Blue Bloods Season 11 is well underway, but the ending is not far off either. This time around, the show got a reduced order for just 16 episodes — fewer than there were in all the previous seasons. Fans may need to prepare themselves for an ending sooner than they are used to in the spring season.
Blue Bloods is a fan-favorite police procedural on CBS, starring Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Len Cariou and Tom Selleck. In the past, it has run conventional TV seasons consisting of 22 or 23 episodes each, but that changed in Season 10, when CBS ordered just 19 episodes. The order was reduced even further in 2020, and the show premiered late in December with just 16 episodes planned. This due in part to the coronavirus pandemic, but other factors may be involved as well.
According to a report by Deadline back in October, CBS shortened the seasons on many of its shows for the 2020-2021 TV season to account for filming delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many film sets and studios across the world are closed, and those that are open are still subject to safety measures that can slow the work down.
While these delays make sense, it doesn't soften the blow at all for fans who are getting less of their favorite shows this year. At a time when most people are staying home as much as possible to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, TV can be a lifeline. It provides a connection to the outside world and it fills the hours that might otherwise have been social.
Blue Bloods fans can be relatively sure that the reduced season does not spell danger for the series. Almost all of CBS' other shows got a similar treatment, especially other procedurals like Bull, S.E.A.L. Team and Magnum P.I. Comedies got off easy in some cases since they were already scheduled to film half-length seasons, but The Neighborhood was shortened and a few others got non-commital orders.
Thankfully, the increasing availability of vaccines coupled with the adaptation to safety measures is making movie and TV sets run more smoothly all the time. In a recent interview with WebMD, Dr. Anthony Fauci estimated that life could be "back to normal by June," if all goes well. That means production companies will pounce on any chance they can get to resume work on their big projects.
In the meantime, Blue Bloods fans will have to prepare themselves for an abbreviated year. The show airs on Friday nights at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.