Watch S.W.A.T.

  • TV-14
  • 1975
  • 6 Seasons
  • 6.7  (2,009)

S.W.A.T. is a gripping action-drama series that aired on ABC from 1975 to 1976. It stars notable actor Steve Forrest, known for his brooding charisma and commanding screen presence, in the lead role. Conceived at a time when crime dramas were gaining popularity, S.W.A.T. effectively marries suspense, drama, and action with episodic storytelling that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

In the series, Forrest plays character Lt. Dan "Hondo" Harrelson, the zealous leader of an elite division of the Los Angeles Police Department - the Special Weapons And Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team. His squad consists of five hand-picked, highly-trained officers with distinct personalities and backgrounds. They are charged with tackling high-risk situations that go beyond the scope of conventional policing, where their specialized skills are put to the rigorous test. From hostage situations to bomb threats, from gang violence to armed robbery, each episode presents a unique mission, adding to the unpredictability and variation in plotlines.

While Forrest's Lt. Hondo forms the ethical and dramatic heart of the show, his team includes Sgt. David "Deacon" Kay, played brilliantly by Rod Perry, an African American actor who was a standout performer of his time. The rest of the squad comprises Officer Jim Street (Robert Urich), Officer Dominic Luca (Mark Shera), and Officer T.J. McCabe (James Coleman). The interplay between these characters, their camaraderie, and the occasional clash of ideals contributes to the deeper narrative undercurrents that make the show more than just a typical police drama.

The series doesn't shy away from exploring the personal lives of the characters, intertwining their off-duty experiences with the challenges of their adrenaline-charged profession. The character development is done in a way that cuts through the surface level, reflecting their evolving perspectives and engagement with the demanding realities surrounding law enforcement.

S.W.A.T. also has a knack for portraying the complex relationship between the police force and the public, with its substantial share of triumphs and complications. The writers delicately balance the portrayal of S.W.A.T. as part of the solution and occasionally being perceived as part of the problem. This nuance adds another dimension to the narrative, keeping it relevant and rooted in reality.

Visually, S.W.A.T. packs a punch with its gritty ambiance and realistic portrayal of the 70s era's urban socio-political landscape. The series embraced the cinema vérité style, shooting on location in real streets, buildings, and neighborhoods of Los Angeles. This gives the series an authentic feel and enhances the atmosphere of suspense and intense realism that complements the show's content.

Despite being a period piece, the issues and themes explored in S.W.A.T., such as the dynamics of power, human resilience, and the conflicts between duty and morality, still resonate today. Coupled with strong performances, well-crafted storylines, and intense action sequences, it's not surprising that the series still maintains a cult following among fans of classic television.

The show also boasts a remarkably iconic theme, composed by Barry De Vorzon and performed by Rhythm Heritage, which became a popular hit and has been recognized as one of TV's unforgettable tunes. The music and other elements of S.W.A.T.'s production design contribute to the distinctive feel and identity of the series, making it a unique offering in the cannon of 70s TV shows.

Although S.W.A.T. only ran for two seasons, its impact on popular culture is undeniable. It was one of the first shows to feature a S.W.A.T. team as the protagonist, inspiring a slew of similar dramas in the years to follow. It's a pioneering series that set the tone for a genre of police procedural dramas that would become a mainstay in television.

In totality, S.W.A.T. remains a highlight of Steve Forrest's career and a trailblazer in its genre. Its blend of high-stakes action, dynamic character relationships, and riveting drama still holds the power to engage and entertain viewers decades after its original airing. The show's legacy continues with a modern-day reboot, a testament to its enduring influence and popularity.

S.W.A.T. is a series that is currently running and has 6 seasons (130 episodes). The series first aired on February 24, 1975.

