Why ‘Blue Bloods’ Season 11 Will Be Shorter Than Normal

Bad news Blue Bloods fans. There won’t be quite as many family dinners to enjoy during the upcoming season. Season 11 of the CBS police procedural will have fewer episodes than normal when it returns to the air. The change is due to production constraints caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

‘Blue Bloods’ Season 11 will have fewer than 20 episodes 

Donnie Wahlberg in Blue Bloods
Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan in Blue Bloods | Jojo Whilden/CBS via Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Blue Bloods’ Had an Opportunity to Address Police Violence in Season Four and Totally Fumbled, Critics Say

Blue Bloods typically airs 22 episodes per season. But the coronavirus pandemic cut season 10 short at only 19 episodes. Now, we know that season 11 will be even more abbreviated. That’s because CBS is planning on shorter seasons for its scripted dramas in 2020-21, Deadline reported. 

Blue Bloods Season 11 will have 16 episodes. The network’s other drama series will also have shorter-than-usual seasons lasting 16 to 18 episodes, including NCIS and its spinoffs, Bull, Magnum P.I., and The Neighborhood. The shift is the result of delayed fall premiere dates due to the pandemic. CBS has fewer weeks in its schedule to fill before the end of the season in May. Higher production costs related to COVID-19 precautions are also a factor, according to the industry publication.

When will the new season of ‘Blue Bloods’ premiere?

While CBS has revealed premiere dates for returning shows such as FBI, NCIS, and Bull, it hasn’t yet announced when the new season of Blue Bloods will begin airing.

Many other shows in CBS’s lineup will premiere in November. The Neighborhood, Bob ♥ Abishola, All Rise, and Bull return on Monday, Nov. 16. NCIS, FBI, and FBI: Most Wanted premiere Tuesday, Nov. 17. SEAL Team Season 4 kicks off Wednesday, Nov. 25

Viewers will see more of the newest member of the Reagan family in ‘Blue Bloods’ Season 11 

Tom Selleck in Blue Bloods
Frank (Tom Selleck) and Jamie (Will Estes) in Blue Bloods | Jojo Whilden ©2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

RELATED: ‘Blue Bloods’: Joe Hill’s Career Will Change After the Reagan Family Secret Was Revealed

While there’s no premiere date yet, we do know that when Blue Bloods does return it will feature a new character. Joe Hill (Will Hochman) was introduced in the season 10 finale. The NYPD detective is the son of the late Joe Reagan. Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) had no idea his son had a child before he died, but now that the family connection has been revealed, his grandson has a seat at the family dinner table.

Discovering that he comes from a long line of NYC cops is also good news for Joe and his career. 

“Is it best for him to have a great-grandfather and a grandfather who were police commissioners, one uncle who’s a very famous NYPD detective, another who’s an NYPD sergeant and an aunt who is high up in the district attorney’s office?” Blue Bloods executive producer Kevin Wade said, according to TVLine. “It would completely change how everybody he worked with looked at him and related to him.”

Check out Showbiz Cheat Sheet on Facebook!