Hit police drama Blue Bloods follows the Reagans, a tight-knit family of police officers led by de facto patriarch NYC Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, played by Tom Selleck. And according to Blue Bloods showrunner Kevin Wade, Tom Selleck’s leadership role goes far beyond his on-screen character. Selleck is so important to the show, in fact, that Wade doesn’t think the show would work without him.
In an interview with PopCulture.com, Wade explained that Tom Selleck not only plays Frank Reagan but is also highly opinionated when it comes to the direction of his character. In Kevin Wade’s words, Tom Selleck is the “center of gravity” for Blue Bloods. When drafting each episode, the show’s writers aim to create stories that “have as much conflict and moral quandary and rock in a hard place as we do for a cop going down an alley without a gun.”
Tom Selleck is always involved in the creative process when it comes to Frank Reagan, the Blue Bloods showrunner said. “I’d go to him and say, ‘We want to do this. We want to do this kind of story,’ Wade explained. “Or ‘Have you come up against this kind of character?’ And we talk about it, and eventually, we do it.”
‘Blue Bloods’ Showrunner Explains Tom Selleck’s Character
One of the most prominent traits of Tom Selleck’s character, Frank Reagan, is that he loves his job as Commissioner. In a Season 12 episode of Blue Bloods, Selleck and the show’s writers sought to prove this fact to viewers by giving Frank a tempting offer that he would pass up in favor of staying with the NYPD.
“If someone says how much they love their job, it doesn’t mean anything until you challenge it,” Wade said. “So Frank says he loves being the police commissioner, but wouldn’t he love 50 times the money and access to a private jet and the best seats at every single NFL game? Sure he would. So it makes him reexamine” his role as Commissioner.
Tom Selleck’s Frank Reagan is such a popular character that he frequently shares the screen with well known guest stars such as Tony Danza and Jimmy Buffett. In Tony Danza’s episode, the celebrated Who’s the Boss? actor played a police officer struggling with a troubled son. According to Kevin Wade, they brought Danza in “because we thought he was a good actor. For our audience, there’s a memory of him. And bringing him back in this context would be, I hope, pleasurable.”