Blue Bloods Cast Talks Secrets Of Family Dinner Scenes, Including Why They Ditched Real Silverware

The Blue Bloods cast, including Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg, film a dinner scene
(Image credit: CBS)

Over the years, Blue Bloods has made a name for itself as a Friday night CBS staple thanks to its rich cast and probably with a little help from Tom Selleck’s infamous mustache. One of the major components of the series over the years to achieve iconic status in the eyes of fans are the family dinner scenes, which are apparently harder to pull off than you might guess. The show has made some changes to the dinner scene over the years and recently revealed some secrets related to the scenes--including one behind-the-scenes fact I probably would never have noticed. 

First and foremost, Blue Bloods star Tom Selleck knows the dinner scenes are a big deal to the fanbase. He mentioned in an interview with Milwaukee’s CBS 58 affiliate that the dinner scenes are “one of, or the most favorite thing for our audience.” However, it’s not so easy to pull off those weekly dinner scenes. 

Why Blue Bloods’ Dinner Scenes Are So Difficult To Pull Off

First and foremost, the most interesting fact to me about the Blue Bloods dinner scenes is that it’s the only time the main cast is fully together on set. As you can imagine that takes a lot of coordination and there’s a lot of commotion and work that has to go into getting those scenes right. It’s not just a quick 20 minutes on set. In fact, Selleck also told CBS 58 that’s it’s a whole day of work just eating and eating and eating to get through those scenes. Per Selleck:

We embrace family dinner, the only problem is it takes 6 to 8 hours and you have to just keep eating the same old food.

Making a TV show might sound like fun (and a great payday), and while those things might be true, the long and grueling work hours that go into doing a 1-hour drama once a week for 22 or more episodes a year are also legendary. Cast members on shows as varied as network television and streaming --including those with ensemble casts like the Arrow-verse and those with lengthy filming schedules like The Witcher have spoken out about the processes in the past and procedurals like Blue Bloods are no exception, though the types of scenes that take so long to film are a little bit different. 

Not only are the hours long, but Will Estes also mentioned that means each member of the cast has “gotta pace” themselves with all of the long hours of eating ahead. It's an activity that Selleck has previously referred to as "miserable,"  but it sounds like they at least have fun with all of the quality time they get to spend together as a group. But that's not the only secret they spilled about the dinner scenes. 

Why Blue Bloods Ditched Real Silverware During The Dinner Scenes

In addition to watching what they eat, in the early days it sounds like the Blue Bloods team attempted to make the dinner scenes as authentic as possible. This meant real plates and glasses, and even cutlery. However, now that Blue Bloods has been airing for quite a few seasons, the show has figured out a better way of ensuring filming goes smoothly: they ditched the real silverware. 

In fact, all of the clinking from the silverware was really getting picked up heavily by the studio mic, so it was a decision that really needed to be made. Regardless, Tom Selleck joked that he once broke a knife while trying to cut up a piece of chicken, so things really can go a-fowl when using the fake cutlery, also noting:

How many people have thrown a cutlet across the room? I didn’t hit anybody!

At the end of the day the Blue Bloods family dinner scenes really are an opportunity for the main cast to get together. They laugh, they joke, they throw chicken across the room occasionally. And while those days are long, they are also standouts, marking the only time the full cast is on set. 

We can see the cast in action soon, as Blue Bloods airs on Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET, only on CBS. To see more about what's headed to TV, check out our full fall TV premiere schedule. And if you're interested in which two family dinner scenes are Donnie Wahlberg favorites, we have you covered there as well. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.