CBS is moving S.W.A.T. Season 4 up to the fall after producers were forced to delay the new season of Survivor. The long-running reality competition show was supposed to start filming in Fiji soon, but production could not get started in time to make sure the new season could begin airing in September. S.W.A.T. was originally being held back for midseason.
The Survivor postponement forced CBS to do some reshuffling for its Wednesday plans. Survivor was originally scheduled to air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET slot, but The Amazing Race will air in its place. SEAL Team is moving up to 9 p.m. ET and S.W.A.T. will take over the 10 p.m. ET slot. CBS is hopeful that the coronavirus pandemic will not cause further delays in the production of scripted shows since it is planning to air new episodes of NCIS, FBI, Blue Bloods, Young Sheldon, and more in the fall.
CBS told Deadline that Survivor's producers are still working with Fiji officials to find an "appropriate time" to start production there while also keeping the cast and crew safe. Survivor was previously forced to scrap plans for a spring 2020 season after the World Health Organization named the coronavirus a global pandemic. CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl told Deadline it has been difficult for both Survivor and The Amazing Race to film since "we literally have to navigate some international waters."
S.W.A.T. is inspired by the 1975 television series created by Robert Hamner and Rick Husky and was developed by The Shield creator Shawn Ryan with Aaron Rahsaan Thomas. The crime drama's ensemble cast includes Shamar Moore, Alex Russell, Lina Esco, Kenny Johnson, Jay Harrington, David Lim, Patrick St. Esprit, and Amy Farrington. Following the death of George Floyd and the protests against police brutality, the show's team vowed to do better in its portrayal of law enforcement. The Season 3 finale was supposed to feature flashbacks showing a younger version of Moore's Hondo character during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, but the episode was not filmed due to the pandemic, reports TVLine.
"We are watching recent events in horror and sadness along with everyone else and will continue to mine the truth about these issues in the writing of our upcoming season as we all work towards a fairer, better system," the writers said in a June 1 statement. "In the meantime, we encourage protesters to express their frustrations peacefully and implore law enforcement to de-escalate conflicts, not exacerbate them, as people work through their understandable anger and grief."