CBS Nabs ‘S.W.A.T.’ Drama Inspired By Movie From Shawn Ryan, Justin Lin, Neal Moritz & ‘FNL’ Alum With Big Commitment


EXCLUSIVE: CBS has landed S.W.A.T., a drama series loosely inspired by the 2003 Sony movie that was based on the 1975 TV series produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg. The project, executive produced by The Shield creator Shawn Ryan, Neal H. Moritz (Preacher), Justin Lin (Scorpion) and Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (The Get Down, Friday Night Lights), has received a pilot production commitment from the network with series penalty behind it.

S.W.A.T. hails from Sony Pictures TV, which will co-produce with CBS TV Studios. This marks the fourth pilot production commitment for Sony TV so far this season, along with dramas Salvation at NBC, from Warren Leight and Paul Haggis, and Doomsday at ABC from Carol Mendelsohn, as well as a comedy at CBS from Carter Bays & Craig Thomas and comedian Chris Distefano. The studio also has put pilot commitments for a drama loosely inspired by I Spy at Fox with David Shore and McG and another Moritz-produced drama, Ben H. Winters’ sci-fi cop show The Last Policeman at NBC.

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Written by Sleepy Hollow alum Thomas with Fast & Furious helmer Lin possibly directing, S.W.A.T. is described as an intense, action-packed procedural following an African-American SWAT lieutenant torn between loyalty to the streets and duty to his fellow officers. He is tasked to run a new unit of highly trained but rugged outcasts who are the last stop for solving crimes in Los Angeles.

Justin Lin

The 2003 movie S.W.A.T., produced by Moritz and directed by Clark Johnson, starred Samuel L. Jackson and co-starred Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez and LL Cool J. It grossed $207 million at the worldwide box office.

Thomas is executive producing the potential series alongside Ryan and Marney Hochman of MiddKid Prods, Moritz and Pavun Shetty of Original Films, and Lin and Danielle Woodrow of Perfect Storm Entertainment. Thomas, Ryan’s MiddKid and Moritz’s Original Films all have overall deals at Sony TV.

Neal Moritz

PSE also has thriller drama Blowback in the works at the CW with writer Hannah Shakespeare. Additionally, the company has a pilot order at Cinemax for Warrior, a crime drama based on original material written by Bruce Lee, which Lin is executive producing with an eye to direct. He is repped by CAA.

Moritz is executive producing AMC’s Preacher, WGN pilot Roadside Picnic and the upcoming Prison Break limited series on Fox. He is repped by UTA.

Ryan executive produces the new NBC Monday drama series Timeless. He is repped by WME, the Shuman Co. and Gendler & Kelly. Thomas is repped by UTA and Morris Yorn.

Other movie titles being developed as broadcast series this season include Behind Enemy Lines at Fox, along with a sequel to the Magnum P.I. series at ABC. The nets’ fall lineup includes Lethal Weapon and the Exorcist at Fox and MacGyver on CBS.

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