Understanding the SWAT U-turn timelines

CBS made another U-turn on SWAT, renewing it for an eighth season. Here's a breakdown of the timeline from the Season 6 cancellation.
CBS Presents S.W.A.T. ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
CBS Presents S.W.A.T. ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

SWAT is saved once more. CBS made a surprise decision to renew the show for an eighth season. We take a look at the timeline of the decisions to understand them.

Back in May 2023, CBS made the decision to cancel SWAT. It was disappointing for fans, and they weren’t silent about that disappointment. In fact, Shemar Moore, who is the lead of the series, took to social media to help fans gain a voice to keep the series on the air.

CBS U-turns on the first SWAT cancellation

The social media campaigns worked. SWAT ended up being renewed just three days later.

It would make a lot of people question why the series was canceled in the first place. This all came down to a licensing decision. Sony creates the show and CBS licenses it. The two companies couldn’t come to an agreement for the series, leading to CBS deciding to bring the show to an end.

With the uproar from fans, the two companies did finally get to an agreement to give SWAT a seventh and final season. The caveat would be that it would only get 13 episodes. This was somewhat disappointing, but then the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes of the summer of 2023 led to most shows only getting 10 to 13 episodes, so SWAT wasn’t affected by too much.

CBS renews SWAT for Season 8

Then in April 2024, CBS made another surprise decision. Season 7 will not be the last after all. There will now be an eighth season, and this isn’t billed as the last.

The eighth season will have a full 22-episode season. This has led to questions about the licensing decision. It is possible that Netflix getting the episodes led to more of an interest in the series. There has been a slight uptick in the linear ratings, so CBS may want to take advantage of that.

It is also possible that licensing a show is just a lot cheaper for CBS than creating their own. The pilot orders haven’t been all that busy this year due to the strike action, and CBS will want to make sure its fall schedule is made up of a strong lineup. Having a Friday night lineup that is the same as the current one is a great start.

The reason why doesn’t really matter at this point, though. Fans get more to the SWAT story in the 2024–2025 TV season.

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SWAT airs Fridays at 8/7c on CBS.