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Is Blue Bloods Coming Back In 2023? It's Complicated

Given its enduring success in the primetime landscape, it would be easy to believe CBS's long-running procedural drama "Blue Bloods" ranks among the untouchable jewels of the network's programming slate. But one would be wrong in that assumption. In fact, even despite its continued popularity with viewers of a certain age and beyond, the show has pretty much been a perpetual bubble-dweller in the last few years.

That was never more true than during its recently-wrapped 13th season despite the fact that CBS brass announced the show's renewal weeks ahead of its finale. The good news for fans of the series is that said bosses did renew the show for a 14th season. They did so at a cost, however, slashing the pay of both cast and producers by a reported 25% in order to make the season happen. More importantly, the network has also confirmed the return of several key cast members for the new season. 

However, are a few notable names missing from that confirmed cast list. With the new budget restraints, it seems likely some of those recurring roles might shrink dramatically in the new season of "Blue Bloods." Given these facts, one has to wonder just how complicated the series' return might become given the dramatic behind-the-scenes changes. And that's not even accounting for one serious mitigating factor that seems destined to push the return of "Blue Bloods" to at least 2024, if not later. 

The writer's strike may dramatically impact the return of Blue Bloods

That mitigating factor is, of course, the ongoing writer's strike that's brought a grinding halt to pretty much every major production in Hollywood. Brought forth partly due to writers seeking further compensation for certain film and television projects, that strike has already been raging for several months. As of this writing, studios and the Writer's Guild of America still appear to be far apart on an agreement to get the screenwriters back to work. And that means production on the new season of "Blue Bloods" is set to see a considerable delay.

There is a worst-case scenario there too, in that a lengthy enough delay may leave CBS no choice but to cut its losses and move on from the show altogether. Such outcomes were not uncommon during the last writer's strike in Hollywood, with several film and TV projects disappearing from production slates, and even well-established shows struggling to rebound from the extended break. Complicating matters even further is the fact that SAG-AFTRA (the actor's union) is already prepping its members to hit the picket lines themselves.

At the risk of sounding morbid, the age of series stalwarts like Tom Selleck and Len Cariou may soon begin to play a factor in production too because, well, nobody gets to act forever. So even if "Blue Bloods" has been renewed for a 14th season, there are clearly no guarantees that fans will be seeing it in 2023.