Does ‘Blue Bloods’ Need More Tom Selleck?

Ensemble shows sometimes have to nearly bargain with actors to give them all equal screen time. When you’re the star of the show, however, you should have right to more screen time based on fan response. If you’re Tom Selleck, it doesn’t necessarily mean hogging every scene.

Some fans of Blue Bloods are starting to notice Selleck’s Frank Reagan isn’t receiving nearly as much screen time as he used to have. Is this a decision by the producers to focus on some of the younger characters, or a personal choice by Selleck?

It’s possibly both for various reasons. We can also make a valid argument more of Selleck would benefit the show. After all, we still contend he’s one of the most ethical characters on prime-time TV.

Has Selleck requested less screen time in favor of his co-stars?

Tom Selleck
Tom Selleck | Patrick Harbron/CBS via Getty Images

You can still see Selleck often enough in the last few seasons of Blue Bloods, though he’s not always the center of the story. Frank Reagan’s kids and other sideline characters sometimes take precedence, depending on the story.

Considering Selleck has always been known for being down-to-earth with virtually no ego, we wouldn’t be surprised if he willingly acquiesces to the other cast members to give them a chance to shine. Or, we hope it’s not the opposite with CBS suits focusing on the younger cast just because Selleck is 74 years old.

One could argue the older cast members get the least amount of screen time (including Len Cariou playing Henry Reagan). While CBS at least has more older characters compared to other networks, we all know the real dynamics of Blue Bloods works the best when the ensemble acts together.

Let’s figure that without those iconic dinner scenes with the Reagans, Bloods just wouldn’t be the same. The interactions between Selleck and his family/co-workers also makes him a better actor in the long run. Outside of once holding Magnum P.I. with his screen time, Selleck does shine when interacting with others.

There could be intention toward a future spinoff

Frank’s kids (particularly Donnie Wahlberg’s Danny Reagan) are getting more focus, perhaps indicating CBS wants to create a spinoff eventually. We’re already seeing some intention of this on other long-running CBS shows like NCIS where the return of Ziva is likely strategic if Mark Harmon retires soon.

Selleck has indicated he’ll do another season of Blue Bloods, only because CBS offered him a one-year extension. He keeps on saying he’d love to continue doing the show indefinitely. He does have some frustrations about CBS often balking on more long-term commitments.

A lot of us thought he’d want to retire soon to live with his wife on their California avocado farm/ranch. Now we know he’d probably do Blue Bloods for years more if CBS would let him.

In some ways, it gives indication Selleck isn’t in complete control of everything with the show. Any lack of screen time may be network decisions to nurture the other cast for later spinoffs.

Let’s hope Selleck manages to persuade CBS to give him more time

It’s clear this will likely be Selleck’s last TV series, though it seems CBS is taking Blue Bloods a bit for granted. With ratings trending down , CBS should tread a little more carefully when it comes to how they deal with the series.

Selleck does get perturbed with CBS in how they only renew the show one season at a time. Should he ever leave out of frustration, that would put a gaping hole in CBS’s valued Friday night lineup.

Let’s just hope it’s not one of those insidious boardroom maneuvers in moving out the top star to pave way for the others to take the lead.