Despite the fractured television audience, Blue Bloods fans still tune in to watch the show live every Friday night on CBS. This week was no different, as the show continued dominating the TV ratings chart with this week's tense episode "In the Name of the Father." It was a major episode for the show's 11th season, setting a big storyline for the rest of the year.
CBS's Friday night slate dominated the ratings overall. MacGyver had 4.6 million total viewers, while Magnum P.I. notched 5.6 million. Blue Bloods had the most viewers of any new show that aired on the broadcast networks, with 6.2 million viewers. All three shows earned a 0.5 rating in the key 18-49 demographic, reports TVLine. The shows also matched their ratings for the previous week's season premieres.
As for the other networks, ABC aired a new episode of Shark Tank that drew 3.8 million total viewers and a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Fox's SmackDown had 2.1 million viewers and a 0.5 rating. They were only down a tenth in the demographic. The CW also aired Christmas Caroler Challenge, which earned 510,000 viewers and a 0.1 rating.
This week's Blue Bloods episode was a must-see for fans, as it ended with a major twist. Joe Hill (Will Hochman), the son of the late Joe Reagan, came at the center of media attention thanks to his bravery. Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) agreed with Joe's mother, Paula (Bonnie Sommerville), to keep Joe's true parentage out of the media. They did their best, but someone still found out. Frank got a call from someone who told him a reporter found Joe's birth certificate in Suffolk County during the family dinner. It listed Joe's birth father, and that news is going to leak. Joe will now have to deal with being a member of the Reagan family in public.
The new Blue Bloods season kicked off far later than usual due to the delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Notably, the show does not tell stories about the pandemic, and characters are not depicted wearing face masks during scenes. In an interview with PopCulture, Will Estes, who plays Jamie Reagan, said the show is set in a future after the pandemic. The cast and crew are taking every precaution behind the scenes, but it was decided to give Blue Bloods fans an escape from the real-life situation.
"We're not wearing masks on the show and so on and so forth," Estes said. "We obviously are wearing masks behind the scenes, but we're not doing that on the show... I think the benefit to that is people will get to tune in and see Blue Bloods and step away from some of the difficult things that are going on in our everyday lives right now. I think that that might be the best way that we can serve our audience." The next new episode of Blue Bloods airs Friday at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.