Blue Bloods: How Directing 'Perfectionist' Tom Selleck Felt For Donnie Wahlberg

Tom Selleck laughing as Frank Reagan in Blue Bloods Season 10 CBS

Blue Bloods is currently airing Season 10 in 2020, but if/when CBS renews the show for Season 11, Danny Reagan actor Donnie Wahlberg said he hopes to return to direct an early episode. He hasn't directed an episode since Season 4's "Manhattan Queens" aired on January 31, 2014. But he recently reminisced about what it was like to direct the great Tom Selleck in his role as Frank Reagan.

As you might imagine, directing Tom Selleck was the "only intimidating part" of the experience. Not only does Selleck tower over most people at 6-feet-4-inches tall, he's also just an impressive human being with an award-winning career from Magnum P.I. and The Rockford Files to Three Men and a Baby, In & Out, Quigley Down Under, and Friends. He knows his stuff, and he knows the TV world like the back of his hand. So Donnie Wahlberg knew what NOT to do, as he explained to

I think I'm smart enough to know that you don't really direct Tom.

Blue Bloods star Donnie Wahlberg added more details on what it's like to direct someone like Tom Selleck:

I just came at it from an actor's point of view and gave Tom the comfort and space to do what he felt comfortable doing and then just sort of adding some little finishing touches from there. Tom's such a perfectionist. He's so dedicated to his work that you're not going to come in and tell him these magnificent ideas that you have of how to make his scenes special. He's already come up with 500 ideas himself a week before you even sit down with him. That's how devoted he is to his work.

Donnie Wahlberg added that his #1 job when directing Tom Selleck was to serve "him as an actor because his whole mission is to serve the story and the script. So I just had to create a safe space for that and that's what I did."

Sounds like Donnie Wahlberg took a smart approach. He already knew even by Blue Bloods Season 4 that Tom Selleck would already be on top of just about everything for his character as Frank Reagan. I love hearing that Selleck has hundreds of ideas for episodes himself every week. That's great to hear.

The "Manhattan Queens" episode Donnie Wahlberg directed was in 2014 but six years later Selleck seems just as committed to the character and storylines. He had a chance to return to his Magnum P.I. roots for the new reboot, but declined. Blue Bloods is his focus now, and at age 75, we're just lucky to have him still working so hard on network TV.

These network TV shows have punishing schedules, and Tom Selleck has joked about how filming those Blue Bloods dinner scenes is "miserable" -- although Donnie Wahlberg doesn't seem to mind them, and he's apparently the one who eats most of the food.

Most seasons of Blue Bloods have 22 episodes, airing from September to May. Season 10 looks like it might have 24 episodes. That's a lot of work, especially for someone like Donnie Wahlberg who has also been touring with New Kids on the Block. But hopefully he will have more time next year -- if there is a next season, that's not confirmed yet -- to step behind the camera once again. So many actors have been finding success and satisfaction directing episodes of their own shows, including fellow CBS stars.

What's next for Blue Bloods? Season 10 returned from a short break on Friday, March 6 and up next we have Episode 16, "The First 100 Days" on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 10 p.m. Here's the synopsis from CBS:

Frank and Garrett devise a plan to convince Mayor Chase to work better with others in order to properly run the city, and Danny and Baez try to track down a perp who vandalized several NYPD vehicles with anti-cop graffiti and made threats against officers. Also, Erin is shaken after she's in a car accident, and Eddie and Jamie argue about whether they should keep a stray dog who leads them to a crime scene.

Do you hope CBS renews Blue Bloods for Season 11, with Donnie Wahlberg or other stars directing? Hey, maybe Tom Selleck should be the one to try his hand at it next year. He certainly has the experience!

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.