In most police procedural dramas, the question of ethics is often the most heated topic of conversation. Typically on the long-running series Blue Bloods, the answers are found at the family dinner table. Fans have spent seven seasons listening to the Reagan family swap stories and help each other through scrapes, and the Season 7 finale airs on May 5. But when will Blue Bloods return for Season 8?
What sets Blue Bloods apart from other shows is the Reagan family dynamic, particularly through the show staple of family dinners, which allow each character to work through their respective weekly issues. In an interview with TVInsider, Tom Selleck (Frank) said, "This is a show that presents arguments on both sides of a heated contemporary issue." Having each family member represent a different part of the justice system allows Blue Bloods to keep the show up-to-date with scenarios inspired by real life. This formula must be working because, according to Deadline, CBS has given early renewal to Blue Bloods for an eighth season, which will probably kick off in the fall.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Kevin Wade discussed his hope for future seasons of Blue Bloods. "What I want to do is keep doing a version of what we’re doing, which is to get stories out of research rather than headlines and to build in such a way that our main characters have to deal with those stories and dilemmas, have to look in the mirror and go, 'Yes, this person is guilty. I wish it was more black and white,'" Wade said. "Or, 'Yes, this person is wrong, and I wish he didn’t have elements of right in being wrong.'"
Season 7 introduced major changes for its characters, and the show itself also reached its 150-episode milestone in "A Deep Blue Goodbye." The episode focuses on Frank Reagan, struggling to convince Chief Travis Jackson (played by Isaiah Washington) to retire. The episode explores the controversies surrounding aging and knowing when to retire, which is an interesting angle for a show already seven seasons into its narrative. In an interview with CBS2 Bridget Moynahan said, "It’s quite an accomplishment for this show to be running for this many years and this many shows."
Even as a newcomer, Washington enjoyed his time on the popular show. Washington said to the NY Post, "I got the invitation from Mr. Selleck himself — it’s definitely open-ended for that character to make a return. I just heard ‘Blue Bloods’ got picked up for Season 8, and I’m hearing they’ll try to do 10 [seasons], so I have a funny feeling that my character may show up within the next three years."
Jackson's refusal to retire leaves Frank wondering about his own decision to step down. "Mandatory retirement is hardly the same as execution," Erin scoffs to which Frank responds, "It is to some guys. It is to Travis Jackson. It would be to me." Having Frank spar about the subject with Erin only adds to how he feels his family sees him as he grows older. This idea of aging out of a well-seated position is fitting as Blue Bloods closes its current season and looks towards Season 8. What does the future hold for the Reagan family? Are they strong enough to cope with the transitions that await them?
The conversation continues during — when else? — the family dinner, when Frank's children ask what he will do once he retires. Frank responds with, "One thing I know for sure, on Sundays, I'll be right here and I hope all of you will be too."
The timing of Frank's words were not lost on fans, making the March 31 episode poetic in light of an early renewal. Blue Bloods will continue to be right here on CBS for another season.