SWAT gets canceled, saved & climbs Netflix top 10 chart

Kayla Harrington
A close up of Shemar Moore on the show SWAT

The CBS hit drama SWAT has had a roller coaster of a week as it’s been canceled, uncanceled, and seen its popularity soar on Netflix.

As a devoted TV watcher, there’s nothing worse than having a show you’ve invested years of your life into getting canceled out of nowhere. Even if the show has a large audience and consistent viewership numbers week after week, it’s not safe from getting the axe.

And no show embodies this phenomenon better than the hit drama SWAT, which has been airing on CBS for six seasons. Within one week, the series went through multiple whiplash decisions while also seeing its popularity skyrocket thanks to the power of streaming.

Here’s how SWAT was canceled and saved, before making it into Netflix’s top 10 chart.

SWAT was canceled then saved within a few days

Earlier this month, the hopes for a SWAT Season 7 were dashed when CBS officially announced that it was canceling it and making the show’s sixth season finale serve as the series finale. According to Deadline, the cancellation came about as CBS and Sony TV couldn’t come to an agreement when it came to money. Sony was not willing to go for another renewal of the show at a flat license fee as that would compromise the show’s financial model.

And so, even though SWAT managed to maintain decent viewership numbers year after year during its Friday broadcast slot and cement itself as one of CBS’ most watched series, the company plugged the plug.

Shemar Moore as Daniel Harrelson wears SWAT gear and holds a gun in the show SWAT

Naturally, CBS almost immediately received a ton of backlash from fans as this cancellation came out of nowhere. But, no one was more upset than the show’s star, Shemar Moore, who took to Instagram to give CBS a piece of his mind.

In the video, Moore called the company out for cancelling SWAT when it’s “the most diverse show on CBS.” He also pointed out that, by getting rid of the show, CBS was erasing the only network TV show with a Black male lead. As Moore has been a part of CBS for “26 of [his] 29 year career,” he was confident that the company would “wake up and see that they made a mistake.” And he was right!

Just three days after making the cancellation announcement and Moore calling it out, CBS reversed its decision and gave SWAT a seventh season, which will serve as the last.

In a joint statement shared by The Hollywood Reporter, CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach and Sony Pictures TV Studios president Katherine Pope explained their motivation to walk back the cancellation, stating: “SWAT 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 SWAT. We look forward to its return next season.”

Moore took to Instagram once again to thank SWAT fans for their support with a screenshot of SWAT’s renewal and the caption, “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.”

SWAT sees its popularity soar thanks to Netflix

After being saved from the chopping block, SWAT had more good news heading its way as it found a new home to live on after it eventually ends: Netflix. The streaming service made a substantial deal with Sony Pictures for the show’s first five seasons and made it available for its subscribers to watch starting May 17.

A screenshot of SWAT being number two on Netflix

Though there’s no way to prove why SWAT has seen a surge of popularity on Netflix, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out it’s received a boost by the cancelation drama. People love to see an underdog win and that love has definitely been shown to SWAT as it’s currently the second most-watched show on the platform. Whatever bad luck it had when it got canceled seems to be long gone.

However, there is no official date for when Season 6 will drop on Netflix. The season finale aired on May 19 and, per CBS’s deal to own the rights to SWAT, the current season can only be streamed through Paramount+. So, fans will probably have to wait a few months if they only want to see it on Netflix, as reports suggest it will hit the streamer in fall 2023.

SWAT Seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Netflix now, while Seasons 6 is available on Paramount+. You can check out some of our other Netflix coverage in the hubs below:

The Night Agent Season 2 | The Gentlemen | Will there be Firefly Lane Season 3? | Sex Education Season 4 | Beef Season 2 | Monster Season 2 | Will there be Ginny and Georgia Season 3? | Black Mirror Season 6 | All the Light We Cannot See | Stranger Things Season 5 | The Witcher Season 3 | Chicken Run 2 | Heartstopper Season 2 | FUBAR | Florida Man Season 2 | Obsession Season 2 | The Sandman Season 2