The long-running CBS police drama S.W.A.T., starring Shemar Moore as Sergeant Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson, the leader of a Special Weapons and Tactics unit for the Los Angeles Police Department, has been cancelled after six seasons, which is a stunning turn of events.
The show came in at number 10 among all CBS dramas, ahead of NCIS: LA, True Lies, So Help Me Todd, and CSI: Vegas, each of which had already received renewals. True Lies was the third-highest rated series on the network in the 18-49 demographic, behind only Fire Country and FBI (the former is ending this season, and True Lies’ fate has not yet been decided, but it is unlikely to be renewed given that it is once again CBS’ lowest-ranked series).
What did CBS say about the show being canceled?
In a statement issued by the network on the cancellation, CBS Entertainment President Amy Reisenbach stated:
For six seasons, the amazing talents of the S.W.A.T. 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 lineup. We sincerely thank them for their incredible work and passion and also thank our dedicated fans who tuned in every week.
The interesting thing is that despite just losing a tenth of a point in the demo, S.W.A.T. has actually increased its standard audience over Season 5 by 6%.
What did the show’s producer, Shawn Ryan, say about the show’s possible cancelation?
Back in March, show producer Shawn Ryan actually spoke about the possibility of the show being canceled, “Right now, it’s up in the air whether S.W.A.T. will get picked up for a seventh season, and that has nothing to do with ratings. S.W.A.T. right now is the No. 3 show, I think, or tied for third, for CBS in the demo. There’s no reason why the show shouldn’t be picked up other than the economics of the business are changing, and CBS and [lead producer] Sony [Pictures Television] will or will not figure out a way to economically make a seventh season work.”
This is comparable to the recent news that Fox is canceling 9-1-1 because, in the current television landscape, networks find it increasingly difficult to renew long-running shows, particularly when, as with S.W.A.T. and CBS (and 9-1-1 and Fox), the programme is not owned by the network where it is airing. Similar reasons exist for CBS to have canceled Magnum P.I. last season. The licensing fees simply could not be agreed upon by Sony, the S.W.A.T. production business, and CBS.
S.W.A.T. now needs to look for another network to maybe pick it up for a seventh season, just like Magnum pi. at NBC and 9-1-1 at ABC.
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