Blue Bloods has looked at what can happen when a police officer goes too far before in the series. Still, in light of the ongoing protests against police brutality that began this summer, it is an even more pressing issue for the show to tackle. In a recent interview with PopCulture, Will Estes, who plays Jamie Reagan, said the issue would be touched on in Season 11. The season premiere, "Triumph Over Trauma," even features guest star Whoopi Goldberg as a city council speaker who brings up the protests in meetings with Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck).
Estes said viewers will "definitely" see some reference to the protests. "I think that we would be remiss not to address some of the things that are going on in United States and in the world right now," Estes explained. "We will address some of those things... Whoopi Goldberg comes on, is awesome and plays an incredible part in [the premiere]. We will address some of those things and I think... be of service to those stories too."
Since the protests directly impact the police, it would be impossible for Blue Bloods to avoid them. However, the show will not be directly touching on the coronavirus pandemic, although it will be referenced. As Estes explained, the show will be set in the future after the pandemic, so audiences will not be seeing characters wear face masks within the episodes, even though everyone is following strict coronavirus safety guidelines behind the scenes. The benefit to this is people will still get to watch Blue Bloods and "step away from some of the difficult things that are going on in our everyday lives right now," Estes said.
Of course, the one part of the show fans wait for every week is the Reagan family dinner, where everyone discusses the problems they faced in their jobs. The Blue Bloods producers figured out how to film these scenes by using robots operated by their camera operators. Estes admitted it "felt a little bit like smoking indoors" when the actors filmed the dinners, but the bots ensured that only the actors would be in the room while filming the dinners.
The new season will also still have some ideas from Season 10 carried over. The show was forced to cut the season short because of the pandemic.
Production was also delayed on Season 11, so Blue Bloods will only have 16 episodes. "We lost a few episodes at the end of the season to shut down because of the pandemic, so some of those have actually just been rebranded season 11 shows with small changes," Estes said. "So we've just taken those stories and moved them forward. It's nice that they're not just lost." Blue Bloods airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.