Shemar Moore was a figure on CBS for over a decade thanks to his role on Criminal Minds, but he left the character of Derek Morgan behind in Season 11 to pursue other projects. Now, many months later, we finally know where exactly he might be headed next, and it's actually not that far from his old Criminal Minds stomping grounds. Moore is attached to star in a new CBS adaptation of S.W.A.T.
The project is currently being billed as a pilot inspired by the 2003 film S.W.A.T., which itself was inspired by the 1970s ABC drama of the same name. In the pilot, Shemar Moore will play Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson, who is a born and bred lieutenant of the Los Angeles S.W.A.T. division. Daniel is often torn between his duty as an officer of the law and his sense of loyalty to the streets where he grew up, and the conflict forces him to make some hard choices when he is given control of a disciplined and highly trained unit to fight crime in L.A. According to Deadline, he's more than capable of tackling his new leadership position, but he's not enthusiastic about why he was given the job.
If the new S.W.A.T. pilot goes to series, Shemar Moore will be the third actor to play Daniel Harrelson. Steve Forrest originated the role in the 1975 series on ABC, and Samuel L. Jackson brought the next version of the character to life in the 2003 S.W.A.T. movie. It should be interesting to see how Moore's version of Daniel differs from Steve Forrest's and Samuel L. Jackson's. The pilot will mark Moore's first big return to live action TV since leaving Criminal Minds last year.
Shemar Moore will serve as a producer on the project as well as the star. Writer Aaron Rahsaan Thomas of CSI: NY and Sleepy Hollow penned the pilot, and he'll stay on board as an executive producer if the project earns a series order from CBS. Thomas will share executive producing duties with The Shield creator Shawn Ryan and Justin Lin of the Fast and the Furious franchise, and Lin is slated to direct the pilot. CBS has not yet announced who will join Shemar Moore in front of the camera on S.W.A.T., but it sounds like the network has the right team in place behind the scenes to assemble a solid cast.
Interestingly, Shemar Moore is the third actor to leave a long-running CBS show and then return for a new project. Michael Weatherly departed NCIS after 13 years last spring, and he was back in the fall to headline the new series Bull, which has been a huge hit for CBS. The Good Wife veteran Alan Cumming will be back as well as the lead of the pilot project currently called Killer Instinct. Moore may be the right kind of familiar face for CBS viewers to want to give the show a try. We'll have to wait and see.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest news in casting, and don't forget to take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule.