Step DEEP inside the writer’s room of CBS original series S.W.A.T. for a wide-ranging Q & A with co-creators and Executive Producers Shawn Ryan and Aaron Rahsaan Thomas. Wonder what it REALLY takes to run a successful writers’ room? And what you need to do to ENSURE that you bring diverse voices to your room? Or the secret to breaking into the most hallowed real estate in Hollywood—“the room?” How about the difficulties in writing a modern police procedural and the challenges in tackling controversial and political topics that are often ignored in the world of network television? Shawn and Ryan have the answers.
Meet the Crew
Aaron Rahsaan Thomas grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, developing a love for storytelling after completing a fifth-grade assignment to create his own original Greek myth from scratch. As time passed, Aaron developed his passion for storytelling visually and attended Morehouse College. Aaron would also matriculate through the University of Kansas, earning honors in English Literature, before moving to Los Angeles and attending the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts for graduate school. After graduating from USC, Aaron was selected for the prestigious CBS Writers Mentoring Program.
Aaron began his professional career as a writer’s assistant on Soul Food: The Series and went on to work on the staff of such TV series as NBC’s Friday Night Lights, for which he received a Peabody Award, as well as CBS procedurals, such as Numb3rs and CSI:NY. Aaron has also served as a Co-Executive Producer on TNT’s Southland, Fox’s
Sleepy Hollow and Netflix’s The Get Down.
Aaron has had two screenplays produced as feature films: Cover, directed by Bill Duke and Assassination Games, starring Jean Claude Van Damme. He has also directed an ESPN 30 for 30 film about the USC football team during the Pete Carroll era, entitled, Trojan War.
Aaron is currently co-creator and Executive Producer of the new procedural series reboot of S.W.A.T., which airs on Thursday nights on CBS.
Shawn Ryan was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, where he was influenced by the writings of David Mamet, Tom Stoppard, Barry Levinson and everyone who worked on Cheers.
Ryan currently serves as the Showrunner of S.W.A.T., which he wrote and co-created with Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (CBS) and recently wrapped up the series finale of Timeless, which he co-created and Executive Produced with Eric Kripke (NBC). Under an overall deal with Sony Pictures Television, he’s developing multiple projects alongside his team at MiddKid Productions. Ryan’s past work includes creating and executive producing The Shield (FX) and The Chicago Code (Fox), writing and executive producing Mad Dogs with creator Cris Cole (Amazon), writing and executive producing The Unit with David Mamet (CBS), and writing and Executive Producing Terriers with Ted Griffin (FX). He also co-created Last Resort (ABC) with Karl Gajdusek.
Ryan earned a joint degree in Economics and Theatre from Middlebury College, where he first began writing plays. His other television credits include Angel, Nash Bridges, and Life with Louie.