S.W.A.T. (1975 TV series)

Last updated

SWAT Logo.jpg
Genre Action, crime drama
Created byRobert Hamner
Developed by Rick Husky
Starring Steve Forrest
Robert Urich
Rod Perry
Mark Shera
James Coleman
Theme music composer Barry De Vorzon
Opening theme"Theme from S.W.A.T."
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes37 (list of episodes)
Executive producers Aaron Spelling
Leonard Goldberg
ProducerRobert Hamner
CinematographyTim Southcott
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time50 mins
Production company Spelling-Goldberg Productions
Original network ABC
Audio format Monaural
Original releaseFebruary 24, 1975 (1975-02-24) 
April 3, 1976 (1976-04-03)
S.W.A.T. (2017)

S.W.A.T. is an American action/crime drama television series about the adventures of a Special Weapons And Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team operating in an unidentified Californian city, although filming was done in and around Los Angeles. A spin-off of The Rookies , the series aired for two seasons on ABC from February 1975 to April 1976. Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg were executive producers. It was created by Robert Hamner and developed by Rick Husky.


S.W.A.T. stars Steve Forrest as the unit's leader, Lt. "Hondo" Harrelson, Robert Urich as Officer Jim Street, Rod Perry as Sgt. David "Deacon" Kay, Mark Shera as Officer Dominic Luca, and James Coleman as Officer T.J. McCabe. The opening theme was composed by Barry De Vorzon.

The pilot for the series was a two-part episode of The Rookies titled "S.W.A.T." (February 17, 1975).


The series is known for its instrumental theme song [1] composed by Barry De Vorzon which became a number-one hit single in 1976 for Rhythm Heritage. The title sequence that used that piece was also familiar with the principal characters responding to a muster signal, grabbing their weapons and running to their specially equipped transport van driven by "Sam", an uncredited, non-speaking role. [2]

The show's setting was rarely, if ever, specified and the shoulder patch the team members wore on their uniforms said, "W.C.P.D."[ citation needed ] Richard Kelbaugh, a former member of the LAPD's S.W.A.T. team, was the technical advisor for the series. WCPD stood for Western California Police Department.


Steve Forrest as Hondo Harrelson. Steve Forrest Hondo Harrelson SWAT 1975.JPG
Steve Forrest as Hondo Harrelson.


SeasonEpisodesFirst airedLast aired
1 12February 24, 1975 (1975-02-24)May 26, 1975 (1975-05-26)
2 25September 13, 1975 (1975-09-13)April 3, 1976 (1976-04-03)

Broadcast and syndication

On October 1, 2011, S.W.A.T. began airing on Antenna TV for a period of time [3] and in Australia on 7mate in 2012. In May 2016, it began airing on getTV. In December 2021, it aired on Rewind TV.

The series occasionally airs in weekend binges on the OTA network Decades. [ citation needed ]

Home media


The first season of S.W.A.T. was released on DVD on June 3, 2003 [4] to tie in with the release of the feature film. Season Two's episode "Time Bomb" was actually produced for Season One and, as such, "Time Bomb" is Episode 8 on the Season One DVD set. The Season One DVD set has a total of 13 episodes.

On February 10, 2012, it was announced that Shout! Factory had acquired the rights to the series; they subsequently released the second and final season on DVD on May 22, 2012. [5]

On January 16, 2018, Mill Creek Entertainment released S.W.A.T.: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1. [6]


As of March 2009, the show can be purchased on iTunes.


The violent television series premiered at a time when violence on television began to become a subject of controversy, and the actual Los Angeles SWAT team on which the fictional team had been modeled was harshly critical of its depiction of such teams. [7]

Film adaptation

A film version of the series, S.W.A.T. , was released in 2003 starring Colin Farrell and Samuel L. Jackson. [1] Steve Forrest has a cameo role as a police truck driver [1] and Rod Perry (the original TV series' "Deacon" Kay) plays the father of LL Cool J's character Deacon "Deke" Kaye. [1]

In 2011 and 2017, a direct-to-DVD sequels titled S.W.A.T.: Firefight and S.W.A.T.: Under Siege were released; they bore little connection to the TV series, the 2003 film or even each other.

Television series remake

On May 12, 2017, a new version of S.W.A.T. starring Shemar Moore as Hondo was ordered to series by CBS. [8] [9] The new series premiered on November 2, 2017. [10]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Mitchell, Elvis (August 8, 2003). "S W A T (2003) FILM REVIEW; Working Up a S.W.E.A.T." The New York Times .
  2. Season 2, Episode 17, "Time Bomb"
  3. S.W.A.T. on Antenna TV
  4. "S.W.A.T. DVD news: Announcement for the 1st Season of S.W.A.T. - TVShowsOnDVD.com". www.tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on September 23, 2012.
  5. "S.W.A.T. DVD news: Announcement for S.W.A.T. - The Final Season - TVShowsOnDVD.com". www.tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on February 12, 2012.
  6. "S.W.A.T. DVD news: Announcement for The Complete Series - TVShowsOnDVD.com". tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2017.
  7. "S.W.A.T. - 10 Things You Might Not Know about the 1970s Show". www.get.tv. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  8. Wagmeister, Elizabeth (February 28, 2017). "'Criminal Minds' Alum Shemar Moore to Star in 'S.W.A.T.' Reboot at CBS". Variety . Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  9. Ausiello, Michael (May 12, 2017). "CBS Orders Boreanaz' SEAL Team, Moore's S.W.A.T., Cumming's Instinct, Piven's Wisdom, Plus 2 Comedies". TVLine . Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  10. CBS (May 17, 2017). "CBS Announces New 2017–2018 Fall Schedule" (Press release). Retrieved November 8, 2017 via The Futon Critic.