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22. Legacy
May 19, 2023
The team works with the DEA to stop a ruthless cartel boss waging war on the streets of Los Angeles as he exacts revenge on those who killed his son.
Forget Shorty
21. Forget Shorty
May 12, 2023
SWAT teams up with the DEA, led by Mack Boyle (guest star Timothy Hutton), to conduct a massive gang sweep, only to discover that a vicious cartel is planting roots in the city and endangering numerous lives. Also, Hicks marks an important anniversary.
All That Glitters
20. All That Glitters
May 5, 2023
Following a string of violent home robberies, the team rushes to stop a crew targeting elderly victims. Also, Hondo
19. Bunkies
April 21, 2023
The team races to uncover the identities of kidnappers holding a prison guard's family hostage; Tan is faced with a difficult personal decision.
18. Genesis
April 7, 2023
When an armored truck heist ends in bloodshed, the team races to track down priceless jewels before more lives are lost; Hondo's mother, Charice, visits.
17. Stockholm
March 31, 2023
SWAT teams up with the FBI to hunt one of its most-wanted fugitives. Also, Hondo and Nichelle are faced with an unexpected development in her pregnancy.
March 10, 2023
When classified information falls into the wrong hands, the team races to stop a dangerous plot targeting former members of the U.S. military. Also, Luca is faced with a challenging choice when a family member suddenly falls ill.
To Protect and To Serve
15. To Protect and To Serve
March 3, 2023
When Hicks insists SWAT participate in Patrol Day in an effort to engage more meaningfully with the community, Hondo and Deacon have their hands full mentoring the newest members of the team. Also, a suspended Tan investigates a mystery close to home.
Gut Punch
14. Gut Punch
February 24, 2023
SWAT teams with Major Crimes for a high-stakes mission to extract an undercover officer from a dangerous crime ring.
Lion's Share
13. Lion's Share
February 10, 2023
The SWAT team races to stop a violent rampage with ties to a painful chapter from Hicks' past.
12. Addicted
February 3, 2023
The team races to stop a gunman who is targeting rehab centers and those he considers responsible for his brother's death; Deacon is caught off guard when his wife makes a parenting decision that has unexpected consequences for their daughter.
11. Atonement
January 20, 2023
The team participates in a joint task force with the FBI when a car bombing has ties to a terrorist group planning an attack in Los Angeles; a tragedy from Deacon's past gives insight into the origins of his faith.
10. Witness
January 13, 2023
The SWAT team races to locate a young boy abducted from a homeless shelter; Street allows his personal history to cloud his judgement on the kidnapping case; Hondo and Nichelle find themselves at odds over their spiritual beliefs.
9. Pariah
January 6, 2023
When faced with a series of random shootings, one team member's family connections could be the key to stopping the next attack; Hondo prepares to meet Rochelle's parents for the first time; Tan helps Luca navigate a sensitive situation.
8. Guacaine
December 9, 2022
When violence erupts at a popular food truck festival, the team must contend with a deadly cartel determined to recover a large lost drug shipment at any cost. ( TV-14 L,V )
7. Sequel
December 2, 2022
Hondo and the team are forced to partner with an old nemesis to track down a dangerous criminal.
6. Checkmate
November 18, 2022
When a cop on the verge of shutting down a major drug operation is abducted, Hondo and the squad race to save one of their own before it
5. Unraveling
November 4, 2022
When the team stops the flash-mob robbery of a department store, they fear the crime was designed to distract from something more sinister - murder. Also, Hondo enlists Street to connect with Powell after she ignores orders in the field.
4. Maniak
October 28, 2022
When a convicted killer makes a prison break, the team works to protect the people on his hit list. Also, Hondo unexpectedly crosses paths with a former flame.
Woah Black Betty
3. Woah Black Betty
October 21, 2022
When S.W.A.T.'s armored vehicle is stolen, the squad must team up with FBI Agent Vasquez (guest star Jessica Camacho), a former LAPD officer who was once denied a position on the S.W.A.T. team, to stop the vehicle from being used in a potential terrorist attack. Also, Hondo and Nischelle prepare for their baby's gender reveal party, on S.W.A.T., Friday, Oct. 21 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.
Thai Another Day
2. Thai Another Day
October 14, 2022
Hondo, Deacon and Tan team up with Thailand's elite S.W.A.T. team to stop a ruthless drug lord whose heroin operation has far-reaching ties to Los Angeles.
Thai Hard
1. Thai Hard
October 7, 2022
During a trip to Bangkok to train alongside Thailand's premiere S.W.A.T. team, Hondo and his former military buddy Joe stumble upon a wide-ranging heroin operation with ties to Los Angeles and find themselves on the run from a powerful drug kingpin.
Where to Watch S.W.A.T.
S.W.A.T. is available for streaming on the ABC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch S.W.A.T. on demand at Amazon Prime, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, FuboTV, Google Play, Apple TV, Crackle and Tubi TV.
  • Premiere Date
    February 24, 1975
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (2,009)