Blue Bloods Spinoff Seemingly Confirmed By Paramount Exec As Series Finale Looms

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Blue Bloods is seemingly confirmed to get a spinoff, as the series finale looms. The Tom Selleck-led police procedural centers on the Reagan family and tracks their multi-generational power within the New York City criminal justice system. It has been a consistent ratings performer on broadcast and streaming, which gave viewers and industry observers a fair amount of surprise when the drama was canceled late last year. The show’s supporters have since launched a campaign to save it, which has been concurrent with Blue Bloods season 14.

The story may not be over yet, as TVLine reports that Paramount Global co-CEO Brian Robbins revealed a new Blue Bloods show is in the works. Robbins’ comments came during the annual stockholders meeting for Paramount, which owns CBS. Robbins touted the strength of the company’s television franchises, mentioning already confirmed spinoffs like Dexter and saying in part, “In TV, new franchise extensions are coming for Dexter, Billions, and Blue Bloods.” The news comes ahead of Blue Bloods’ series finale in December of this year.

Why Is Blue Bloods Ending With Season 14?

The Cancellation Follows A Recent Trend In Television

This is generally because long-running shows tend to cost more at a time when networks and studios are both changing their strategies and looking to save money in the face of declining ad revenue and overall lower live viewership.

The future of Blue Bloods has been marked by uncertainty for some time, and it has been reported that the season 14 renewal came only after difficult negotiations. CBS asked for notable budget cuts, which included actors. The cast and producers agreed to the salary reductions to keep hundreds of crew members and other staff employed. The renewal reportedly came with the knowledge that season 14 would be the last.

It was also mentioned that the Blue Bloods writing team started penning the scripts with the knowledge that it could be the final chapter, although it’s noted that the decision to end the police drama was only firmly decided after the actors strike. From there, the episode count and the release schedule were decided upon. As it stands, Blue Bloods season 14 was split into two parts, with the remaining eight episodes starting to roll out in October.
Blue Bloods’ cancellation follows a trend of shows getting axed, regardless of how well they perform in the ratings. The trend includes The Good Doctor, Station 19, and NCIS: Hawaiʻi. This is generally because long-running shows tend to cost more at a time when networks and studios are both changing their strategies and looking to save money in the face of declining ad revenue and overall lower live viewership.

Blue Bloods’ Cast Lobbied To Save The Show

Selleck Has Criticized CBS For The Cancellation

In an interview with CBS News, he even questioned whether the network would reconsider its decision and perhaps renew Blue Bloods for season 15.

The police drama, which also stars Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Len Cariou, Marisa Ramirez, and Vanessa Ray, remains popular even in the face of changing viewership habits. It was the most-watched primetime series on Friday nights, garnering more than 11 million viewers an episode once multiplatform viewing was factored in. It had recently been the third most-watched broadcast series, winning its Friday night in terms of total viewers every year since its premiere.

Selleck, also an executive producer on the procedural, cited these facts when criticizing CBS’ cancellation. In an interview with CBS News, he even questioned whether the network would reconsider its decision and perhaps renew Blue Bloods for season 15. Although that’s not quite the case, and it remains to be seen whether long-time executive producer Kevin Wade joins the new project, a spinoff gives space for the story to continue.

CBS Has Been Extending Shows Like Blue Bloods With Spinoffs

The New Spinoff Could Be A Prequel

Even as networks are reluctant to renew long-running series because of the associated costs, including CBS, Paramount Global has been aggressive in building on its established brands and finding ways to continue a show through a spinoff or a prequel. This has always been true of CBS in particular, as the network has made successful franchises out of NCIS, CSI, and FBI. Each has had several spinoffs, though NCIS is the most notable. The original is still going, with NCIS: Origins and NCIS: Tony & Ziva on the way.

The NCIS example could prove especially helpful for Blue Bloods, which could continue in the form of a prequel focused on a member of the Reagan family. Or, like CBS’ upcoming Georgie & Mandy spinoff, which follows two breakout Young Sheldon characters, the new project could take the approach of choosing a supporting character and turning them into the star of their own show. Though it’s too early to speculate, because of the fact there is no official announcement, there is reason to be optimistic because making continuations of successful series is nothing new for CBS.

Even though Blue Bloods season 15 likely won’t be renewed, there does seem to be an acknowledgment of the audience that the police procedural has cultivated. The spinoff, if it does materialize, could allow for main actors such as Selleck and Wahlberg to appear. Some of that will likely also depend on how the veteran police saga chooses to conclude its story once the final episodes start to roll out in December.

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