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Blue Bloods’ Tom Selleck Shares Thoughts On Why The CBS Show Has Been So Successful For So Long

tom selleck frank reagan blue bloods
(Image credit: CBS)

There must be something in the water for the 2021-22 television season, because a handful of shows have reached, or will be reaching, major milestones (like, for example Law & Order: SVU). Cop family drama Blue Bloods is the latest to do so, having just aired its 250th episode. Now star Tom Selleck is opening up about why the procedural is still doing well after more than a decade on the air.

Ahead of the milestone episode, Tom Selleck, who portrays NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan on the series, discussed all things Blue Bloods with TV Insider and the show’s long lasting legacy. The series has been a hit on Friday nights on CBS for years, with ratings staying stable. When asked about the show’s longevity as a cop family drama, Selleck had the perfect answer, saying,

Because it’s a character-driven show. The cop drama is a backdrop for the lives of the five main characters. The audience is so in the heads of these characters that the biggest jeopardy in our show is often when one of the relationships in the Irish Catholic family looks like it’s going south. For instance, Erin [Bridget Moynahan] and Frank are increasingly in conflict the higher she moves up in the DA’s office. The best family dinners are when we argue. When the family gets together, the audience usually knows the character’s problems, so, they’re going, ‘Boy, if he brings that up, that’s not going to sit well with Erin.’ They want the Reagans happy, that’s the key.

While procedurals seem to be taking over television lately and sticking around for a while, Blue Bloods is definitely a unique and special case. The series has been airing on Fridays for a quite some time now, a day that is known as a “death sentence” due to people usually being out on Friday nights and not particularly watching a lot of TV that night. What Selleck says about the show being character-driven, he is likely right about it. 

Blue Bloods does a good job of balancing family and police drama, and it captivates the audience every week. Perhaps one of the best parts of the show has to be the family dinners, where the characters really dig into their lives and the audience gets to see what is going on with everyone. It’s interesting to see that behind a cop series, family is the secret recipe, though it’s not surprising.

Speaking of family, the cast celebrated the 250th episode back in January and they were all smiles. Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan and more celebrated filming the episode, hyping fans up for the big television event. The CBS staple has been on the air for 12 seasons, and it doesn’t look like this family is sick of each other yet, so maybe they’ll be going for another 250.

Meanwhile, along with the big episode, Season 12 of Blue Bloods also includes a guest appearance from popular Hawaii Five-0 guest star and musician Jimmy Buffett. He was in Episode 11 of the season, portraying not only himself, but con artist Dickie Delaney, who coincidentally was pretending to be Buffett. The storyline is insane, but it shows that the writers are still cranking out original and unpredictable storylines after all these years.

As of now, CBS has yet to renew Blue Bloods for Season 13, but it’s only a matter of time. The network seems to be taking its time extending shows, having recently renewed a number of comedies (like Bob Hearts Abishola) and reality programs (like Survivor). Hopefully the dramas will be announced soon, and Tom Selleck's cop series is among those brought back for another season.

Catch more family and cop drama, and maybe even firsts, on Blue Bloods, airing on Fridays on CBS (opens in new tab).

Megan Behnke
Megan Behnke

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