Shemar Moore on S.W.A.T
Credit: Getty Images

As one of TV’s most popular crime dramas, S.W.A.T. recently received breaking news regarding the status of Season 7. Why was S.W.A.T. was uncancelled? We have the answer, below – plus see what the show’s lead actor said about the cancellation news that made the network think twice.

S.W.A.T. is CBS’ procedural crime drama series that follows Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant II Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson (played by Shemar Moore), a longtime Los Angeles local and a former Marine, who leads the Special Weapons and Tactics unit of the LAPD. Based on the 1975 TV series of the same name, the show premiered on CBS in November 2017 and is currently in its sixth season. S.W.A.T. also stars Alex Russell, Jay Harrington, Kenny Johnson, David Lim, Patrick St. Esprit and Rochelle Aytes and is executive produced by Shawn Ryan, Andy Dettman and Aaron Rahsaan.

When S.W.A.T. was rebooted in 2017, the show promised to show “both sides of the conversation” during the Black Lives Matter movement. Aaron Rashaan initially pitched the series based on his own experiences growing up in Kansas City. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2017, the producer said that he had a neighbor who experienced police violence growing up.

“On the other hand, another neighbor of mine was a police officer, so we had a love-hate relationship with police officers growing up,” Rashaan explained. His co-producer, Shawn Ryan, added that “This is a pro-cop show, but this is also a pro-community show…. I want to see how the cops deal with people. I want to see how the people deal with cops.” The producers also said that it was important that Moore’s character, Hondo, an officer in South Central, also lived in the community that he served. “We wanted to explore a character that had his foot in both sides,” Thomas said.

So, is S.W.A.T. officially cancelled after Season 6? Keep reading to find out.

Is S.W.A.T. cancelled?

Shemar Moore and the cast of S.W.A.T

Is S.W.A.T. cancelled? The answer is no. S.W.A.T. was renewed for a seventh and final season on May 8, 2023, according to TV Line.

“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,” said Amy Reisenbach, President of CBS Entertainment, and Katherine Pope, President of Sony Pictures Television Studios, in a joint statement. “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.”

Lead actor Shemar Moore took to Instagram to share the news after he previously expressed disappointment in CBS’ decision to end the show. “Ayyeee!!!!! We did it #SWATFAM!!! @swatcbs is coming back for a 7th and Final season with 13 Episodes!!! Thank you to all of you for the continued and amazing support!! Let’s go,” he wrote in the caption.


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Moore and his S.W.A.T. costar David Lim posted a joint video together thanking the fans for saving the show. “They cancelled us on Friday… they renewed us today, Monday, three days later, you know why? Because of ya’ll, the fans. You showed us love. You made noise. We so respect it. We so appreciated it,” Moore said in the Instagram video. “All we want to do is do it right. If we’re gonna go out, we’re gonna go out the right way.”

Fans flooded the comments of the video expressing their excitement for Season 7. “7 seasons are not enough for fans around the world! We need the best show ever ! Thank you guys love u,” one user wrote. Another added: “Let’s keep this show going. I’m old enough to remember the original. This SWAT cast does justice to all that came before you.”


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Why was S.W.A.T. uncancelled?

Shemar Moore and cast of S.W.A.T on CBS

Why was S.W.A.T. uncancelled? Although CBS cancelled S.W.A.T. on May 5, 2023, immense backlash from viewers and cast members — including a public plea by Moore — made the network reconsider.

Initially, CBS moved to end the show after Season 6. “For six seasons, the amazing talents of the SWAT cast led by Shemar Moore, the writers, producers and crew guided by executive producers Shawn Ryan, Andy Dettman and Aaron Rahsaan Thomas brought us compelling, action packed episodes that also addressed important social issues and contributed to the success of our primetime line up,” Reisenbach wrote in a statement about the cancellation. “We sincerely thank them for their incredible work and passion and also thank our dedicated fans who tuned in every week.” The drama was a co-production between CBS Studios and Sony Pictures TV.

After the show was axed, lead actor Shemar Moore expressed his shock and disappointment in a video he posted to Instagram on May 6, 2023. “It makes no sense. We’ve done nothing wrong. We did everything that was asked for,” the actor said one day after the cancellation news. Moore also praised S.W.A.T. as “the most diverse show on CBS.” “CBS, when I got hired to be Hondo on S.W.A.T., was getting a lot of flak for lack of diversity. If I post this, and I think I might, I will get in a lot of trouble with CBS because I’m calling them out. Because they’ve been wonderful to me for 26 out of my 29-year career. But to abruptly get told that you’re cancelled when you led us to believe last week — and the week before, and the week before that — that we would have some semblance of a Season 7 to at least say goodbye, if not continue. And to abruptly be told, ‘You’re done.'”


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The actor added that while he understands the decision to cancel the show was not personal, he still believes that that S.W.A.T. will continue one day. “I will be fine, but I’m upset because I busted my whole entire a** to prove that I could do this, and I did prove that I could do this… I understand it’s not personal — it’s business — but I still have faith that S.W.A.T. will live to see another day,” he said. “So I’m asking my homies, my fans and my baby girls, and the rest of the world who follow me or follow the show, follow the cast, my brothers and my sisters: Make some f**king noise. And let them know that canceling S.W.A.T. is a f**king mistake.”

Deadline reported on May 5, 2023, that CBS and Sony TV could not “come to a financial agreement” to renew the series. Our sister site reported that over the last few years, early renewals “had come with the network keeping the license fee unchanged, which had put more and more pressure on the budget and further squeezed the show’s profit margins since costs of producing TV shows increase every year.” As a result, Sony was allegedly not willing to go for another renewal at a flat license fee as that “would compromise the show’s financial model,” Deadline said.

The Hollywood Reporter also blamed the cancellation on “the current economics of the TV business, in which networks and streamers are prioritizing full ownership of their series.” In a March 2023 interview with the THR‘s TV’s Top 5 podcast, Ryan explained why the status of the seventh season of S.W.A.T. was unknown. “Right now, it’s up in the air whether SWAT will get picked up for a seventh season, and that has nothing to do with ratings,” the executive producer said. “You would never see that situation 15 years ago…There’s no reason why the show shouldn’t be picked up other than the economics of the business are changing. CBS and Sony will or will not figure out a way to economically make a season seven work.”

As for viewership, the numbers actually went up for S.W.A.T. Season 6. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the series grew its total audience over the last season. According to Nielsen, the show averaged 6.82 million viewers over seven days (verses 6.41 million in 2021-2022). Although the viewership for adults aged 18-49 dipped a little, S.W.A.T. still ranks among the top 20 dramas on ad-supported TV, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

In addition to S.W.A.T., Moore is best known for portraying Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless from 1994 to 2005 and as Derek Morgan on CBS’ Criminal Minds from 2005 to 2016. Moore has reprised his role on The Young and the Restless over the years, and he made another appearance on Monday, May 8, 2023, to reunite with his TV family.

S.W.A.T. airs on Fridays at 8 p.m.

Check out our photo gallery on other stars who got their start on soaps.