Every single season, a beloved show with ratings that signal renewal is canceled.
This year, S.W.A.T. is getting that treatment as CBS has canceled the Shemar Moore drama after six seasons.
The upcoming season finale, airing May 19, will now serve as a series finale.
“For six seasons, the amazing talents of the S.W.A.T. cast led by Shemar Moore, the writers, producers and crew guided by executive producers Shawn Ryan, Andy Dettman and Aaron Rahsaan Thomas brought us compelling, action-packed episodes that also addressed important social issues and contributed to the success of our primetime lineup,” CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach said in a statement.
“We sincerely thank them for their incredible work and passion and also thank our dedicated fans who tuned in every week.”
In Live + 7 results, S.W.A.T. Season 6 is averaging 6.8 million viewers and a 0.7 rating in the demo — which puts the show as the No.3 show in the demo on the network and No. 10 among total viewers.
While shows with these ratings would usually be a ripe for a pickup for another network, that probably won’t be the case here.
Deadline reported Friday that the biggest issue keeping S.W.A.T. alive was economics.
It was the most expensive bubble show on CBS, and being a co-production between Sony Pictures TV and CBS Studios, there were attempts to make a deal to bring the show back.
However, CBS wanted the show to come in at a lower price tag, while Sony Pictures TV didn’t want to sacrifice the quality if the budget was slashed.
As a result, Deadline notes that a pick up elsewhere, meaning that S.W.A.T. will not be following in the footsteps of Magnum P.I. to land on another network.
It’s unfortunate, but it highlights the challenging economics of broadcast TV nowadays.
S.W.A.T. EP Shawn Ryan revealed in March on THR’s Top 5 that the show’s bubble status (at the time) was due to the state of finances on the networks.
“Right now, it’s up in the air whether S.W.A.T. will get picked up for a seventh season, and that has nothing to do with ratings,” he shared.
“S.W.A.T. right now is the No. 3 show, I think, or tied for third, for CBS in the demo,” Ryan added.
“There’s no reason why the show shouldn’t be picked up other than the economics of the business are changing, and CBS and Sony [Pictures Television] will or will not figure out a way to economically make a seventh season work.”
The saddest thing about the cancellation is that the show has a passionate audience that shows up wherever the show is scheduled.
The series was bounced around the schedule throughout its run but still brought in decent numbers.
East New York and True Lies are now the only two bubble dramas on CBS, and both are not expected to continue.
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Many shows collapse, but S.W.A.T. was a reliable performer.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.
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