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Blue Bloods: Tom Selleck shares why the show has lasted 250 episodes

Tom Selleck
Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan on Blue Bloods. Pic credit: CBS

Frank Reagan is reflecting on 250 family dinners. 

Tom Selleck opened up on how it felt for Blue Bloods to hit its landmark 250th episode and why it’s successful.

He also hinted that he might be returning soon as another fan-favorite TV character in a new adventure. 

Tom Selleck on Blue Bloods’ success

In today’s TV world, a show reaching more than six seasons is impressive. Thus, it’s more remarkable Blue Bloods is halfway through Season 12 and hopeful for more. 

The series has always rested on the star power of Tom Selleck, already a famous face thanks to Magnum P.I. and movies like Three Men and a Baby. His turn as Frank Reagan has helped the show stand out with his calm power leading the NYPD.

Speaking to TV Insider, Selleck opened up on the series and how it feels to be hitting such a massive milestone. 

“I never thought I’d be lucky enough to do a show that had that long a run. Maybe Magnum, P.I. could have reached that number because nobody wanted to cancel it. I was the guy causing the divorce…The number of series that have done as many episodes as Blue Bloods is a tiny, tiny percentage. This is a validation that we’re all fighting the good fight. All the actors are very committed to the work. So, it’s a number that gives reward for the professionalism of this entire cast.”

Selleck was also pressed on why the series has become so successful for viewers. To him, it’s less the police drama and more the family dynamics of the Reagans. 

“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. 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.”

Another favorite Selleck character could return to TV

Jesse Stone
Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone in Jesse Stone: Sea Change. Pic credit: Hallmark Channel

Selleck was asked the obvious question: Of the 250 episodes of Blue Bloods, which is his favorite? His answer was Season 2, Episode 12 The Job, which had Frank reflecting on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

“It was quite stirring because 9/11 was still fresh in people’s minds. It was hard for me to be strong as an actor, not to break down because Frank is tougher than that. My friend F. Murray Abraham played a [psychologist, Leon Goodwin] but Frank doesn’t like psychologists. The episode winds up dealing with the people who got sick from being there at the time. We were the first show allowed to show the Trade Center Memorial, right after it was finished. It was written by Brian Burns, who just wrote the 250th.”

Selleck also revealed he’s hoping to return to his biggest pre-Blue Bloods TV role of Jesse Stone. Selleck played the troubled small-town police chief in nine movies for CBS and the Hallmark Channel, with the last in 2015. 

Selleck stated he has worked on the script for a tenth movie but delayed due to his Blue Blood commitments. Yet he’s hoping to return to the role soon. 

“It isn’t the same cumulative narrative anymore. As time has passed, I’m older and the Jesse Stone audience needs to account for that. He’s at a different part of his life. That’s interesting, but that’s not the script we started to do after we finished the ninth movie.”

Selleck also revealed he’s “halfway done” with an autobiography of his career. 

“The tentative title is, ‘Don’t Know Where I’m Going, But There’s No Use Being Late.’ I doubt if I’ll change it. That’s the story of an actor’s life. You finish your job, a show or a movie, and you’re unemployed. It’s fun. I hope the book is kind of funny because I don’t take myself that seriously. A sense of humor is almost essential for a long career as is a sense of humor in your work.”

That sense of humor and warmth is what fans love about Selleck as Frank Reagan and hope to see him continue on Blue Bloods for a long time to come. 

Blue Bloods Season 12 returns with new episodes Friday April 1 at 10/9c on CBS.

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