Shemar Moore has been on every screen visible over the past week. The ageless star has been a fixture on TV, and specifically for the CBS network, for 21 years. That's a run that most actors would die for, yet many actors leap from television to the big screen only to find that their successes are not so sweet once the audience moves from their living room to the theater. Shemar Moore is proud of the ground that his new drama, “S.W.A.T.” is breaking, proud to have the leading role, and more pleased about another pivotal duty.

The enduring fan-favorite for all ages got up early to talk about his “education” through television roles, and the joy he finds in keeping the storytelling meaningful on October 26’s “CBS This Morning.” Even at the early hour, the set got steamy.

No time warp

Co-anchor Gayle King requested a moment to “collect myself” after seeing a throwback clip of Shemar Moore alongside Kristoff St. John on day time’s “The Young and the Restless.” The beaming smile of the seasoned thespian is still the same as it was in 1994, and his hard body, including the prominent 8-pack abs, is none the worse for wear.

Moore details that the soap opera role was like “high school” in his career, and then his 11-year stint as Derek Morgan on “Criminal Minds” became college, and probably more intensive forensic training than its star ever imagined.

Shemar reassured faithful fans of “Criminal Minds,” as well as a forever best friend, Penelope Garcia, superbly portrayed by Kirsten Vangsness, with a reprise of his role as Derek Morgan in last night’s episode.

The strong, comforting embrace of her colleague was the only thing that could bring solace to the character in the episode, “Lucky Strikes,” which provokes Penelope's remembrance of her trauma of being shot while she is helping the team track a cannibalistic killer.

Shemar Moore’s departure from the drama was given the appropriate tenderness and respect due to his character, and he calls his new part as lead Sergeant Daniel “Honcho” Harrelson a “dream” for the way it allows the topics in the headlines to be expanded and explored in personal dimensions through the characters.

In the pilot episode, a white police officer, one who had been a mentor to Moore’s character, shoots a black teen. Moore describes that his character is chosen for the job purely for “racial optics,” but he determines that the approach he will take in bringing his officers into the neighborhood in upheaval is “to treat them like family,” and viewers will see what unfolds.

Advanced education

What is most satisfying for Shemar Moore in his new mission is not just the part, but becoming a producer on the drama. Moore has been prompted to direct many times through his career, but he prefers producing.

Directors get to make choices in particular episodes and scenes, but producers have greater leverage to determine the direction of an entire series. “Now I'm in grad school,” Moore reflects of his continued learning in his craft.

Moore needed time for some life lessons after leaving series TV for a while. He ventured with his cousin to Australia. Hiking the Blue Mountains of New South Wales provided perfect scenery to refocus goals and “let it go” in the actor’s words, regarding wrong people and decisions that he had allowed into his life. He feels confident in the diversity and competence of his cast mates in “S.W.A.T.” and the talents of Shawn Ryan, who guided “The Shield” and “The Unit.”

Dedication to doing what it takes is part of daily life for this star, who does 500 sit-ups a day to maintain those perfect abdominal muscles.

He is undaunted by the chronology of playing a 35-year-old character when his real age is 47. He revealed to Stephen Colbert that he will be comfortable in exhaling once he turns 62 after his new series finishes a long run. For now, Shemar Moore is fine with taking the lead.

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