Why was S.W.A.T. canceled after 7 seasons?

Shemar Moore on S.W.A.T. Season 7.
Why is S.W.A.T. ending? Pic credit: CBS

It’s been a challenging year for fans of the Shemar Moore-fronted S.W.A.T.

The series was canceled in May, leaving fans hanging over a cliff and worried there would be no resolution.

Thanks to the passionate fans, CBS reversed its decision and picked up a 13-episode S.W.A.T. Season 7 to bring the show to a close.

We’re now weeks into the final season, and it continues to pull in strong ratings, leading to some big questions about why the series was canceled in the first place.

S.W.A.T. has consistently been a reliable performer, but there has been an upswing in shows ending their runs after seven seasons of late.

Station 19, The Good Doctor, and Young Sheldon are all ending this season after their seventh seasons, leaving a great void on the broadcast networks.

S.W.A.T. was a strong performer

All of the above shows, including S.W.A.T., perform well in their timeslots, but as you’ve probably heard by now, the broadcast TV market is pretty much imploding.

Networks are looking at co-productions to help shore up their schedules because those shows come at a much lower price point.

S.W.A.T., in particular, was already an expensive show, so keeping it on the air for an eighth season would have resulted in the cast having to negotiate new deals.

The salaries of the key actors typically increase as a series ages, meaning that S.W.A.T. may be far less profitable next season if it returned.

Blue Bloods recently bucked that trend with the cast taking reported 25% pay cuts to get the show a final season.

Blue Bloods planned ahead to get a final season renewal

That kind of thing is unheard of, with the common consensus being that the media conglomerates that own the shows should be paying the cast what they’re worth.

However, for Blue Bloods, that decision was more of a testament to how thankful the cast was to the fans who followed the show for years.

Without agreeing to such a decision, the show may have been canceled after its 13th season, leaving fans with more questions than answers.

The only solace we can take from S.W.A.T. getting revived for one last season is that it will conclude all the storylines, even if some of them must be rushed.

The budget for S.W.A.T. was constrained

In a sign that the budget was constrained, Kenneth “Kenny” Johnson (Dominique Luca) and Alex Russell (Jim Street) were demoted to recurring players before the Season 7 premiere.

Due to this decision, they are both expected to be written out of the show before S.W.A.T.’s May series finale.

But the book on S.W.A.T. may not be closed for very long. Moore stated in an interview last month that he’s remaining optimistic about a potential last-minute reprieve for the show.

Criminal Minds got picked up by Paramount+ years after its CBS cancellation, so anything’s possible. The move to streaming would probably allow for a bigger budget, which could help the show immensely.

For now, we’ll enjoy S.W.A.T. while it lasts.

S.W.A.T. airs Fridays at 8/7c on CBS.

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Anita Farmer
Anita Farmer
4 months ago

Why are memorable characters (like)
Luca just returned to the team picked suddenly to go out like that….should have picked different ending for him…
Just saying…

Janie Fowler
Janie Fowler
4 months ago

Not sad SWAT is being canceled since Alex Russell, Lina Esco, and now possibly Kenney Johnson are off the show. Street was my favorite.

Darlene Oxsher
Darlene Oxsher
4 months ago

Love Swat sure do wish it would be renewed for an 8th season. My favorite show !!! I always look forward for Swat on Friday nights….

Craig Warren
Craig Warren
4 months ago

I find it hard to imagine that any network would just cast aside, this particular show. This show is done so well. I just said to my wife how much I enjoyed it. Each episode has 3 or 4 different storylines going on and they are tied together so well. I said every episode is like an hour and a half, to two hour movie that only takes an hour. Very well casted too. Hopefully a network picks it up!!!