We know sometimes there are juicy stories that come along with an actor departing a show, and we’ve certainly written about plenty of them over the years whether it be Cote de Pablo on NCIS, Christopher Meloni on Law & Order: SVU, Erinn Hayes on Kevin Can Wait, or what would’ve happened with Stana Katic had Castle been renewed for a season 9. In the case of Carlson, though, it doesn’t appear as though there was anything scandalous or controversial here at all.
According to a new report coming in from Deadline, it was Carlson’s decision to leave the show after the seventh season, as her contract had expired. Most network contracts for series regulars tend to run out at the end of either the sixth or seventh season — we know that for Tom Selleck he had to sign a new deal to return for season 7, one that was not inked until shortly before that season began.
After seven years on one show playing the same character, we certainly understand why Carlson would want to move on and try some different things. We do think the timing works out for her given that pilot season is coming up; plus, there are also some possible film or theater jobs out there for her. We hope that everyone who loved her on this show will continue to support her elsewhere — once a Reagan, always a Reagan, right?
The only thing that really comes as all that great of a surprise about this news is the way in which everything happened. It’s highly unusual for a series-regular departure to be this secret; nobody in the media or the television community at large seemed to have the faintest idea that this was happening until the premiere episode aired and her name wasn’t in the opening credits. (If there’s one critique we could offer Blue Bloods it’s that if they really wanted to go for the shock value they would’ve kept the credits the same as season 7 for the opening — the moment that some eagle-eyed viewers didn’t see her at the dinner table they realized that something was amiss and it almost distracted from the reveal.)
Hopefully, this puts an end to any sort of rumors that are out there before they really get going. Everyone seems to be wishing Carlson the best and we’ll absolutely do the same.