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Shemar Moore Wants You to Take the "Thrill Ride" That Is S.W.A.T.

Buckle up for a "thrill ride"

Megan Vick

In case you've been living under a rock, Shemar Moore is starring a new series --S.W.A.T., premiering Thursday, Nov. 2 on CBS.

If that name sounds familiar it might be because it's a reboot of the 1970s TV show -- which also inspired the movie starring Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell -- but Moore promises that you're getting an updated version of the action-packed procedural.

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"Same name. Same font. Same theme song, but other than those similarities, that's it," he told TV Guide during a recent visit to our New York studio. "This is S.W.A.T. 2017. It's a new interpretation, real life today. Thrill ride that's going to make you go, 'Whoa! That was fun and it felt real.'"

What does S.W.A.T. 2017 actually mean though? It means getting hip with the times and tackling real issues that are affecting people in the every day, without giving up any of the action or fun that made the previous versions so lovable.

Shemar Moore, SWAT

Shemar Moore, SWAT

Monty Brinton, CBS

"I do know that a lot of people are going to like this show. I'm excited about the impact that the show is going to have. It's going to be a lot of fun, but it's got a strong message," the actor explains. "It's about real life today -- the Trump years without talking about Trump. We're not going to talk to you about politics, but we're going to talk to you about things you see in the news and around the world, but we're going to do it in a very edgy, thrill-ride kind of way."

Moore plays Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson in this new version, accompanied by Jay Harrington as David "Deacon" Kay, Lina Esco as Christina "Chris" Alonso, Kenny Johnson as Dominique Luca and Alex Russell as S.W.A.T. newbie Jim Street. Stephanie Sigman plays Jessica Cortez, Hondo's boss and love interest.

"My character Daniel Hondo Harrelson is a badass. He's a bad dude, in a good way with a lot of heart and a lot of compassion. He's trying to broaden the view and broaden the approach of justice," Moore explains. "I get to be a tough guy. I get to be a leader. I get to be a mentor. I get to drive a human message. There's a lot of heart in S.W.A.T."

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The heart comes from the show tackling real issues that range from the racial divide in America to drug trafficking and domestic terrorism. The former is a topic that Moore was eager to talk about in the show's first episode and sets the tone for the rest of the season. He also hopes it'll help change the conversation around CBS, which has been criticized for its lack of diversity in 2017.

"I think it's great for CBS. I think CBS is opening their horizon," Moore told TV Guide during the Television Critics Association fall previews. "[S.W.A.T. depicts] real life today 2017 -- Trump is president with the fear that's going on in this country, with the issues that are going on this country laced with some tough gals and guys chasing down some bad people."

So why should you watch S.W.A.T. when it premieres this week?

"I can't say we're the best show. I can't say it's never been done, but I can say there's nothing like what S.W.A.T. is bringing on network TV right now," Moore says.

S.W.A.T. premieres Thursday, Nov. 2 at 10/9c on CBS.

(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS.)
Additional reporting by Joyce Eng