Watch S.W.A.T.

  • TV-14
  • 1975
  • 7 Seasons
  • 6.7  (2,047)

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 7 seasons (143 episodes). The series first aired on February 24, 1975.

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May 17, 2024
SWAT faces their deadliest adversary yet when a violent cell of extremists looks to extract vengeance by blowing up half of Los Angeles, potentially killing thousands. Reeling from the anger and outrage directed at him by his own community, Hondo questions if he still has what it takes to lead 20-Squad, adding to the fear that he won't be able to pull the team together in time to save the city.
12. Allegiance
May 10, 2024
When a crew of violent eco-terrorists abducts the teenage son of an energy company executive, SWAT must untangle the kidnappers
11. Whispers
May 3, 2024
Tan finds himself on a one-man mission to save his new love interest and her journalist co-workers when mercenaries take over a black-tie correspondents' dinner. After the group escapes, it's up to SWAT to track down the well-trained gunmen before anyone else is killed. Meanwhile, Hondo and Nichelle return home to find their house trashed, placing them at odds when it's revealed that Nichelle has a secret. And when Hicks, Mumford and Buck take a trip down memory lane, it threatens to end their decades-long friendships.
April 26, 2024
As 20-Squad scrambles to track down a cold-blooded sniper terrorizing Los Angeles, Hondo discovers a link to his own South L.A. neighborhood that brings a personal twist to the hunt for the deadly shooter. Meanwhile, Tan finds himself questioning his leadership abilities while Powell and Alfaro compete in a classic game of SWAT tag.
9. Honeytrap
April 19, 2024
When a female robbery crew "honeytraps" and kills several rich VIPs, HONDO and 20-SQUAD are called in to assist FBI Agent Jackie Vasquez in capturing the dangerous fugitives before the death toll rises. Commander Hicks is shocked when his new love ends their relationship without rhyme or reason. With help from Deacon and Dr. Wendy, Hicks makes an important decision about his romantic future.
Family Man
8. Family Man
April 12, 2024
The SWAT team faces off with a family of doomsday preppers barricaded inside their fortress of a home, and Deacon finds himself at the center of the storm. Also, Tan clashes with a reporter covering the situation and Powell grapples with meeting the child she gave up for adoption 18 years ago.
Last Call
7. Last Call
April 5, 2024
Last Call - After the shocking shooting of a member of 20-Squad, Hondo and the team launch a citywide manhunt for the robbery crew responsible. Meanwhile, Deacon's plans for his future hit a snag, and Powell and Alfaro clash over a tricky issue.
6. Escape
March 15, 2024
After a prison transport van overturns, Hondo and the team hunt down three female fugitives, including a serial killer on the verge of a rampage. Also, with Annie's return to work, Deacon struggles to maintain a work life balance, and Luca does his best to teach Kelly to drive.
End of the Road
5. End of the Road
March 8, 2024
While training with Long Beach SWAT, Street discovers a biker club has stolen a cache of armor-piercing bullets and brings 20-Squad into the hunt for the gang before they can pull off a daring and deadly heist. As Hondo struggles with changes at work, Nichelle finds herself at odds with her former colleague Bruce.
Spare Parts
4. Spare Parts
March 8, 2024
SWAT hunts down a Chilean arms dealer after he kidnaps a woman and her daughter from a party in L.A. with unexpected intentions. Crossing paths with his brother, Tan is forced to come clean to his family about his divorce from Bonnie, while Hondo discovers that Hicks has received a job offer that could lure him away from SWAT.
Good for Nothing
3. Good for Nothing
March 1, 2024
20-Squad must leap into action when Yakuza assassins descend on L.A., targeting a number of mysterious Japanese ex-pats. Meanwhile, Nichelle finds her job on the line at the inspector general's office when a colleague accuses her of taking bribes.
Peace Talks
2. Peace Talks
February 23, 2024
Inspired by the television series and the feature film, S.W.A.T. stars Shemar Moore as a former Marine and locally born and raised S.W.A.T. sergeant, tasked to run a specialized tactical unit that is the last stop in law enforcement in Los Angeles.
The Promise
1. The Promise
February 16, 2024
The team heads to Mexico City to retrieve a fugitive who slipped from Hondo's grasp 10 years ago. But when things go awry, old wounds are reopened and Hondo is once again on the killer's trail, desperate to fulfill a decade-old promise.
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 Apple TV Channels, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, FuboTV, Google Play, Apple TV, Crackle and Tubi TV.
  • Premiere Date
    February 24, 1975
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (2,047)