It’s almost become a cliche to say that New York City is a character in and of itself in various properties. The city is just so eclectic, and the busy streets and colorful clientele lend themselves to virtually any story that takes place there. For something like “Blue Bloods,” which has gone strong for over a decade at this point, it just wouldn’t be the same if it took place in literally any city. New York allows for a near-infinite number of plotlines and no shortage of crimes for the Reagan family to take down.
It’s all the more authentic seeing how “Blue Bloods” actually films in New York, which wasn’t always the original plan. According to CTV News, there were initial talks of taking filming to Toronto, as so many TV shoots have done in the past. Toronto is a common hub for film and TV productions thanks to the lower cost of filming there (via Outsider), but one person quickly shot down the idea.
Tom Selleck insisted they film Blue Bloods in New York
Tom Selleck is a legend in the industry. He rose to prominence on another series, “Magnum, P.I.” and has continued to work consistently in films and TV shows over the last few decades. It was a significant boon to “Blue Bloods” to land an actor of his caliber to lead the series as family patriarch Frank Reagan, but it’s safe to say that when Selleck had some ideas on how to go about making the show, everyone else stood at attention and listened, especially when it came to deciding which city to film the series in.
Selleck went on the record as saying, “No offense, Toronto, but I’ve shot there, and it’s a lovely place to shoot, but it’s different.” It was likely different in that no other city on the planet has the same vibe as the streets of New York, and “Blue Bloods” frequently shoots scenes in outdoor locations.
It may cost a little more to film directly in New York, but that clearly hasn’t been a problem for CBS. “Blue Bloods” continues to be a solid performer across the board, even going into Season 12. For the episode that aired on January 14, 2022, the police procedural got a season-best 6.11 million viewers (via Deadline). It just goes to show that when Tom Selleck has an idea, it’s best to take him seriously.