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Blue Bloods stars Tom Selleck as New York City Police Commissioner Frank Reagan. The show premiered on CBS in 2010 and continues to be a reliable hit for the network.

The story centers on Reagan and his family, who are involved in law enforcement. But as tough as the characters themselves are, the cast ultimately had to make a request for the show’s frequent family dinner scenes.

‘Blue Bloods’ famously has regular family dinner scenes

The Reagan family during their traditional family dinner on Blue Bloods
Blue Bloods dinner scene | Patrick Harbron/CBS via Getty Images

With Blue Bloods centering on family, part of the actors’ and writers’ mission is to ensure these characters feel profoundly connected. One approach the show takes involves featuring regular family dinner scenes in many of the show’s more than 250 episodes.

As is often true in real life, these family dinners allow the characters to open up. They can share their thoughts and feelings about what’s going on in their personal and professional lives. This helps the writers bring complex moral questions to the forefront.

Logistically, filming regular family dinners has to be complicated. Eventually, the cast banned one particular food item from the menu.

Donnie Wahlberg teased why broccoli was eliminated

The show’s cast and crew gave a group interview to The 92nd Street Y. During this lengthy discussion of Blue Bloods, the cast acknowledged how wild filming the family dinner scenes became.

Donnie Wahlberg, who portrays Danny Reagan, even noted how “there was a lot of broccoli,” and co-star Amy Carlson explained how the vegetable eventually had to be eliminated. Asked to explain why, Wahlberg deftly dodged the question, though not without spilling the beans a bit.

“We’re not going to go there because after three hours [broccoli] becomes problematic, you see,” Wahlberg told the interviewer and audience at The 92nd Street Y. “We’re just going to move past it and talk about the bond, not the issues.”

With broccoli being a high-fiber food, it isn’t difficult to surmise how its involvement in a lengthy production process might be less than ideal.

‘Blue Bloods’ is currently midway through Season 13


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Now midway through Season 13, Blue Bloods shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The series continues to surprise fans by taking its characters down new and unexpected paths. And the family dinners, as always, remain an integral part of the show’s narrative and its characters’ family dynamic.

Selleck and co-star Bridget Moynahan have voiced their interest in staying with Blue Bloods for at least 15 seasons. With that point coming up fast, fans might find their favorite show reaching a creative crossroads in the next couple of years. For now, though, just imagine it.