'Blue Bloods': TV Legend Ed Asner Makes Debut as Frank's Friend in New Episode

Living legend Ed Asner makes his Blue Bloods debut in the newest episode, "Vested Interests." The Lou Grant star was cast to go toe-to-toe with Tom Selleck, playing a friend of Commissioner Frank Reagan. The new episode also finds Donnie Wahlberg's Detective Danny Reagan investigating a death first thought to be a homicide.

The episode gets its title from the story involving Sgt. Jamie Regan (Will Estes). He found himself under investigation after his police vest was found on a suspected criminal. Meanwhile, Frank is troubled after the home of his friend Chuck Kennedy (Asner) is invaded, and the two get into a heated debate. Danny and Detective Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez) take on the case of a hotel employee whose death was thought to be a suicide, but turns out to be murder. Lastly, A.D.A. Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan) and Anthony Abetamarco (Steven Schirripa) are forced to make a deal with a man who claims he knows secrets about the district attorney.

CBS released a preview scene from the episode, showing Frank trying to explain the situation to Chuck by comparing it to The Great Escape.

Asner is a television legend, with more than 390 credits to his name, stretching back to the late 1950s. To many, he is Lou Grant, the grumpy newsman he played on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and in his own series, Lou Grant. He won six Emmys for playing the character on the two shows, and also has an Emmy for his performance in Roots.

Asner, 90, also recently starred in the Modern Family episode "Dead on a Rival." His other recent credits include Netflix's Dead to Me, Grace and Frankie, Forgive Me, MacGyver, Cobra Kai, Criminal Minds and The Good Wife. Younger audiences recognize him as the voice of Carl Fredricksen in Disney and Pixar's Up and as Santa Claus in Elf.

As for Blue Bloods, the beloved cop drama is now in its 10th season. While last season ended with a wedding, it's not clear what the writers have up their sleeves for the end. Even Wahlberg is in the dark.

"I try to just stay in the moment of each episode and that really helps me, I think, do my best work," Wahlberg told PopCulture.com in an interview in January. "I treat each episode as a little movie that I'm doing and each scene is a little movie within the movie and that's how I approach it. I try not to get information about what's going to happen seven to 10 episodes in advance."

Wahlberg also does not see the show ending any time soon.

"I just know that we're having more fun than we've ever had on the show," he said. "It's still the number one show on Friday night for 10 years and it's been a great run and I don't see it stopping anytime soon."

New episodes of Blue Bloods air Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.


Photo credit: John Paul Filo/CBS