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Tom Selleck and his iconic mustache have graced our television sets for half a century. From his first minor parts in 1969 to his career-defining years as Magnum, P.I. to his current central role on Blue Bloods, Tom Selleck will always be linked with American television.

When Magnum, P.I. went off the air in 1988 as the No. 1 show in America, it was a rare case of a show and the star actor getting to end things on their own terms. With Selleck choosing to spend more time with his new wife, all parties involved thought it best to end Magnum P.I. before things went downhill.

But Selleck continued acting and landed a starring role on Blue Bloods in 2010, bringing his mustache along.

Tom Selleck’s close shave with disaster

Tom Selleck in 'Blue Bloods'
Tom Selleck | Patrick Harbron/CBS via Getty Images

In 2010, Selleck was 65 and the producers of Blue Bloods thought he was “a little too old” for the mustache. Although it accompanied him through forty years of TV appearances, it’s possible that the producers didn’t want the character of Frank Reagan to be linked with Magnum, P.I.

However, Selleck fought back and the executives at CBS took his side, allowing Selleck to keep the facial hair for his Blue Bloods role. Ten years later, it seems like a stroke of genius. Frank is obviously a distinct character, compared to Magnum.

But Selleck manages the authority and the gravitas of the character perfectly. The mustache adds to the portrayal and doesn’t take away from it.

Season 10 and 11 of ‘Blue Bloods’

Ten years on, the decision is looking wise on everyone’s part. Selleck is an integral part of the Blue Bloods family (both literally and figuratively) and his mustache is a critical part of the character.

Season 10 is scheduled to finish in mid-January and future seasons are still up in the air. Following the fan outcry over the season 9 finale, it’s possible that the showrunners are waiting to see how the Blue Bloods universe reacts to the season 10 finale before ordering another season.

Since ratings are down, they may take the opportunity to write a true ending to the show, but Hollywood is different now than in the Magnum, P.I. days. If a show is making money, it’ll likely continue on the air.

Despite the ratings dip, the average quality of Blue Bloods episodes remained high, with season 10 clocking most episodes at 8.0 or higher on IMDb.

Will Tom Selleck return to ‘Blue Bloods’?

Selleck famously only signed a one-year deal when returning for season 10. While he discussed it coyly with the media, there hasn’t been any definitive signs that the show is getting another season.

At this point in a show’s life cycle seasons are generally ordered one at a time. If Blue Bloods is renewed for season 11, it seems a likely bet that Selleck will be on board. He hasn’t shown any signs of wanting to leave the show, and pointed out that it would be difficult to replace a single member of a family.

Discussing his one-year deal, Selleck joked: “Let me say that it’s not like you can get a new detective and bring him to the family dinner table. These people are related.”

With Selleck dedicated to keeping Blue Bloods the best show it can be, it seems likely that he (and his mustache) will return as long as new seasons are being ordered.

Selleck recently announced that he would be releasing a memoir, but didn’t give any indication that he planned to stop acting. Tom Selleck acted in some of the most iconic American television shows of all time, and it’s only fitting that he keeps making Blue Bloods a fantastic program.