When Blue Bloods first started, no one could have predicted how popular it was going to become. Starring Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg, the show definitely had the star power, but with so many cop shows on the air, it's hard to compete.
But, Blue Bloods found their niche. With almost 9 million viewers each week, Wahlberg and Selleck brought a new look at the New York Police Department to audiences.
Recently, the show premiered its eighth season, which is an incredible run for a network cop drama. But fans of the show were left shocked when it was revealed that one of the main characters had died in a helicopter crash. Now, the rest of the cast is speaking out about their feelings surrounding the controversial change.
During the season 8 premiere, fans learned that the wife of main character Danny Reagan (Wahlberg) was killed in a helicopter crash. She was an ER nurse and was killed on the job. Danny is left grieving, and fans are left stunned as there was never any hints that Linda Reagan, played by Amy Carlson, was leaving the show.
Carlson was a series regular from season two onward, but made the decision to leave the show after season 7 ended.
My heart is full of gratitude to each of you for your generous support of me and my character for the last seven years of Blue Bloods "“ Linda Reagan. I have been touched by your compassion and enthusiasm. I loved playing Linda: wife to Danny, mother to Jack and Sean, nurse and working mom. I'm proud of my contribution to building this series. I'm so grateful to CBS and the Blue Bloods cast and crew. Mostly, I am grateful to the fans who have supported me and the show. Peace, blessings and many "˜love you mores' to all of you. Warmly, Amy Carlson @bluebloods_cbs @cbstv . . . Phot by @ReneeBevan
The cast of Blue Bloods was at New York's Paleyfest, where they spoke about their feelings towards Carlson's exit. Donnie Wahlberg says he's having a hard time coping with Carlson's departure, but he's using it to his advantage.
"Rather than try to act or find something to do, I just thought about my friend Amy Carlson," he explains. "I thought about all the years together and all the highs and lows and the ups and downs and the journey. Any tears I shed in that scene was really Donnie shedding them for Amy... She's a dear friend. I cherish our friendship."
Wahlberg also acknowledged the anger a lot of fans are probably feeling.
"I know the audience is grieving her loss too, a lot, and I think if everyone rides the season out and takes that journey with the family as well, they will go through those stages of grief together and do what Blue Bloods typically does: make us all one family," he said. "Hopefully this family of our cast, the show, and the viewers will all mourn the loss together and move forward after this season."
Carlson's co-star, Bridget Moynahan, said it was "disappointing" to see her leave.
"We were all disappointed to see that she was going," Moynahan said. "It was unfortunate that she made that decision at the end of season 7, so we were stuck with the story line as we could get it... But I'm really thrilled for her to go off and pursue other things and follow what she felt was best for her."
Do you watch Blue Bloods? What do you think of Amy Carlson departing?