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

For other uses, see Swat (disambiguation).
Genre Action, crime drama
Created by Robert Hamner
Lee Stanley
Starring Steve Forrest
Rod Perry
Robert Urich
Mark Shera
James Coleman
Ellen Weston
Theme music composer Barry De Vorzon
Opening theme "Theme from S.W.A.T."
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 37 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Leonard Goldberg
Aaron Spelling
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 44 mins.
Production company(s) Spelling-Goldberg Productions
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original network ABC
Audio format Monaural
Original release February 17, 1975 (1975-02-17) – April 3, 1976 (1976-04-03)
Followed by S.W.A.T.
Related shows The Rookies

S.W.A.T. was an American action/crime drama series about the adventures of a Special Weapons And Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team operating in an unidentified California city. A spin-off of The Rookies, the series aired on ABC from February 1975 to April 1976.

Like The Rookies, S.W.A.T. was produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg.


S.W.A.T. stars Steve Forrest as the unit's leader, Lt. "Hondo" Harrelson, and Rod Perry as Hondo's second-in-command, Sgt. David "Deacon" McKay. The show also featured early starring roles by Robert Urich as Officer Jim Street, James Coleman as Officer T.J. McCabe, and Mark Shera as Officer Dominic Luca.

The series is known for its theme song[1] 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." Richard Kelbaugh, a former member of the LAPD's S.W.A.T. team, was the technical advisor for the series.


Steve Forrest as Hondo Harrelson.


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


The series premiered at a time when violence on television was becoming 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.

DVD releases

The first season of S.W.A.T. was released on DVD on June 3, 2003[3] 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.[4]

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.[1]

In 2011, a direct-to-DVD sequel titled S.W.A.T.: Firefight was released; it bore little connection to either the TV series or the 2003 film.


As of March 2009, the show can be purchased on iTunes, and can be streamed for free in the US on Crackle.

As of October 1, 2011, S.W.A.T. began airing on Antenna TV[5] and in Australia on 7mate in 2012. In May 2016, it began airing on getTV.


  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. Tvshowsondvd.com
  4. Tvshowsondvd.com
  5. S.W.A.T. on Antenna TV
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