‘Blue Bloods’ EP Shares the Unique Way the Show’s Writers Work: ‘We Always Make it Up From Scratch’

by John Jamison

The minds behind “Blue Bloods” have clearly done something right. Since 2010, the police drama has captured the audience’s attention by depicting the Reagan family in their law enforcement careers. The series has demonstrated quality from top to bottom. From the acting to the writing, “Blue Bloods” is up there with the best on TV. The writing process, however, is a little out of the ordinary.

From the pilot script, written by “Blue Bloods” creators Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, the show had potential. It was that very same pilot that convinced the likes of Tom Selleck to come on board. He liked the idea of the week-to-week structure, with each episode telling its own story and the family itself at the center.

That’s the same model “Blue Bloods” uses today, and it means that the show doesn’t retain a staff of writers that are constantly working on weaving together a season or series-long narrative. Instead, they’re making stuff every week, based on everything from their own imagination to real stories they come across in the world of law enforcement.

Kevin Wade, who first became a part of “Blue Bloods” as a writer during Season 1, is now an executive producer on the show. In a 2021 interview with Deadline, the showrunner talked about their writing process.

“We always make it up from scratch in terms of we don’t have a writer’s room where we all gather for days and weeks on end and put stuff on white boards and eat lunches and you know, we don’t do it that way,” Wade said.

Of course, there are overarching themes and stories weaved throughout. But in the vein of a true procedural, the narrative is different from week to week.

How Do the ‘Blue Bloods’ Writers Come Up with Material for Each Episode?

The unique part of “Blue Bloods” is the emphasis on the family dynamic in conjunction with the more procedural aspects.

That gives the show a broader focus in terms of potential stories. They don’t have to be limited to just the world of law enforcement. An episode can have a family-based story at its core. But either way, the writers are still responsible for coming up with the material.

“We talk before the writing starts but we are not a serialized show, we’re a closed-in procedural as they say at the CBS headquarters. Which means that any given season is just 18 or 22 stories that have a beginning, middle, and end in each one,” Wade said.

“Occasionally when we’re lucky we’ll do research and we’ll end up in a story that then breaks at the same time as the episode airs which has happened a number of times, and we really just going at it the way we always do.”