S.W.A.T.

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ABC (ended 1976)

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8.4
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User Rating
210 votes
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SHOW REVIEWS
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S.W.A.T.

Show Summary

The show starring Steve Forrest was a spinoff of The Rookies. The show produced 39 episodes, 2 of which were really episodes of The Rookies that served as the pilot. The show ran from February 1975 until April 1976. Also starring was Robert Urich (who went onto star in Soap in September 1977), and Mark Shera.

Thanks to hit programs like Adam-12, the cop show rose to a new level of prominence during the 1970's. There were several badge-flashing action dramas over the course of the decade, but perhaps none as interesting (or controversial) as S.W.A.T., a program inspired by the real-life crime-control units that rose to prominence in the U.S. after the civil disturbances of the late 1960's. Although its brutal level of action ensured that it had short life on television, S.W.A.T. became an impressive success during its short run and continues to be a cult favorite today.

S.W.A.T. is an acronym for the 'Special Weapons And Tactics' unit, which was an elite five-man team of police officers who dealt with situations that were too dangerous for the police force to handle. Each had a specific job: Lt. Harrelson called the shots as the group's commanding officer, Sgt. Kay was the group's scout and Officer McCabe was the resident marksman. Each was also a Vietnam veteran, so they all adopted a military style (navy-blue fatigues) and used a combat mentality to deal with the problems they faced.

During the show's run, the S.W.A.T. team had no shortage of psychos and crazies to deal with-everything from snipers to Satanists to scuba-diving jewel thieves. S.W.A.T. also had to deal with being the direct targets of these bad guys-Street dated a woman whose last few boyfriends were killed by a sniper in "The Bravo Enigma," and a family of criminals targeted the entire S.W.A.T. team for extinction in "Kill S.W.A.T." No matter who was plotting to kill whom, you could count on plenty of mayhem each week as the S.W.A.T. rolled from destination to destination in their specially-equipped van to dispense justice the hard way.

S.W.A.T.'s combination of cool cops and brutal action made it a popular choice when it hit the airwaves in 1975. The show even produced a radio hit when its orchestral-funk theme song, performed by Rhythm Heritage, became a Top-10 smash on pop radio. Everyone loved the show except the critics. Media pundits regularly attacked the show for its high level of violence, the "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality of the heroes, and the fact that its heroes often dealt out more violence than the foes they were dealing with. The controversial but popular show enjoyed a two-season run before quietly disappearing from the television schedule in the summer of 1976.

Today, S.W.A.T. periodically pops up in reruns and garners an enthusiastic response from the former kids who grew up on its tales of urban-guerrilla warfare. The show was even remade as an action epic for the movie theaters starring Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell. Whether the remake was a success or not, one thing is certain: S.W.A.T. has earned its place in television history as one of the most memorably intense cop shows of all time.

(Extra info courtesy of YesterdayLand)moreless

Steve Forrest

Steve Forrest

Lieutenant Dan "Hondo" Harrelson

Robert Urich

Robert Urich

Officer Jim Street

Rod Perry

Rod Perry

Sergeant David "Deacon" Kay

Mark Shera

Mark Shera

Officer Dominic Luca

James Coleman

James Coleman

Officer T.J. McCabe

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Hard to believe that this was considered too violent for TV

    8.0
    I remember watching S.W.A.T. when it first came out in the 1970's. I was a young teenager and really enjoyed the show. I've had a chance to watch the shows again now that they're out on DVD and Hulu. While it's a bit slow in terms of today's shows, it's still enjoyable and a few of the shows are downright excellent.



    I'm amazed that this show was considered too violent. It pales in comparison to the offerings of the 21st century and while it has it's violent shootout moments, there is very little, if any, graphic violence in any of the shows.



    It's neat to watch the five men work as a team and look out for each other.



    I was happy to be able to become the editor of the guide and add in the Cast, Crew, Quotes and so forth to make the guide complete.moreless
  • Still enjoy it to this day!

    10
    S.W.A.T. was and will always be a personal favorite for me.

    At the time S.W.A.T. premiered I was 8 years old and remember rememebr my friends and I pretending to be the S.W.A.T. team (I was always Jim Street). For my 9th Birthday, I recieved my very own S.W.A.T. van and a Jim Street action figure.

    The two shows that I have the fondest memories of when I was a child are Emergency! and S.W.A.T. and can remember how heart-broken Iw as when each show were canceled. However, thanks to DVD, I am now able to re-watch some of my personal favorites again.moreless
  • CREATOR OF "JIGGLE TV." EMPLOYER OF OVER-THE-HILL ACTORS. UNLEASHER OF SHANNEN DOHERTY. AARON SPELLING WAS ALL OF THESE, AND MORE.

    Tribute to Aaron Spelling

  • DON'T TOUCH THAT DIAL! THE RELEASE OF THE DUKES OF HAZZARD MOVIE CONTINUES A RICH HOLLYWOOD TRADITION. IT'S CALLED "REPURPOSING CONTENT."

    Serenity Now-- It's TV.COM's rundown of television-to-movie conversions

    • S.W.A.T. - in re-runs...
      I really enjoy watching episodes of S.W.A.T. and it would be nice to see this show back in re-runs on cable tv. An official Season...
      04/27/09
      5
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    More Info About This Show

    Themes

    facing danger, for the nostalgic, extraordinary situations, government conspiracies, gunfights