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‘S.W.A.T.’: Lina Esco & Kenny Johnson Join CBS Drama Pilot Inspired By Movie

Deadline logo Deadline 3/1/2017 Denise Petski
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Lina Esco (Kingdom) and Kenny Johnson (Bates Motel) have booked series-regular roles opposite Shemar Moore and Stephanie Sigman on CBS drama pilot S.W.A.T., executive produced by The Shield creator Shawn Ryan, Neal H. Moritz, Justin Lin and Aaron Rahsaan Thomas.

Written by Thomas and directed by Lin and inspired by the 2003 film, S.W.A.T. is described as an intense, action-packed procedural following a locally born-and-bred S.W.A.T. lieutenant, Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson (Moore), who is torn between loyalty to the streets and duty to his fellow officers when he’s tasked to run a highly trained unit that is the last stop for solving crimes in Los Angeles. The cast also includes Stephanie Sigman.

Esco will play Chris. Fueled by nerves, he is a skilled officer and exceedingly calm under pressure. She isn’t pleased with her leader’s sudden departure and a shift in power but doesn’t spend too much time focused on the negatives; the mission is the only thing that matters.

Johnson is Luca, the team’s expert driver and a skilled combat officer himself. He lives for the job and almost has too much fun behind the wheel. He’ll follow orders, no questions asked — a necessary skill when part of such an efficient team.

Moore also serves as a producer on the project. Thomas is executive producing the pilot alongside Ryan and Marney Hochman of MiddKid Prods, Moritz and Pavun Shetty of Original Films, and Lin and Danielle Woodrow of Perfect Storm Entertainment. Sony Pictures TV co-produces with CBS TV Studios.

Esco plays Ava on Audience Network’s Kingdom and recently recurred on Flaked. She’s repped by CAA and Luber Roklin Entertainment.

The role reunites Johnson with Ryan, with whom he worked on The Shield. He recently was a series regular on A&E’s Bates Motel and ABC’s Secrets and Lies and appeared in Solace opposite Anthony Hopkins and thriller, Check Point. Johnson is repped by Innovative, Luber Roklin Entertainment and attorney Neil Meyer.

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