Whenever a network has a hit procedural drama, there's no reason for them to ever stop shooting said procedural drama. Case in point: Law & Order went on for so long that several spinoff series were created with a ton of episodes a piece. You've got other cop dramas like CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds, and of course, the beloved Blue Bloods, which is currently in its 11th season as of this writing. Fans aren't even halfway in however and are wondering: is the show getting canceled?
That's because 'Blue Bloods' isn't on deck for a Season 12 yet, which doesn't necessarily mean it's canceled.
It's difficult to imagine that CBS would pull the plug on the program, as it continues to be one of the network's most-watched shows. Seriously, it's a Friday night ratings monster. The show regularly pulls in a whopping 6.5 million live viewers with each new episode, give or take a few hundred thousand people here and there. That's insane considering that the series is in its 11th season.
While CBS hasn't officially stated whether or not Blue Bloods is greenlit for a 12th season or not, it's difficult to imagine that the network isn't going to want to keep the gravy train rolling.
There could be several reasons why CBS, however, hasn't released news that they plan on bringing the show back for a 12th season just yet.
First and foremost, the strain that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on filming cannot be overstated, especially with a large-scale production like Blue Bloods. It could be that the crew is looking at strategic filming alternatives that work with the series' narrative in a meaningful way that serves the plot, which will take some reorganizing. Whether that means scaling down production to better practice social distancing protocols, or focusing more on filming in controlled environments.
There's also the question of cost efficacy in filming the show. Many of the mainstays have been on the program for a very long time and usually what occurs as a result is that the stars of the show will expect a slight salary bump from season to season. Now it's difficult to say if this is the case or not for Blue Bloods, and maintaining a high-ratings drama is a lot easier said than done. Plus the strength of the show has much to do with its lead recurring characters.
Another issue that may call into question whether or not Blue Bloods will return for a 12th season is the topic of police brutality. While the show hasn't shied away from addressing the subject in the past, other successful programs that've done the same have been canceled. Live PD was A&E's primo program and accounted for a whopping 49 percent of all the network's ratings and it was pulled off air.
It's rumored that Brooklyn 99 was also cut as a result of the growing social outcry for accountability in law enforcement, however it can be argued that the comedic nature of the Andy Samberg show portraying officers in a "lighthearted" way is different than the more dramatic approach Blue Bloods takes with its episodes.
'Blue Bloods' has tackled some sensitive issues over the years, like in its "Higher Education" episode.
The November 2012 entry has Danny find a murdered college student on campus, and the victim in question was thought to be dealing drugs. The NY-based procedural cop drama resonated with residents in the state, as in the same year, a SUNY Brockport College Student was beaten to death by her boyfriend in her dorm room.
The series isn't shy of staying abreast of current events either, even if it is lampooned for being a "by-the-numbers" drama. The Guardian said of the show: "so bad, it's criminal." But that was back in 2011 and here we are, just a single season shy of a dozen.