'Blue Bloods' Cast Took Huge Pay Cut to Save Show, Reports Say
Blue Bloods, like any show that has been on for over a decade, is not cheap to make. Costs go up every year, with major stars seeking salary increases and studios looking to increase licensing fees. However, in the case of Blue Bloods, Tom Selleck, other members of the lead cast, and key producers reportedly took pay cuts to keep the show alive and make sure everyone working on the series keeps their jobs for the 2023-2024 season. CBS finally renewed Blue Bloods for Season 14 on Wednesday.
Back when CBS renewed a swath of shows in February, Blue Bloods was missing. This was not completely unexpected, as CBS has a history of renewing the show on its own and weeks after other shows get their green lights. Sources told Deadline on Feb. 21 that "proposed budget cuts" were the reason behind Blue Bloods not being renewed immediately this year. CBS was "pushing" for "pretty deep" cuts, which put the Season 14 renewal in limbo for weeks.
In a follow-up report last week, Deadline reported that CBS was looking to cut salaries by as much as 25% for the lead stars. Sources told the site that some cast and crew members agreed to this in order to keep the show alive. The Hollywood Reporter also confirmed that Blue Bloods cast and top producers took the pay cut so the hundreds of production employees could keep their jobs.
Blue Bloods was created by Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, and Kevin Wade serves as the showrunner. Selleck stars as New York Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, the patriarch of a family filled with public servants. Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Len Cariou, Marisa Ramirez, and Vanessa Ray also star. Selleck is an executive producer on the series, which is produced by CBS Studios. The show is streaming on Paramount+.
The series has anchored CBS' Friday night lineup for more than a decade and is still the most-watched primetime network show airing that night. The show averages 9.54 million viewers each week, CBS said Wednesday. It is also among the 10 most-watched shows on Paramount+, where fans can find all 13 seasons.
"Blue Bloods has dominated Friday nights since its premiere and remained an important anchor for CBS' winning lineup," CBS Entertainment President Amy Reisenbach said Wednesday. "Led by the outstanding Tom Selleck and an incredible cast and creative team, viewers continue to embrace the Reagans, their law enforcement family, and the series' dramatic storytelling. We can't wait to pull a chair up to the Reagan family dinner table for another fantastic season."
While Blue Bloods was finally renewed, S.W.A.T., East New York, and True Lies are still waiting. S.W.A.T. is likely to be renewed in the future, and East New York remains on the bubble. True Lies is likely to be canceled as it was met with a negative critical response and the show has been CBS' lowest-rated drama four episodes in.