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S.W.A.T. Season 8 Cast Update Confirms Rochelle Aytes' Departure

Summary

  • Rochelle Aytes will not return as a series regular for
    S.W.A.T.
    season 8, but she could still recur.
  • Aytes’ character, Nichelle Carmichael, first appeared in
    S.W.A.T.
    season 3 and plays Hondo’s wife.
  • Aytes has booked a new role on
    Watson
    , a contemporary Sherlock-connected show set to debut on CBS in 2024.



S.W.A.T. season 8 is losing an important cast member, though the actor will appear in another CBS show. The Shawn Ryan-created action drama series, which follows Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson (Moore) and his unit, has now surprisingly survived cancellation twice. This past April, with the planned series finale just weeks away, CBS shifted course and announced that it was renewing S.W.A.T for season 8. But that unexpected announcement came with a notable on-screen change.

Deadline reports that Rochelle Aytes, who plays Nichelle Carmichael, will not return as a series regular for S.W.A.T. season 8. It’s noted that producers would like to keep the actor on in a recurring capacity, given that Nichelle is Hondo’s wife. Aytes is joining the upcoming Sherlock-connected CBS drama Watson in the meantime. It’s also mentioned that season 8 will add a new female character to the cast as a SWAT team member in a recurring capacity, with no other departures expected for the main cast.



Nichelle Carmichael Has A Long History On S.W.A.T.

The Character First Appeared During Season 3

In the role of Nichelle Carmichael, Aytes first appeared during S.W.A.T. season 3 and featured in well over 40 episodes. The character was introduced as a worker at the local community center, though she was positioned as a potential love interest for Hondo. That relationship blossomed and, by season 5, Nichelle is pregnant with Hondo’s first child, who turned out to be a daughter, Vivian, making the couple proud parents.

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Aytes looked poised to continue to have a growing presence within the series. As of S.W.A.T. season 7, Hondo and Nichelle are married. Plus, outside the central relationship, Nichelle becomes a police performance auditor with the Office of the Inspector General. The show is reportedly hopeful that Aytes can maintain her recurring presence on the show, so hopefully her character will continue to develop.

Even though S.W.A.T. is focused on the cases and the danger that the main team faces, it is a needed shift in the pace of the series to see what the protagonists are like outside of working hours. In S.W.A.T. season 7, for instance, Hondo wonders if he should walk away from the job and starts to doubt his own abilities. Even if Nichelle can’t appear as frequently, it is crucial for the show not to lose sight of who Hondo is and what pushes him forward especially since his relationship with Nichelle has been built up over the course of several seasons now.


Rochelle Aytes’ New Sherlock-Connected Show Explained

Aytes Will Play An Important Role In The New CBS Series

A close-up of Morris Chestnut slightly smiling on Goliath

Watson will see The Resident alum play the titular role, with the events set one year after the death of Sherlock Holmes. Described as a contemporary story, the series follows Dr. John Watson as he resumes his medical career. He’s the head of a clinic dedicated to treating rare disorders. However, Watson’s old life catches up with him. In particular, official summaries have teased that Moriarty and Watson will be stepping into the spotlight and writing their own chapter.

Aytes’ move from
S.W.A.T.



could end up being a long-term prospect that still allows her to feature as Nichelle Carmichael.


Aytes will play Dr. Mary Morstan, one of the best surgeons on the East Coast. She’s also the Medical Director of the hospital and Watson’s ex-wife. The voice of reason when compared to Watson, Morstan still has a great deal of respect for her ex-husband, though she does grow frustrated with his approach to medicine. Aytes joins a cast that also includes Peter Mark Kendall and Ritchie Coster, who play twin doctors.

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Slated to debut later in 2024, Watson is created by Craig Sweeny, a writer and producer on the Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu drama Elementary. That iteration of Sherlock ran for seven seasons and more than 154 episodes, meaning that Aytes’ move from S.W.A.T. could end up being a long-term prospect that still allows her to feature as Nichelle Carmichael. That’s especially the case because both shows are on CBS.


Rochelle Aytes’ Latest Move Continues A Long Career In TV

S.W.A.T. Wasn’t Her First Time Working With Shemar Moore

Savannah and Derek sitting together outside in a scene from Criminal Minds

Her first series regular role came in the short-lived action drama Drive, which aired on Fox in 2007. Created by Tim Minear, who wrote on the Buffy spinoff Angel and co-created 9-1-1, the story of Drive unfolds against the backdrop of an illegal cross-country road race, focusing on the participants and those who control the race. Aytes’ played Leigh Barnthouse, with the cast also including Emma Stone and Melanie Lynskey.

Along with a recurring role in
Desperate Housewives
season 7 as Amber James,
Aytes portrayed April Malloy in all 4 seasons of
Mistresses

. The mystery soap also starred Alyssa Milano, Yunjin Kim, Jes Macallan, and Jennifer Esposito as leads.


Aytes also previously worked with S.W.A.T.‘s Shemar Moore on Criminal Minds. Although not a main cast member, Aytes appeared in 10 episodes from seasons 9 to 10 and played Dr. Savannah Hayes, the girlfriend and eventful wife of Derek Morgan. In her last appearance on the show, Savannah is shot as retaliation against Derek. She survives, though, later giving birth to Derek’s son.

Aytes’ other series regular roles include the short-lived ABC crime drama The Forgotten, which aired from September 2009 to June 2010. She starred opposite Christian Slater and future Barry star Anthony Carrigan as the story focused on identifying anonymous victims. Along with a recurring role in Desperate Housewives season 7 as Amber James, Aytes portrayed April Malloy in all 4 seasons of Mistresses. The mystery soap also starred Alyssa Milano, Yunjin Kim, Jes Macallan, and Jennifer Esposito as leads. She may be stepping down from S.W.A.T., Aytes’ successful television streak remains alive nonetheless.


Source: Deadline

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