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The Blue Bloods Cast Had To Ask For Broccoli To Be Taken Out Of Family Dinners

There are plenty of proven tactics that parents have developed to get their kids to eat their broccoli, including the threat of not being able to leave the table until it's fully consumed. The cast of "Blue Bloods," however, has reversed this tactic by demanding that the broccoli be taken off their plates, or the scene they're shooting will end up being most unpleasant for the entire cast and crew. 

Fans of the show know that the Reagan family come together every Sunday night to reconnect and interact after a tough week of work. Of course, with a dinner scene, the costar of these interactions ends up being the food itself. Since there are plenty of shots of the actors actually eating, meals need to be prepared and truly served to the cast. On a 92nd St. Y  panel celebrating the show's 150th episode, Donnie Wahlberg (Danny Reagan) explained why broccoli has been permanently taken off the menu of these dinners. "We're not going to go there because after three hours [broccoli] becomes problematic, you see," he said. 

Of course, broccoli is a vegetable with one of the highest fiber contents, therefore it's usually on a fast track through the digestive system. So being in the same room for hours with a group of people eating it probably doesn't make for a pleasant air-quality experience.

Prop designers now have a good sense what to serve

Whether it's on a TV show, film or a live stage play, the dinner scene has been a widely utilized tactic to bring characters together and push the story along. The late "Blue Bloods" creator Leonard Goldberg told TV Guide back in 2010 that he was inspired to shoot these weekly dinner scenes after he was looking through a book of Norman Rockwell paintings. He noticed that one of the pictures portrayed a family enjoying a Thanksgiving meal. "That painting was our family," he said. "There would be a police story ... but it really would be a character piece." Of course, these meals were much easier to script out on paper then to produce week in and week out.

When it comes to the preparation of the actual food and the length of time each scene takes to shoot, it isn't only the crew that has a challenge to overcome, but also the actors. Tom Selleck says that because there are multiple camera angles, each individual performer has to retake their lines multiple times. This results in each dinner scene taking anywhere from five to eight hours to finish shooting. With that time frame, the show's prop master, Jim Lillis, has developed a good sense of what to serve, including the different meats and vegetables. However, thanks to Donnie Wahlberg's admission, fans now know why one of those vegetables will never be broccoli.