A different version of S.W.A.T. invades the small screen this fall and it comes with familiar names but with new faces. The series, which stars Shemar Moore, Stephanie Sigman, Alex Russell, Jay Harrington, Lina Esco, Kenneth Johnson and Peter Onorati, revolves around a specialized tactical unit who put themselves at risk to protect their community and save lives. Here are three things you need to know about S.W.A.T. before it premieres.

Meet the Cast of S.W.A.T.>>>

S.W.A.T. Is Grounded in Social Issues

Viewers can expect plenty of action and thrills on S.W.A.T. but it’s more than just a procedural crime drama series. It’s realistic and it aims to explore social issues, beginning with the pilot episode in which Shemar Moore’s character is promoted for “racial optics” after a black kid is shot by a white cop.

“When you watch the news, you know, everybody’s experienced something, witnessed something, seen something, heard of something about injustices. We can talk about Ferguson, we can talk about Baltimore. Our first episode, the pilot, deals with Black Lives Matter,” Moore, whose character will ultimately serve as a middle ground between the community and police, told CBS News.

“We have such good writing and I do believe this show is not just gonna be entertaining, it’s gonna matter because it’s gonna be based in reality. We’re gonna hit topics like Black Lives Matter, human trafficking, cyber-bullying — and we’re not gonna preach to you,’ added Moore, who trained with real tactical officers to get ready for his role.

S.W.A.T. Is Not The Same Show From the ’70s

S.W.A.T. is based on the 2003 film and the 1975 TV series of the same name but the series created by Aaron Thomas offers something new to the table. “You’re going to meet these characters in a completely different light,” Shemar Moore told The Mercury News. “We are not imitating the ’70s show, and we are not imitating the movie. It’s the same characters — in name. The same theme song, with a little twist to it. But a whole new set of circumstances.” 

The series also stays relevant by putting a spotlight on the diversity and demographics of Los Angeles, from Boyle Heights to Filipinotown to Brentwood and more.

“I really think we’re about to raise the bar and change the network television game in the way stories are told,” Moore told LA Times.

S.W.A.T. Is Shemar Moore’s Dream Job

S.W.A.T. marks Shemar Moore’s first lead role after playing Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds for 11 years. The 47-year-old actor stars as Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson, the role originally played by Samuel L. Jackson in the 2003 movie. Hondo is a Los Angeles-born and raised S.W.A.T. sergeant tasked with running the specialized tactical unit. Although Moore took pride in his role on Criminal Minds, being cast as Hondo is his dream job.

“This is my shot. It’s my dream job, and I know I’m ready,” Moore revealed. “I’m having so much fun. I haven’t felt this alive and this energized and this optimistic in a long time….”

“I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people. The action scenes are crazy,” he continued. “It’s like The Fast and Furious, but with much more heart. … The first word I hope viewers utter when they see it is ‘Whoa!'”

S.W.A.T. premieres Thursday, November 2 at 10/9c on CBS. Want more news? Like our S.W.A.T. Facebook page!

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Dean Bextor

Staff Writer, BuddyTV