Tom Selleck is just so good at being Tom Selleck, Emmy consideration can be elusive for him.
He’s won the award before, in the middle of his star-making run on “Magnum, P.I.,” but he’s due for another … thanks to the grace and authority he projects in the role of New York Police Commissioner Frank Reagan on CBS’ “Blue Bloods.”
For three seasons, Selleck has been the emotional and professional anchor of the Friday-night drama, skillfully depicting the often shaky bridge between family concerns and job obligations. It’s frequently said that the tone of any venture or environment is set at the top, and Season 3 of “Blue Bloods” reaffirmed the standard Selleck has set.
Though he gets last billing in the opening credits, there’s little doubt he’s first among equals in the cast. In sharing the episodes with Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan and Will Estes as his fellow-law-enforcer children — and Len Cariou as his similarly justice-connected father — Selleck is in maybe a third of any hour of the show, which might earn him a supporting nod instead of one for lead actor. But wherever he can get the nod, he deserves it.
Proof was evident during the show’s third season in the “press conferences” given by Commssioner Reagan. Having to project a strong public presence while often managing his own emotions — as when son Jamie (Estes) lost his latest patrol partner in the line of duty — Selleck-as-Reagan can be genuinely heartbreaking. Seeing tears in the eyes of such a stalwart figure is enough to bring you to tears, too.
That show of heart also works the other way, in the gentle humor Selleck displays at appropriate times. The series’ trademark family-dinner scenes are ripe for that, particularly when Reagan is trying to make a point to his offspring when they’re caught up in their own trials (literally, in the case of Moynahan’s prosecutor character Erin).
Tom Selleck may be good at being Tom Selleck, but he’s also expert in knowing what any role requires and fulfilling it. And his ever-solid “Blue Bloods” work justifies his getting another visit from Emmy.