After May 2023’s cancelation blood bath, I had hoped fewer shows would be ending in the new year. Instead, while the networks are giving a lot of their veteran series one more round on the TV schedule, it’s going to be a year where a lot of shows are ending once again, including Blue Boods. And Tom Selleck doesn’t sound particularly happy about it.
Look, Blue Bloods has been getting a little long in the tooth in recent years, though it still has had a solid audience in its Friday night timeslot on CBS and can be watched with a Paramount Plus subscription as well. When shows go on for a while, the inevitable question becomes: “How much longer do you think you’ll keep going?”
Still, Selleck’s always said Blue Bloods has plenty of stories left, and while CBS has already clarified fans will be saying goodbye to the Reagan family after Season 14, it sounds now as if it was absolutely not the mustachioed actor’s choice.
What Tom Selleck Is Now Saying About Blue Bloods Ending
While Selleck was nice in his initial comment on Blue Bloods' demise, he did not hold back in his recent Blue Bloods comments. When asked by TV Insider about how he’s feeling about the show’s ultimate demise, he mentioned feeling the fans aren’t ready to say goodbye, and he’s not either.
CBS will find an awful lot of people aren’t ready to say goodbye to it. The show’s more popular than ever, and I think [numbers] will increase with the interest this year. We’re certainly not out of ideas.
The actor went on to comment about how he is personally feeling about the wrap up. Simultaneously, his take seems to address rumors that ran around a few months ago that alleged Selleck was having troubles on set. His rep said at the time he was “fit and vigorous,” despite being 78, and the actor is clarifying here his health is not the reason the show is ending.
I’m not counting the days so I can do something else. I love the work. Sometimes the hours are a little harder because I’m older, but so what? I want work as long as they’ll have me.
Blue Bloods kicked off Season 13 last year with 6.4 million total viewers and 9.7 million viewers when factoring in delayed viewing. The show was remarkably consistent in these numbers through the entirety of last season, and ended up in the Top 5 of TV shows watched last season on network TV. While the final season doesn’t begin airing until February, one would assume the audience would still be there. Factoring all of this in, this leads me to only one question…
Why Is Blue Bloods Getting Canceled?
If Tom Selleck is bullish about continuing to make more episodes, and the show is still doing reasonably well, why exactly is Blue Bloods getting the ax from CBS? (OK I know some of you are going to comment the show is “ending” rather than being canceled, but that argument doesn’t hold water. It’s “ending” because CBS is axing it; the network is just giving it a season to wrap.)
The major argument I think you could make is that veteran shows cost way more money than newbie shows. The cast and everyone involved expect more cash over time, leading to ballooning budgets, and with younger fans canceling cable and ad rates not being what they once were, the math doesn’t always add up. That’s why we are seeing a lot of veteran shows ending this season: The Good Doctor and S.W.A.T among them.
A report a while back on Deadline mentioned Blue Bloods had to find a 25% budget reduction in order to make Season 14 happen, despite appetite for the show. Clearly, that wasn’t even enough. What would need to happen for more episodes to be handed down? Even more intense budget cuts? Would cast members need to quit? I’d honestly be interested to know if Selleck would be singing the same tune if he had to go through major salary cuts to keep the show on the air. Plus, I know this is a lot of ifs, but even if all of this could happen, would that impact quality?
Meanwhile, though, I don’t think the show’s cancellation has anything to do with the cast being ready to go, which is more than I could say about some comments from actors involved on other shows (the NCIS: LA cast’s ending comments come to mind). Donnie Wahlberg said a few months ago he wanted to go as long as Law & Order: SVU; that show just kicked off Season 25.
SVU, I mean, Ice-T and Mariska Hargitay have been going for, gosh, so many years, and we hope to last as long as they have…
Of course, Wahlberg's comments came before CBS' decision came down the pipeline. And given SVU is still rolling perhaps that would be a tall order. It's hard to catch up with a show that's still going strong and pushing out new episodes.
The good news? Blue Bloods isn’t going anywhere immediately. The drama still has 18 episodes set to air on the Eye Network, which means more Reagan Family dinners to explore and plenty of time to get used to the idea of the show saying goodbye to its loyal fanbase. Plus, those episodes are going to be split between this spring and next fall, so we’ll be talking about the show’s ending for some time to come. I suppose anything could happen between now and then as well.
My next big point of interest: With both S.W.A.T. and Blue Bloods on the way out, what’s going to pair up with Fire Country on Friday nights?