Whether in a TV show, film, or live stage play, the dinner scene is a common tactic used to bring characters together and advance the story. The late Blue Bloods creator Leonard Goldberg told TV Guide in 2010 that he was inspired to film these weekly dinner scenes after looking through a book of Norman Rockwell paintings. He noted that one of the pictures showed a family enjoying a Thanksgiving meal. “That painting was our family,” he said. “There would be a police story … but it would really be a character piece.” Of course, those meals were a lot easier to write down on paper than produce week after week.
When it comes to the preparation of the actual food and the duration of the shooting, not only the crew but also the actors have to overcome a challenge. Tom Selleck says that because there are multiple camera angles, each and every actor has to repeat their lines multiple times. This results in each dinner scene taking between five and eight hours to complete filming. With that time frame, the show’s props 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.
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