Blue Bloods sets later premiere date for Season 12

Tom Selleck sitting with his family in Blue Bloods
Tom Selleck sitting with his family in Blue Bloods. Pic credit: CBS

Blue Bloods fans have to wait a bit longer to get back to the Reagan family this fall.

CBS has announced its new schedule for the 2021-22 season. Notable is that while Blue Bloods remains on Friday nights, the series will have a later premiere than most of the network’s shows.

Fridays are Blue Blood nights

Usually, a long-running TV show sees its time slot changing over its run. But ever since 2010, Blue Bloods has been a Friday mainstay.

It premiered there in 2010, although CBS did try to have it run on Wednesdays, where it was swapped with Criminal Minds. After just four weeks, CBS put Bloods back on Fridays, where it’s remained ever since.

The series has continued to succeed, anchoring a night that’s often been filled with action series like Hawaii Five-O and MacGyver. While ratings have faltered over the last season, fans seem to prefer Bloods in this slot.

CBS has now announced Bloods will continue to air at 10 pm. It will anchor the evening, which now begins with SWAT having moved from Wednesdays, followed by Magnum PI. 

What gets attention is that while most of CBS’s premieres take place the week of September 20th, their Friday night lineup won’t be until October 1.

Why the delayed premiere?

Blue Bloods Season 11 season premiere
Tom Selleck in Blue Bloods. Pic credit: CBS

The reasons why CBS is holding off on their Friday night slate may seem odd. Last year, like all networks, CBS was affected by the delays due to shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

This meant Bloods didn’t premiere until December 4. Also, there were delays shooting on location in affected New York City, which meant the season was cut down to 16 episodes with some gaps of several weeks between new episodes.

As it happens, CBS will have premieres even further off than Bloods. The following week will have the premieres for the return of CSI, their Thursday night comedy block, Bull, and their Sunday night slot of The Equalizer, NCIS: Los Angeles and SEAL Team all debut on October 10.

It is traditional for networks to wait until after the Emmy Awards (airing September 19) to begin their new seasons. Also, networks are wary of competing directly with the MLB playoffs. 

It appears CBS wants to ‘stagger’ the premieres over a few weeks rather than have them all in one go. With a show still as popular as Blue Bloods, having their premiere later can help them avoid being lost in the shuffle. 

What’s next for Blue Bloods in Season 12?

Danny and Baez
Donnie Wahlberg and Maria Ramriez in Blue Bloods Pic credit: CBS

Blue Bloods should benefit from a lack of competition at the 10 pm slot. The only network fare at that time will be NBC’s Dateline and ABC’s 20/20 news programs. 

The Season 12 premiere is titled “Hate is Hate,” hinting a hate crime may rock the city. This can cause conflict for Frank (Tom Selleck) who spent season 11 defending the police department amid protests. 

The showrunners have speculated on the possibility of Jamie and Eddie having a child although both seem focused on their careers for now. It’s also possible Erin might find romance amid her new responsibilities at the DA’s office.

Fans are also hopeful for a return of Joe Hill (Will Hochman), the newly discovered Reagan. Season 11 ended with him barely surviving a police raid gone bad with hints that might draw him closer to the family. 

While details are scarce for now, Bloods fans can look forward to spending a later fall with the Reagan family with a date firmly set.

Blue Bloods Season 12 premieres October 1 at 10 pm EST on CBS.

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