Blue Bloods' Two Most Memorable Family Dinners, To Donnie Wahlberg

blue bloods family dinner cbs
(Image credit: CBS)

Blue Bloods is going strong in its tenth season, and one thing has stayed the same despite the many other changes that have gone down for the Reagan family over the past decade. The Reagans never fail to assemble around the dining room table for a family dinner to discuss the events of the episode. With more than 200 episodes already in the can, the cast would undoubtedly have a hard time ranking the dinners, but Donnie Wahlberg managed to pick the two most memorable.

Donnie Wahlberg, who of course has played (the sometimes elusive) Danny Reagan from the very beginning, shared the first of what he feels are the most memorable Blue Bloods family dinners, saying this:

The first one will always stand out to me the most. It was so intimidating. My character basically had to run roughshod over the table and to sit down with that cast and with Tom Selleck at the head of the table. My dad used to wear a mustache a lot, and he's very intimidating and he sat at the head of the table like that. It was sort of traumatizing for me to sit there and have to come in on my first day of shooting the series and just basically take over the dinner table.

It couldn't have been easy back in the early days of Blue Bloods to take control of a scene packed with most of the cast, including the formidable Tom Selleck, and play it like a family who had been doing these family dinners together for years. Throw in the fact that the mustachioed Selleck apparently resembled Wahlberg's real-life dad, and that was a lot to tackle for a brand new show.

Fortunately, given the fact that Blue Bloods celebrated 200 episodes earlier this season and the show could still have a long future ahead of it, Donnie Wahlberg's performance in the first ever Blue Bloods family dinner helped set up a series with serious staying power. Wahlberg went on to share that he felt the pressure in that first dinner scene, but he also got an encouraging reaction from Tom Selleck:

But I knew if I didn't do it successfully, the show wouldn't have a chance to thrive. We had to be able to speak our own voices and stand up for our characters' points of views on the show or it wouldn't work. When I did and improved a few lines and became loud and boisterous at the table, I didn't know how Tom Selleck would react, but he gave me the biggest smile and pat on the back after and said that's what's going to make this show magic.

A lot of the magic of Blue Bloods arguably comes from these family dinners that remind viewers of the strong relationships within the Reagan family, can show how the events of the episode impact the Reagan family, and reveal where the members of the Reagan family stand on certain issues. Would the show really have lasted this long if not for the strength of the Reagans? Thankfully, the cast puts up with how "miserable" the dinner scenes are to shoot!

Sadly, the Reagans don't always have family dinners that are bound to leave viewers feeling uplifted and content. Donnie Wahlberg went on in his chat with TV Insider to share his other most memorable family dinner scene, and this one was notable for a sad reason:

Other than that one, the first dinner scene without Linda was really emotional, just genuine emotion. Nobody was acting that day. My tears were real, because even though in real life, Amy Carlson was still around, I was going to be moving forward on the show without her. I wouldn't have a partner anymore to help me with these boys — on-screen and off, to be frank. It's a big loss, and I'll always remember the emotion of that day.

Longtime cast member Amy Carlson played Linda, Danny's wife, from the first season of the series, so the reveal of her death via helicopter crash between Seasons 7 and 8 came as a shock to fans. Carlson exited because she'd fulfilled her contract, so Blue Bloods had to find a way to write Linda out somehow, but it was a somber way to start a season and to conduct a family dinner.

So, what's next for the Reagan family dinners? Blue Bloods aired its fall finale back on December 6, and its winter premiere doesn't release until January 3, 2020 on CBS. The good news is that there are a lot of solid shows coming to the airwaves in the new year, and you can find them on our 2020 winter and spring premiere schedule. While Blue Bloods is no longer an option on Netflix, there are plenty of shows available now and in 2020 as well.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).