Tom Selleck plays NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan on CBS' "Blue...

Tom Selleck plays NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan on CBS' "Blue Bloods." Credit: CBS

"Blue Bloods" will be back for a 14th season. Just barely. 

CBS confirmed reports Wednesday that the long-running police procedural had earned what in TV terms is a last-minute reprieve — another season, but the staff first agreed to a 25% salary cut, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which said the reduced salary extended to stars, including the star, Tom Selleck. Per the trade publication, the cast and producers had agreed to the cuts to preserve hundreds of jobs, many of those in the metropolitan area, where "Blue Bloods" has shot since launching in 2010. 

In a statement, CBS Entertainment chief Amy Reisenbach said, “ 'Blue Bloods' has dominated Friday nights since its premiere and remained an important anchor for CBS’ winning lineup. Led by the outstanding Tom Selleck, and an incredible cast and creative team, viewers continue to embrace the Reagans."

Late last month, when CBS picked up virtually the entire incumbent schedule, two prominent New York-based shows went unmentioned: "Blue Bloods'' and "East New York." While both are successful — "Bloods" is one of the most-watched series on all of television — the New York production locale is expensive, even by Hollywood standards. There was a pickup delay last year too, as the production sought to trim costs. There was also believed to be discussion about moving the series to streaming service Paramount+. ("East New York" is still awaiting word of its fate.) 

Pay cuts in the sky's-the-limit world of TV salaries are unusual, but not unprecedented. In 2017, the original five cast members of "The Big Bang Theory" agreed to them so that newcomers Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch could have paychecks equal to theirs. Years before, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer did the same so that the other "Friends" cast members would have parity. 

What is different, however, is the all-for-one, one-for-all agreement forged by the entire "Blue Bloods'' staff. Over the history of TV, shows were either renewed or canceled, as part of a mysterious and often quixotic process that balanced commercial interests (advertisers) with audience ones. But the business of TV has undergone profound change, and finding a prime-time show with staying power — indeed, 13 years worth — is the TV equivalent of climbing Mount Everest.

As such, "Blue Bloods" — with a huge fan base on Long Island — lives another day. The question now: For how many more days?

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