Don’t count S.W.A.T. out just yet. The Shemar Moore-led CBS drama was canceled last week, seemingly marking the end of one of the network’s biggest primetime dramas at six seasons. The decision seemingly came out of nowhere as the police procedural had recently enjoyed a rating surge over Season 5, meaning it was still a strong performer on broadcast television. However, Deadline reported that CBS and Sony Pictures Television have decided to revive the series for a seventh season.
According to sources close to the situation, after the cancellation news, conversations about reviving the series were trending in a positive direction, and it seems like that panned out for the massively successful series. After their initial reporting, Deadline shared a joint statement from Amy Reisenbach, President, CBS Entertainment, and Katherine Pope, President, Sony Pictures Television Studios, which said:
“We have listened to our viewers and their outpouring of passion for S.W.A.T. and we have reached an agreement to renew it for a final season of 13 episodes to air during the 2023-2024 broadcast year. S.W.A.T. has aired for six seasons on CBS and garnered a devoted following. We are pleased that we found a way to bring it back and give closure to the show’s storylines and characters, which audiences deserve. Once again, we appreciate the talents and efforts of the cast, writers, producers and crew and everyone who has contributed to the success of S.W.A.T. We look forward to its return next season.”
As the statement explains, S.W.A.T. will run for another 13 episodes, which is scaled down a bit from Season 6’s 22-episode order, but it would at least ensure that Sergeant Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson (Moore) and company get to fight another day. CBS is expected to unveil its full slate, including some of its other big renewals, on Wednesday, meaning a decision could come soon on S.W.A.T.‘s fate.
Un-cancelations are a rarity in television. While it’s not terribly uncommon to see shows shift from one platform or network to another – massive series like You, Futurama, and Arrested Development all found renewed life in new homes – it’s another thing entirely for a network to reverse its decision altogether. Previous occasions, coincidentally, have all involved Sony-produced series like NBC‘s Timeless and Fox‘s Breaking In. Although neither CBS nor Sony seemed to agree on the structure or financials for Season 7 because of how pricey the show was to make, talks continued over the weekend indicating at least some optimism and a willingness to make things work especially amidst an outpouring of fan backlash. Reportedly, production executives believe there are still options to make it work that will satisfy both sides.
What Is S.W.A.T. All About?
S.W.A.T. followed Hondo as he took the reins of a specialized tactical unit in Los Angeles. As a former marine and local, he had both the skills and the love for the area to take over the unit full of highly-skilled operatives. As a Black man, he also acted as a bridge between the police and the people to ensure that the force truly protects and serves everyone within the community, addressing difficult topics along the way. The police procedural draws inspiration from the original 1975 series as well as the 2003 movie and also features Rochelle Aytes, Jay Harrington, Kenny Johnson, David Lim, and Alex Russell among its cast. Lina Esco was also a prominent part of the series until departing ahead of Season 6.
One other wrinkle in the S.W.A.T. drama involves another CBS series – East New York. The freshman series, which launched alongside Fire Country and So Help Me Todd, is reportedly tied to the fate of S.W.A.T. as CBS has struggled to find common ground with Warner Bros. TV. Sources say that the two series are fighting over a slot on the network, meaning a resurrection of the Moore-led series could jeopardize the Amanda Warren-led affair.
S.W.A.T. Season 6 still has two episodes left to air on Fridays on CBS.