Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Will Estes Said Blue Bloods Season 11's Family Dinners Felt Dangerous

Blue Bloods isn't your average, run-of-the-mill police procedural. Sure, the central characters chase down and prosecute bad guys, but they also have to deal with family drama that regularly gets in the way of work. For ten seasons, that's how things have worked with the Reagan family where pretty much everyone is involved with law enforcement to a certain degree. From an assistant district attorney to the commissioner for the New York Police Department, the Reagans have done a lot of good over the years protecting the thin blue line in their city. 

They have problems with one another just like any other family, but ultimately you can tell they all love one another, as exemplified by their regular communal dinners. Every so often, they put the stresses from their jobs aside, say grace, and enjoy some good food. It's a regular occurrence on the series, and it's one that's had some fans wondering what's going to happen for the upcoming season 11. We know the events in the show will take place after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, but the cast and crew still have to contend with COVID-19 restrictions in the present to film such scenes. A bunch of actors packed around a table so they fit in a single frame isn't exactly socially distant.

Will Estes, who plays Jamie Reagan, recently sat down for an interview with PopCulture to discuss season 11, and he addresses how they're able to go about filming the dinner scenes in such close proximity to one another as safely as possible. 

Will Estes compares filming the dinner scenes to smoking indoors

The family meals on Blue Bloods are an important facet of the series. They happen all the time, so it would be weird if season 11 didn't have a single dinner scene — especially considering how the pandemic will be a thing of the past for season 11 (must be nice). A pandemic would be a good way to do away with the dinner scenes temporarily with everyone staying at their own houses or perhaps having Zoom dinners, but that's not the path the show plans on following. 

When asked how they're going about filming those scenes, Will Estes responded, "I'd be lying if I didn't tell you it felt a little ... it feels a little bit like smoking indoors or something like that ... It feels a little dangerous." By the sound of it, one can surmise they aren't implementing any tricks for the dinner scenes. Everyone will likely still be seated next to one another incredibly close, which is certainly not recommended in the real world per CDC guidelines. 

All that said, the cast and crew aren't exactly throwing caution to the wind. Estes went on to say, "We're taking so many precautions. The camera crew isn't even in the room. We actually have bots that run the cameras. The same kind of camera operators we've always had are virtually running the cameras in the room. They can move them, they can pan, they can zoom ... But no one else is in the room." Later, Estes confirmed that the cast gets tested three times weekly and wears masks when going to and from the set, so it sounds like people behind the scenes are doing everything in their power to keep everyone associated with Blue Bloods safe and healthy. 

You can see how this new production method played out when the season 11 premiere of Blue Bloods airs on CBS on December 4, 2020.