ByDavid Rodemerk, writer at
Watched HBO and Cinemax as a little kid before "binge-watching" was even a thing! Mom called me a TV Guide with diapers. Twitter @filmigos
David Rodemerk

At the request of Eric Dane, star of TNT's , production of the fourth season of the series will be put on hiatus as he battles with depression. Season 4 is slated to premiere this summer, and Season 5 will be on hiatus through Memorial Day with its premiere scheduled for the summer of 2018. A representative of Eric Dane told Variety:

“Eric asked for a break to deal with personal issues,” a rep for Dane tells Variety. “He suffers from depression and has asked for a few weeks of downtime and the producers kindly granted that request. He looks forward to returning.”

This isn't the first time that Dane has wrestled with the demons of depression. In 2011, the actor voluntarily checked himself into a 30-day rehab clinic due to his struggles with an addiction to painkillers that he was prescribed following a sports injury.

Why Is This Important?

With all the talk about 's 13 Reasons Why series about teenage suicide and its aftermath, mental health awareness is moving to the forefront of current discussions in entertainment, both in front of and behind the camera. Even Troian Bellisario of Pretty Little Liars is working on a movie discussing her struggles with anorexia. Mental health is becoming less of a taboo subject in Hollywood, not just in the stories it produces, but also with the actors who suffer from various illnesses themselves.

The producers of The Last Ship should be commended for acknowledging 's depression and allowing him time to recover, rather than pushing him too hard or trying to keep it under wraps. This is a rare occurrence where production was halted because of an actor's mental health, treated the same way that one would a physical medical issue. It's a small step, but a huge one in the demanding world of television production.

The Last Ship is based on book of the same name by William Brinkley. It's a post-apocalyptic series set after a virus kills 80% of the world's population. The crew members aboard the Navy ship, the USS Nathan James, are unaffected and on a journey to discover a cure and save the world. Dane plays Commander Tom Chandler, the commanding officer of the ship. Hopefully Dane will be in a good enough place that he's able to return to the work he loves soon.

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