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Why Fans Are Worried About Blue Bloods' Season 11 Premiere

After a long and difficult wait, perennial CBS police drama Blue Bloods has finally announced that season 11 is set to premiere on December 4. The mega-popular series has been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to a delayed start for its next batch of episodes, it was also forced to end its tenth season early when COVID-19 shut down film and TV productions around the world (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet). The series also lost one of its own to the pandemic. Broadway actor Nick Cordero, who played a career criminal named Victor Lugo in several episodes of the series, tragically passed away due to COVID-19 complications earlier this year.

Despite those hardships, Blue Bloods will be coming back, no doubt with a large dose of the Reagan's New York City fighting spirit to help the process. And it should be an exciting re-entry to the series for lapsed fans. Season 10's impromptu finale introduced a surprise new Reagan to the family, a young NYPD detective named Joe Hill (Will Hochman) who is the secret child of Frank's (Tom Selleck) deceased son Joe. The family dinner in the premiere is bound to be riveting, even if they do end up having to social distance.

Despite the excitement of the return, some fans have already expressed concerns about the new season.

Fans are worried about how COVID-19 will affect the series

When the official Blue Bloods Twitter account announced the premiere date for season 11, most fans replied with exclamations of relief and excitement. Those sentiments of exuberance can be summed up by @angieaneff, who tweeted, "I can't wait. Same great Sunday family dinners with a recently discovered family member. Can't wait to see how this all plays out. Love & missed you all dearly."

However, it seems that even though the show is officially coming back, the specter of how COVID-19 will affect the actual series itself is hanging low over some fan's heads. User @BRemeika replied to the announcement tweet with concern about whether the show will follow up on the finale from last season, or be forced into a totally new storyline. They wrote, "but where will they pick up the story,,with the newest addition from Joe that they ended the last season or will they go the COVID route ?"

Similarly, @GaryASpangler wrote in with his own apprehension about the series spending too much time dealing with the pandemic. They said, "If all these shows@go the COVID route people will quit watching. We've had enough of it...Just give us something we can FORGET about COVID for a hour."

Change is hard. We've all had the difficult task of adjusting in our daily lives to COVID-19, and so too will the characters on Blue Bloods. As user @AgnesLuxuryRE pointed out, "No doubt they will pick up on the COVID route; it is the life around us and isn't that what Blue bloods brings us."

In fact, we've already gotten some confirmation that when season 11 premieres, it will be tackling COVID-19 head-on, albeit in a very Blue Bloodsy way.

What we know already about Blue Bloods season 11

Although the new season is still a few weeks away from its premiere, TVLine gave fans a tease of what they can expect from the first episode. The show will be exploring the protests over police brutality that have been pronounced in the U.S., and especially New York City, when it returns. As for COVID-19, the effect of the pandemic on the city will be explored in a storyline that involves Officer Eddie Janko-Reagan (Vanessa Ray) helping a woman locate the missing body of her father, which was lost to her during the virus' initial surge at the beginning of the pandemic.

Incorporating COVID-19 into the typical machinations of Blue Bloods' procedural style seems like a smart way to introduce it into the series. If done well, it can help the show address the pandemic in its typical unflinching manner, without letting it fundamentally change the series itself.

That being said, there will be a big COVID-19 related change in season 11. In October, TVLine reported that the forthcoming season of Blue Bloods would be just 16 episodes, compared to the typical 22-23 episodes that fans have become accustomed to. The shorter season is both a product of the added delay caused by shooting during the pandemic, as well as the added cost to ensure the production is being done safely.

While a shorter season will be a disappointment to many, the fact that Blue Bloods is returning in December is a miracle in and of itself. Let's celebrate that!