By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — CBS reversed its decision last week to cancel the long running procedural “SWAT” starring Shemar Moore. Instead the show got a temporary reprieve. It will return either later this year or in 2024 for a seventh and final 13-episode season, down from the standard 22, but enough to provide ample time to conclude storylines.
The reversal came after both calls for reconsideration from the show’s star and enough response from fans to influence network executives. CBS had cited rising licensing and production costs as another reason for the cancellation, and those factors played a role in the reduction of episodes.
Still, the reversal did satisfy to a degree fan concerns about the show being able to have a fitting conclusion.
The current edition is much different than the 70s original that starred Steve Forrest in the squad leader role now held by Moore.
The current incarnation has frequently explored issues of conflict between the community and the police. Moore’s character grew up in South Central LA, served in the military, and joined the police force in large part to address inequities and problems he had seen and encountered growing up.
Over its tenure, Moore’s character has gotten in trouble with superiors over his refusal to ignore issues of police misconduct. There have also been stories that spotlight problems faced by Black police officers, and the pressures they face in trying to balance family concerns and work problems.
“SWAT” currently airs Fridays at 7 p.m. on WTVF-5. When exactly the new season begins and whether it will remain on Fridays hasn’t yet been announced, with the start of the fall season now in question due to the ongoing writers’ strike.