There are few shows out there more consistent than Blue Bloods, at least when you are talking about the total episode count. With the exception of season 3, which aired 23 episodes, every other season has remained firmly at 22. The show started after the Hollywood Writers’ Strike in 2008, which means that it avoided the one season where its episodes would be strangely cut off.
Basically, what Blue Bloods is doing in terms of episode count is sticking with what is the industry average for a network procedural show. Most series get picked up for 22 episodes, only for them to be extended at some point along the way. Some shows figure out in the early going that they are doing 24, whereas others get more episodes added during the season depending on scheduling concerns. For Hawaii Five-0, it somehow manages to do 25 episodes these days, and we still wonder how the writers do that without passing out from exhaustion.
Could Blue Bloods ever get closer to that 25-episode mark? It’s a fun thing to think about, and we certainly think that CBS on some level would like having a new episode to air with every single episode of Hawaii Five-0. It’s just probably not going to happen here, mostly because it hasn’t happened already. Different shows have different production needs, and with that it’s easier for a show like Five-0 in theory to film 25. With Blue Bloods, for example, you’ve got at least one family dinner scene an episode that needs to film featuring the entire cast. You can’t stagger the cast in the way that shows like NCIS or Hawaii Five-0 can. Also, there may just not be a desire among some people on the series to do more than 22, which is understandable since television is exhausting work and you want to be able to balance the show with other things. Donnie Wahlberg, for example, has music, Wahlburgers, and more to think about. Meanwhile, other actors are doing theater work, guest-starring gigs, or movie roles.
While we’d love to see Blue Bloods do longer seasons, we’re not going to get too greedy. 22 is a nice length and we’d be happy to see many other shows make it to this point.
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