Tom Selleck Makes A Big Sacrifice To Keep Blue Bloods On The Air

Tom Selleck and the rest of the cast and producers of Blue Bloods took a 25 percent pay cut to keep Blue Bloods on the air.

By Robert Scucci | Updated

The unfortunate reality of an economic downturn is that even show business can be financially affected, including successful, long-running series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this seems to be the case for Tom Selleck’s Blue Bloods, the CBS police drama that’s been a Friday night prime-time anchor for the last 13 years. Fortunately, CBS has renewed the series for season 14, but to keep the lights on, the cast and producers had to agree to a 25 percent pay cut.

As costs climb and productions become more expensive, the only way to keep moving forward is to tighten your belt and save money where possible. In the case of Tom Selleck’s Blue Bloods, the pay cut was necessary to maintain the employment for the hundreds of production staffers involved with the series for another season. While this is an unfortunate turn of events for the cast and producers, they’re smart enough to realize that a show’s success relies tremendously on the success of the behind-the-scenes operation.

This isn’t the only show that’s been affected by the looming economic recession either. Though we’ll be fortunate enough to see Tom Selleck and co. bring us a 14th season of Blue Bloods, other shows might end up on the chopping block for similar economic reasons. SWAT is just another example of a show that is facing economic uncertainty despite its high ratings, and whether we’ll see a seventh season of the series is currently up for debate.

SWAT’s co-creator, Shawn Ryan, has stated that it’s not simply a matter of ratings anymore, but rather the overall budget for production. In other words, it doesn’t matter if SWAT is a top show for their demographic on CBS; if the bottom line is being stretched, and the budget can’t be soundly restructured, then the show won’t get renewed. Fortunately, for those who can’t imagine a Friday night without Tom Selleck’s portrayal of Frank Reagan and his law enforcement family in Blue Bloods, the series was able to renew for season 14 after restructuring its finances.

tom selleck

In regard to the season 14 renewal, CBS Entertainment president, Amy Reisenbach, has stressed the importance of Tom Selleck’s Blue Blood series, stating that it’s an important anchor series for the network. And she’s right to be enthusiastic over the fact that the show will live to see another season. At 14 seasons, Blue Bloods will be the second-longest running scripted series on the network, second only to the original NCIS series, which is the network’s flagship show.

Let’s just hope for the sake of Tom Selleck and the rest of the Blue Bloods crew, that this salary cut is only a temporary measure to secure the future of the series. After all, the series has been quite lucrative for Paramount Global due to syndication deals. And the ratings are nothing to scoff at either; Blue Bloods averages 9.5 million views per episode, and once you factor in delayed streaming, the series hits 11 million on average per episode.

As other networks look at their ledgers, and find that they need to act similarly, let’s hope that casts and production teams will take a page from Tom Selleck’s Blue Bloods playbook. While the cast members and producers are vitally important to the success of any series, it’s the production staff, camera operators, editors, and post-production crew that are instrumental in bringing a show to our TV screens week after week. While we’re sure that nobody likes taking a 25 percent pay cut, no matter where they work, we’re absolutely certain that a pay cut is better than canceling a show altogether.