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Blue Bloods welcomes back an old face when new episodes return

Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett returns to Blue Bloods. Pic credit: CBS

Blue Bloods is taking the holidays off, but when they come back, it’ll be with a familiar face. 

As is tradition, the CBS show will be off for a few Fridays because of the holiday season. Blue Bloods fans can be assured it’ll be back on the air for the first Friday of 2022 and with some fun surprises. 

The Blue Bloods Christmas break

For a show set in New York City, Blue Bloods has surprisingly done few actual Christmas-themed episodes.

There will be times the Reagans reference Christmas plans, but there are rarely scenes of them actually decorating or holiday-themed events around New York. These episodes are filmed in the late fall before Christmastime comes to the Big Apple, which can be a factor.

There’s also how the show usually airs one episode in early December and then a break for the rest of the year. An exception was in 2020 when, due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Season 11 didn’t premiere until the first week of December.

Thus, taking a break about now is par for the course for the series. It’s added by the fact that the last two Fridays of this year happen to be Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when few viewers will be watching fresh television episodes.

Blue Bloods did see an uptick in viewership for this past Friday’s episode, following Magnum P.I. (which, ironically, focused on Christmas) and S.W.A.T. The new episode had 5.9 million viewers, winning the Friday night.

While it’s a bit disappointing there won’t be any new episodes until 2022, at least when the show returns, it’ll be with a big-time guest star.

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An old friend returns

Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett guest-stars with Donnie Wahlberg on Blue Bloods Season 11. Pic credit: CBS

The next episode, fittingly titled Old Friends, brings back country music star Lyle Lovett as Major Waylon Gates.

The Texas Ranger appeared in Season 11’s Fog of War, coming to New York to hunt for a serial killer. Despite the obvious culture clash, Danny and Gates worked well together, with Danny even borrowing the man’s cowboy hat.

Gates is returning to New York to aid in a drug smuggling case, which will undoubtedly lead to more fun. 

An illegal drug shipment arriving in New York City forces Danny to partner up with his Texas Ranger associate, Major Waylon Gates (Lyle Lovett), to find the narcotics before they flood the streets. Also, Jamie makes a concerning discovery about a former mentor as he helps a neighbor handle a gambling debt, and Frank receives pushback from Mayor Chase over his handling of a brawl between demonstrators and police officers at a protest.

The synopsis indicates yet more conflict between Frank and Chase. The pair have been at odds this season over Frank feeling Chase cares more for his public image than actually helping the people of New York. 

It boiled over with Chase ready to fire Frank but still letting him stay on. Yet this may be yet another nasty fight between them. 

Between that, Jamie’s conflict, and the return of Gates, it looks like Blue Bloods fans will be in for a nice late Christmas present when the show comes back to the air.

Blue Bloods Season 12 returns with new episodes Friday, January 7 at 10/9c on CBS.

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