister's Murder". The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c Ausiello, Michael (April 14, 2015). "Unforgettable Season 4 Shake-Up: 3 Actors Exit Ahead of A&E Relaunch". TVLine. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 16, 2011). "Jane Curtin Joins CBS Drama 'Unforgettable' as New Regular". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (June 21, 2013). "'Unforgettable' Ups James Liao And Tawny Cypress to Regulars, 'Covert Affairs' Adds Zuleikha Robinson as Recurring". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
  11. ^ Matt Webb Mitovich (March 15, 2013). "Unforgettable Season 2 Adds Good Wife's Dallas Roberts, Two Recurring Players". TVLine. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c Michael Ausiello (October 1, 2015). "Unforgettable Season 4 Premiere Date (on A&E!) Announced". TVLine. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  13. ^ Gorman, Bill (May 25, 2012). "Complete List Of 2011-12 Season TV Show Viewership: Sunday Night Football Tops, Followed By American Idol, NCIS & Dancing With The Stars". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  14. ^ "Full 2013–2014 TV Season Series Rankings". Deadline Hollywood. May 22, 2014.
  15. ^ Saulnier, Beth. "Thanks for the Memories". Cornell Alumni Magazine.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 2, 2011). "CBS' Redlich/Bellucci Pilot Is A Go, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Helmer To Direct". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  17. ^ Goldberg, Lesley; Ng, Philiana (October 25, 2011). "Person of Interest, Unforgettable Get Full-Season Orders at CBS". The Hollywood Reporter.
  18. ^ "Henner to guest star on Unforgettable". UPI. October 11, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
  19. ^ Keck, William (September 6, 2011). "Keck's Exclusives: Details on Marilu Henner's Unforgettable Role". TV Guide.
  20. ^ "Updated: Unforgettable Canceled by CBS; NYC 22, Rob Too". TV by the Numbers. May 13, 2012. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
  21. ^ Porter, Rick (May 18, 2012). "Unforgettable may not be dead yet: Lifetime, TNT interested in canceled CBS show". Zap2it. Archived from the original on May 19, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 29, 2012). "Unforgettable Will Return To CBS With 13-Episode Order For Summer 2013". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  23. ^ Bibel, Sara (January 12, 2013). "CBS Announces Summer Schedule Including Premiere Dates for Under the Dome, Unforgettable & Big Brother". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 27, 2013). "CBS' Unforgettable Renewed For Season 3". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  25. ^ "shows A-Z : Unforgettable". The Futon Critic. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 10, 2014). "Unforgettable Cancelled After Three Seasons At CBS". Deadline Hollywood.
  27. ^ https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/unforgettable/s01/
  28. ^ "Unforgettable - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. September 20, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  29. ^ Kaufman, Amy (November 8, 2011). "People's Choice Awards nominations 2012". Los Angeles Times. The Envelope. Retrieved December 15, 2011.

External links[edit]