Blue Bloods: Why Each Major Cast Member Left

Blue Bloods Poster

Ever since it premiered in 2010, Blue Bloods has remained a stable of CBS' late-night Friday programming. The police procedural drama centers on the Reagans, an Irish Catholic family based in New York City with several family members working on the police force, and it has found a consistent viewership for 10 years now. But as it continues with its currently-airing tenth season, which cast members are still involved with the long-standing cop drama, and who has either left or been let go from the popular television series? Believe it or not, most of the cast members are still there.

Yes, surprisingly enough, a majority of the main Blue Bloods castmates have stayed with the CBS drama series for the long haul. Even though the TV program has now been on the broadcast station for a full decade and counting, several of its prominent actors, including Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Len Cariou, and Tom Selleck, have remained at the center. While there are rumors of castmates potentially leaving — including Sami Gayle, who plays Nicky Reagan-Boyle (and a cast member since the beginning), and Tony Terraciano, who plays Jack Regan (a reoccurring part of the cast since the get-go who has only been a guest throughout this newest season) — neither actor have announced their departures, so by no means is it confirmed at this time.

Suffice to say, the Blue Bloods cast members seem to enjoy each other's company — or, at least, they like the consistent paychecks. Whatever the reason might be, it should be noted that not a lot of prominent actors have left Blue Bloods throughout its long run.

Therefore, unlike other, similar hit broadcast TV shows like Chicago Fire, Hawaii Five-0, Chicago P.D., Law and Order: SVU, CSI, and CSI: Miami where cast members have rotated in-and-out of the program, Blue Bloods has kept its core cast members. Therefore, this list won't be quite as long and extensive in terms of naming all the various cast members who have exited and dolling out the reasons why — whether it was their choice or a decision from the writers. We'll be focusing on the few main cast mates who did leave, as well as a few other prominent reoccurring actors who haven't been on Blue Bloods since their respective departure. With that out of the way, without further ado, here are the reasons why the Blue Bloods cast members left the series.

Amy Carlson - Blue Bloods

Amy Carlson (Linda Reagan)

Throughout Blue Bloods' extended run on CBS, Amy Carlson has continued to rise up the ranks on the show in the role of Linda Reagan. She started out as a "reoccurring" cast member for Season 1, then earned the distinction of "Also Starring" for Seasons 2 through 4. And then, with Season 5, the TV actress finally became a main cast member of the popular series. Alas, it was a distinction that didn't last long. Between the end of Season 7 and the start of Season 8, Linda Reagan died in a medivac helicopter crash while tending to a patient. Since the character's shocking death, Carlson has spoken critically about Linda Reagan's sudden departure from Blue Bloods

The TV actress claimed in a Deadline interview that she was "surprised" by how the writers handled the character's demise, and she noted that she "wouldn't have done that" in regards to how her character perished. Carlson ultimately believes that, if she was given a choice, she would've shown the character's death on-screen, to give the fans a chance to mourn.

Jennifer Esposito - Blue Bloods

Jennifer Esposito (Detective Jackie Curatola)

Playing a prominent role in Blue Bloods' early seasons, Jennifer Esposito wasn't a main cast member on the CBS drama but she earned the "Also Starring" distinction during her tenure. Alas, she didn't end up staying on Blue Bloods for long. Esposito was taken off Blue Bloods before its fourth season, with Detective Jackie Curatola, her character, taking an early retirement from the NYPD after she started showing signs of burnout.

Later, in a statement, a CBS spokesperson claimed Jennifer Esposito could only commit to a "very limited part-time schedule" on the series, which ultimately wasn't conducive for their initial plans for the character. But Esposito spoke out against this aforementioned CBS statement on her social media account. The actress noted that the TV network put her on unpaid leave and ultimately barred her from working elsewhere after she was diagnosed with Celiac disease and needed a reduced schedule due to this condition, resulting in her being let go unceremoniously from the series.

Nick Turturro - Blue Bloods

Nick Turturro (Sergeant Anthony Renzulli)

An experienced police sergeant with a lot of knowledge about the 12th Precinct, Nicholas Turturro's Sergeant Anthony Renzulli has made close to 40 appearances on the popular CBS series, but he hasn't been on Blue Bloods since 2016. His character hasn't been killed off the show, so the possibility of Renzulli coming back for another episode in the later seasons isn't out of the question, but he hasn't made an appearance since Season 6. 

Even though the actor hasn't been on the program in nearly five years, Turturro kept himself busy with a variety of different film and TV projects. Notably, Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, Kevin Can Wait, The Name of the Rose, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and various other projects currently in different stages. And he clearly enjoyed the part. In 2013, Turturro asked his Twitter followers to tell Blue Bloods and CBS that they wanted more of Renzulli, as well as possibly give him a spin-off. It's possible this tweet was mostly in jest, but it looks like he likes the role.

David Ramsey - Blue Bloods

David Ramsey (Mayor Carter Poole)

Elected to his high-standing political position in Season 2, David Ramsey's Mayor Carter Poole has played a consistent role throughout Blue Bloods, though he's been absent from the CBS series after Season 7. While he hasn't appeared on Blue Bloods since 2017, the television actor remains busy with a few other projects, most notably in the role of John Diggle in Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. Most likely, his ongoing commitments to this TV universe are preventing him from making more consistent appearances on Blue Bloods. But Mayor Carter Poole hasn't been killed off, so it's not without reason that he might show up on the show again someday.

As we noted earlier, a shockingly high number of Blue Bloods cast members remain on the CBS series even as the show is now settled into the double digits in terms of seasons. It looks like the actors involved don't have too many grievances about the continued work, and the show writers (well, for the most part, at least) have done their part to keep their characters alive and thriving on the popular Friday night series. 

There's always a chance that a few of these actors and characters will bid adieu to the show sometime in the future, as a couple of them have been speculated to leave in short notice. But, for the most part, these cast members are involved for the long haul, and that is not expected to change anytime in the near future — so far as we know, at least. That said, there have been at least a couple controversial exits — as we've noted.

Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.