The former Magnum, P.I. star plays Frank Reagan, the NYPD police commissioner in the CBS drama. He discussed the role with CBS’ The Early Show in 2011 with co-stars Bridget Moynahan and Donnie Whalberg.
“Well, trying to be a good actor as we learn about accuracy, I wanted to know what the ribbons were, so I did my homework,” Selleck said. “And right up at the top is a black ribbon that says WTC, and that’s a first responder. And it just reminds us of, I think all of us, of the responsibility.
“Robin Green who wrote for The Sopranos, who’s now writing (Blue Bloods) said at the press conference, you know, we’ve done anti-heroes. We want to do a show about heroes. and I think that is the perception and the reality with NYPD police officers.”
But the cast is quick to push back against accusations that the show is “copaganda.” Or that it paints policing as too rosy. This is a heated topic because of the tense relationship between police and the communities they serve following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
“I’m not sure how rosy it is. I think ‘Blue Bloods’ has very realistic conversations, and we’re going to have more. I look forward to being part of the change and being part of these conversations,” Wahlberg told TV Insider in 2020.
Blue Bloods is a little different than a traditional police procedural. The show is more focused on viewing police work through the lens of a multi-generational family.
‘Blue Bloods’ Star Said Good Cops Outnumber Bad Seeds
Donnie Wahlberg said playing a New York Police detective in Blue Bloods and meeting so many of them in real life showed him the common perception of policing is wrong. He spoke about the issue at a cast interview at New York’s 92Y in 2017.
For one, he says, the media is quick to accuse them of wrongdoing, but rarely ever show their good deeds.
“Police officers don’t always end up in the news for all the great things they do,” Wahlberg said pensively. “They tend to end up in the news for the occasional missteps or mistakes that some make. I can say that the great ones far outnumber the very few bad seeds.”
Wahlberg also said he had to correct a director that instructed extras in a scene for an episode of Blue Bloods to run in the same direction as his character. He pointed out to the director that police run toward danger, while civilians will run away from it.
“Not only that,” he added, “That’s the only way I know where the bad guy is–because everyone’s running away from the bad guy.”