Television

Blue Bloods Fans Hoping for a Cancelation Reversal Will Be Waiting a Long Time

On April 11, CBS saved S.W.A.T. from cancellation, for the second time no less.

This reprieve came after three characters had already been written out this season. And additional exits may be coming, as it was hinted that Commander Hicks might be departing to take care of his ailing lover on S.W.A.T. Season 7 Episode 9.

So, who exactly will be in the 20 Squad returning for S.W.A.T. Season 8? Hondo, Powell, the new guy who replaced Street, and who else?

Ah, well, that’s a problem for the series’ showrunner and writers this summer. At least salaries for lesser-known actors should be less of a bite on the budget.

One side effect of this surprise rescue of S.W.A.T. is that Blue Bloods fans want their show, now in its 14th and supposedly final season, saved as well.

First off, let’s remember it’s a bad time to be a scripted network series. Just ask fans of Station 19, The Good Doctor, and Young Sheldon, all going down after their current seventh seasons.

The bloodletting actually began back during The CW fire sale, when most of that netlet’s scripted programming was jettioned over a couple of seasons in favor of reality shows and reruns of scripted imports (mainly from Canada).

Following the new contracts with the Writers’ Guild and SAG-AFTRA, the networks followed suit, cleaning house. Unable to win the quality battle against the better-funded streaming services, they opted to find cheaper ways to keep their profit margins.

To continue oversimplifying TV economics, newer series are generally less expensive while long-running shows grow more pricey. And if your fave isn’t part of a franchise, it has no cover.

Networks want to track down a Tracker or have a Fire Country catch fire, in other words.

Absolutely none of these reasons work in favor of Blue Bloods.

Some would argue that the politics of Blue Bloods hurt it. But be serious. The favorite color of the networks isn’t blue or red. It’s green.

One smart move was splitting the final 18 episodes into two blocks, eight now and ten next fall. No one wants to miss the series finale because it aired at the start of a sunny August weekend.

That split also allows producers to kick the can down the road in terms of securing another season. Maybe the ratings might grow enough to pique Paramount’s interest.

However, such a move by NBC did nothing for Magnum P.I. fans other than give them false hope.

So far, Blue Bloods hasn’t been shedding characters such as S.W.A.T. has, which is an intelligent move in case an unlikely renewal happens.

That’s about it for positives in terms of getting renewed.

The most significant obstacle is the changing network financial environment detailed above.

The Blue Bloods cast and crew took a 25 percent pay cut to get CBS to agree to this “final” season in order to wrap everything up in a blue bow. So, that expense card likely can’t get played again.

Reupping S.W.A.T. has reduced the chance of Blue Bloods suddenly being renewed because there is that much less money in the programming budget.

Sure, CBS also canceled CSI: Vegas and So Help Me Todd. However, what it costs to produce a three-season program and a two-season show would not offset the cost of a long-running series such as Blue Bloods.

Also, while Blue Bloods dips into current events to inform its narrative, it’s a family drama before it’s a procedural.

So, what more can viewers learn about the Reagan family that they haven’t already over 13-plus seasons?

Here’s a handful of possibilities:

  • Will Erin and Jamie keep moving up professionally?
  • Will Erin and Danny find love again?
  • Can Danny continue to keep his career from imploding?
  • Will Frank retire or get forced out by the mayor? If so, who will replace him?
  • Will there be a token death in the extended family? If that’s the case, watch out, Henry.

That hardly seems like another whole season’s worth of material. Why, it likely could be addressed during the remainder of Blue Bloods Season 14.

Unlike a younger series such as S.W.A.T., Especially with all those new characters.

The only other option storywise would be to follow the lead of Dick Wolf’s shows and become much more topical — something like Law & Order: The Reagans.

But then it wouldn’t be Blue Bloods anymore, would it? Just like you never see any scenes with Olivia Benson and her squad hanging out together at a bistro after hours.

In any event, it will be this late fall before any renewal miracle could occur. Maybe the ratings will soar (doubtful with its aging viewership), making Paramount think twice, and Blue Bloods will be saved. Again.

In the meantime, there are daily opportunities to revisit what has come before, both on cable and streaming. The good old days really aren’t that far removed.

The next few months, especially during the summer doldrums, would be an excellent chance to make mental notes of the questions you want answered by the series’ conclusion, whenever that may be.

Here’s hoping the show’s producers can stick that landing when the finale does arrive.

Have you been holding out hope that the series may be a last-minute reprieve?

Are you ready to say goodbye to the Reagans?

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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