Why Tom Selleck loves the family dinner scenes

Almost every show has an iconic scene that characterizes it, and fans of ‘Blue Bloods’ know that the family dinner portion is a part of almost every episode. The Reagans sit down to eat and talk about news, both personal and career-wise. It has been said that Tom Selleck, who plays Frank, really enjoys shooting those particular sections for a reason. Let’s find out what it is!


One thing viewers always wonder about TV show meals is if the food is real. Many people know that filming one moment, even just two minutes, can take a long time. Therefore, food would end up sitting on the plate for too long. If the dinner scenes are a big part of ‘Blue Bloods’, then it is reasonable that fan wonder if the actors get served real food or it is just a prop.

Furthermore, are they really eating or just pushing it around the plate? The truth is that the food is real, and the people on the show actually eat it while shooting. But, not all of them. Some decide to just act like they are consuming. Aside from the fact that it takes a long time to film a scene like that, they also have to do re-shoots. Eating at all hours of the day is really hard on their stomachs.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, Jim Lillis, who is the property manager of the show, said that some actors are better at pretending to eat. “Some are good at faking it. They are very good at making it look like they’re really enjoying a hearty dinner.”


Selleck talked to CBS ‘This Morning’ about his work on the series, how long it has lasted, and how thankful he is to have amazing people to share this job with. He also mentioned the famous family dinners, “On an episodic show with an ensemble, you [sometimes don’t] see your fellow actors for a month.”

“On our show, every eight days, that’s how long it takes us to shoot, we have a little actor/family get-together in addition to the family dinner. I love all these people and they’re fine actors, so it’s kind of a double bonus. It’s hard work because you gotta eat for eight hours.”

Furthermore, the actor told TV Insider that he uses the time between filming those grueling eight hours to talk with the cast and the staff of the series. “Dinner scenes are long; they can be boring [to film] because you repeat the same dialogue and eat the same food—which gets pretty gamy—for eight hours.”

He continued, stating, “But not only are the characters catching up with each other, but I’m catching up with my friends. Sometimes the director can’t get our attention between takes because we’re screwing around. We can get pretty silly by the end.”


While it is a drama on television, ‘Blue Bloods’ uses retired police officers as advisors so that they can be as accurate as possible. Jim Nuciforo is one of them, and he gave the show one important lesson that is a huge stereotype on other police shows. Apparently, cops will never tell criminals to “freeze”, although we have heard the line in almost every similar series for decades.

During a tough and dangerous situation, if an officer has to get his gun out, he would instead say “Police. Don’t Move!” Aside from weaving out the clichés created by criminal dramas for such a long time, ‘Blue Bloods’ also like to use real events. Some of them even happened to Nuciforo. These events are included on the show.

Another important role that Nuciforo has is showing the actors how to use a weapon and how a cop would act with a suspect or felon. Additionally, some of them have gone directly to police workers or even their department to consult about certain things on the show. According to Lt. Noe Campos, an officer that works with the Movie/TV Unit, the stars asked them for specific details.

He said, “Some actors approach us. Even big names do it. They’ll ask, 2Is it true that a detective would talk to a lieutenant this way?’ We don’t take an active role on the set, but we answer them honestly. The New York City Police Department is the greatest in the world, so we want it presented right.”


Location is really important for any show as it helps set the atmosphere and the plot. However, some series on television often say they are based somewhere but film in a studio on the opposite side of the country like ‘Friends’. However, that is not the case with ‘Blue Bloods’, which almost tributes the city and the boroughs like Brooklyn and Queens.

Read more: Tom Selleck's Salary Per Episode for ‘Blue Bloods’ Resulted In His Tremendous Net Worth

Another cool details about the crew of ‘Blue Bloods’ is that the producers consult closely with the New York City Police Department as well as the mayor’s office. Everyone just wants to make sure that every part of the show is as realistic as possible, and maybe, that is why this drama has gone on for so long unlike similar ones from its genre.

As mentioned before, The NYPD has a Movie/TV Unit with 26 cops that also work with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. They would visit the set, talk to the actors, and see if the props, as well as the scenes, look good. Additionally, the series has to pay a licensing fee to the NYPD in order to use their logo.

Read more: Top TV Shows For Those Who Are In Love With 'Blue Bloods'

In fact, any show or movie that wishes to use it has to organize the payment between the department and the production of NYC & Co. This way, the city itself makes a bit of profit from ‘Blue Bloods’. It is basically a tax fee, which only benefits New York in the end. Lt. Campos said, “The money that’s generated through the production industry is money that goes out to social services here in the city.”

“It helps out our schools, it keeps our taxes down. Helps keep our streets clean. This is all money funneled back to the community.”

We had no idea that those dinner scenes took that long to film. Let us know what you think of the accuracy of ‘Blue Bloods’. If you liked this article, share it with all your friends who enjoy police dramas. See you next time!

Source: Cheat Sheet, The Virginian-Pilot, Youtube/CBS This Morning, TV Insider, AM New York, Cheat Sheet, The Travel,


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