Last night Blue Bloods aired its season 11 premiere, and by and large the cast and crew did a great job of making it feel like the show you know. It wasn’t exactly easy. A lot has changed since the CBS drama wrapped production earlier this year with season 10 — the pandemic has changed how shows are able to film, and the current police-reform movements in this country may also cause changes in content.
Within the premiere, we did at least see the cast do a little bit of work outside, though it may not have been altogether clear what part of New York City some of these characters were in. This is going to be the norm for the immediate future of the show, largely because it simply has to be. Speaking with Deadline following the events of the premiere, here is some of what showrunner Kevin Wade had to say about the challenges they are dealing with:
The [pandemic-related] protocols call for obviously as minimal a crew presence as you can have and still do the show and as minimal background players.
In fact, we were aware of it going in that the scale of the show was going to suffer.
We cannot get permits to move around New York the way we used to. We can’t go do a shootout in Times Square or a jumper on a bridge in Brooklyn. We just can’t do it anymore, so we are writing to conflict and stories that can, because they have to, take place in very limited real estate with very limited background … The biggest challenge is taking something that people are used to a certain scale and movement and seeing New York City and all five boroughs ever Friday night. We’re not able to do that right now.
Will the city open up more as the season goes along? It’s certainly possible, but also could be dependent on a vaccine and also the movement of it over time. We’re going into the season expecting that the stories will look similar to the premiere — if that happens, it’s hard to be altogether upset. This is a crew that is clearly doing their best, and having the focus on the characters is in our mind a good thing.
What did you think about the Blue Bloods season 11 premiere?
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This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.