Blue Bloods Showrunner Talks Keeping The CBS Drama Going Without Relying On Cliffhangers Or Huge Story Arcs

donnie wahlberg in blue bloods.
(Image credit: CBS)

Long-running cop procedural Blue Bloods is preparing to air its 13th season on CBS. While star Tom Selleck has praised the series’ mix of family and procedural as the reason for Blue Bloods’ long success, the show has another element that sets it apart from other dramas: there aren’t as many cliffhangers or big story arcs that you’d expect from a typical primetime drama. And showrunner Kevin Wade has explained the simple reason why.

Ahead of the Season 13 premiere, showrunner Kevin Wade spoke to TVLine to preview what to expect from the new episodes. While many procedurals and dramas like to have cliffhangers and cast changes every once in a while, Blue Bloods doesn’t really find it necessary to have those types of twists. Going into the 13th season, it seems to be working, as Wade said:

We have a prescribed thing that we do, for which I think the technical term is ‘a closed-end procedural.' So we don’t tell serialized stories, we don’t have cliffhangers, we don’t replace cast members…. Many of the tools that long-running shows have, very much to our credit or to whatever, we don’t have at our disposal, so we try to work with what we have.

It’s clear that whatever Blue Bloods has been doing works since the show has remained steadily successful on CBS since its premiere. It should also be pointed out that all five main stars (Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Len Cariou, and Tom Selleck) have been on the series since the first season, with no indication that they plan on leaving any time soon.

Blue Bloods hit Episode 250 earlier this year, and the cast celebrated with some pretty fun images. Even at twelve seasons in, Blue Bloods was still finding ways to freshen things up while still staying true to what had been working for over a decade. It sounds like fans still won't have to worry about major cliffhangers as Season 13 gets into gear!

As for what to expect in the upcoming season, Blue Bloods is fixing a plothole that has been driving fans nuts for years. After Jamie and Janko got married in the Season 9 finale, the two characters still worked together at the precinct, despite it not being professionally realistic. However, Season 13 will finally address that situation, as Kevin Wade did reveal that while Jamie will switch jobs, they will still be working in the same building.

It's nice to know that even 13 seasons in, Blue Bloods is still keeping consistent with storylines and doesn’t feel the need to make drastic changes. The series is keeping its Friday night time slot but getting some new primetime partners on CBS, when S.W.A.T. and Fire Country join for CBS’ 2022 fall schedule. Blue Bloods has kept steady on Fridays for a while now, and that probably won’t be changing, even with some new blood.

Don’t miss the Season 13 premiere of Blue Bloods on Friday, October 7 at 10 p.m. EST on CBS! Check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule to see what else to catch as fall TV is making its long-awaited comeback!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.