Blue Bloods star Donnie Wahlberg photographed for Watch Magazine.

Photo: David Needleman.

By Nate Millado

Danny Reagan is a great detective, doesn't always play by the book, and is extremely loyal—especially to his family. (Blue blood runs deep!) But there is more to Donnie Wahlberg than Danny Reagan, a role he's played on Blue Bloods since 2010. Get to know the man behind the badge!

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He's a Boy-Bander for Life!

If you grew up in the late '80s or early '90s, you likely "met" Donnie as one-fifth of the biggest boy band of that era—New Kids on the Block—along with brothers Jonathan and Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, and Danny Wood. And while the "Step By Step" singers temporarily disbanded back in 1994, they officially reunited in 2008 and have continued touring and making music to this day! Wahlberg continually professes his "love and connection" on social to Blockheads, "the greatest fans in the history of music."

Name That Tune

Bridget Moynahan wears a black dress as she poses with Donnie Wahlberg in a tuxedo and tuxedo shirt

Bridget Moynahan wearing a Michelle Mason gown with Donnie Wahlberg, in a tuxedo and tuxedo shirt by Brooks Brothers.

Photo: David Needleman.

Wahlberg has even snuck some Easter eggs into episodes of Blue Bloods for diehard fans. He tells Showbiz Cheat Sheet: "The first season I snuck a New Kids On The Block [song] title in every episode. So I would tell, like Bridget [Moynahan]'s character, 'Hey, hang tough' and 'Call It What You Want,' 'Step by Step,'" he explained. "I was speaking in song titles pretty much every episode and nobody was really catching it because of the way I did it. But my music fans and the [NKOTB] fans definitely were catching it. And every week they would hashtag whatever the song title was. It would usually end up trending on Twitter. I love it."

Sibling Revelry

Born on August 17, 1969, Donnie is the eighth of nine Wahlberg kids (you may have heard of his younger bro, fellow actor Mark). And the family biz extends beyond Hollywood: Donnie, Mark, and older brother Paul co-own burgers-and-bar chain Wahlburgers.

Donnie Hearts Jenny

When Wahlberg sat in the hot seat with Jenny McCarthy on Watch What Happens Live back in 2012, there was such a palpable connection that even host Andy Cohen implored the Blue Bloods star to ask out the Playmate-turned-author. (He didn't.) They met again a year later on McCarthy's VH1 talk show, "and the rest, as they say, is history," Wahlberg posted on his Insta. (His now wife, who often hashtags herself as #MrsWahlberg, confessed: "Mister!!! I'll never forget how hot I thought you were the moment I met you.")

He's a Record Breaker

Oh, snap! Wahlberg holds the Guinness World Record for "Most Selfies Taken in 3 Minutes." He achieved the title aboard the New Kids on the Block Cruise in Cozumel, Mexico, with the help of his Blockheads. His 122 selfies beat the former record of 119.

He's a Method Actor

A gaunt Donnie Wahlberg pointing a gun in The Sixth Sense

Yes, that is a 139-pound Donnie Wahlberg in The Sixth Sense.

Photo: Buena Vista

Remember when Donnie Wahlberg was in The Sixth Sense? You'd be forgiven if you didn't. "Every day for years people would say, 'Dude, I didn't know that was you,'" he told USA Today in 2019 when the Oscar-nominated film turned 20. So, how badly did Wahlberg want to play the unrecognizable role of Vincent Gray, a disturbed former mental patient of Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis)? He not only lost 40 pounds, but he also fired his manager who told him to pass due to a low-pay offer. "I said, 'I don't care; I'd do it for free,'" says Wahlberg.

He Bleeds Green

The Massachusetts native is a diehard Boston Celtics fan! (You'll often spot him sitting court-side at home games.) Wahlberg even narrated ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary in 2017 on the longtime Celtics and Lakers rivalry.

Did You Know ...

Donnie Wahlberg in a gray suit and a dark floral shirt

Donnie Wahlberg, dressed for success.

Photo: David Needleman.

Wahlberg only wears T-shirts once (then gives them away), gets dressed in the exact same sequence every day (socks first), and cries when he's really happy, according to Us Magazine.

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David Zyla keeps everyone looking sharp, himself included.

Photo Credit: Cathryn Farnsworth, Courtesy of David Zyla

By Meirav Devash

And we thought picking out something to wear was challenging. At 250 episodes per season, CBS's The Young and the Restless costume designer David Zyla is responsible for dressing a huge, beloved cast of characters—approximately 2,000 outfits a year. Every character has their own color palette, their clothes are tailored for a custom fit, and they never—ever—repeat outfits.

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Big Events and Small Details

Melody Thomas Scott as Nikki Newman and Eric Braeden as Victor Newman in formal dress for Ashland and Victoria nuptials on The Young and The Restless

Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) and Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) dazzle in formalwear for Ashland and Victoria's wedding.

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

While that may sound daunting, Zyla loves his work. "Dressing each character is fascinating because they're so well written," he says. "My job is to find the clothes to illuminate their individual personalities. Amanda (Mishael Morgan) is never going to show up looking like Mariah (Camryn Grimes)."

To craft a look that makes sense in the Y&R universe, Zyla lets the clothes help tell the story. "If it's a sexy scene and the character is coming from work in the emergency room," he says, "you can't dress her in a strapless cocktail dress, but she can wear a sweater that illustrates sexiness in that moment. If there's a scene written for a character lurking in the shadows, covered in blood, you have to dress him in a light color shirt so viewers can see it."

Zyla let us in on some of his style secrets:

Each Character Has a Closet

Actress Sharon Case wears a light beige gown while holding a bouget of white flowers.

Sharon Case wears a Fame & Partners gown on The Young and the Restless set.

Photo Credit: Howard Wise/

"And their own color palette, too, which we stick to very faithfully. We put just as much thought into building a clean, simple wardrobe for one character as we do into creating a more eclectic one for another, with lots of accessories and pattern mixing.

"When putting Nikki's (Melody Thomas Scott) looks together, I'll ask my team if they think an earring is too much, and the response is always no, because she's such a powerful force that nothing ever wears her. The rule for Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) is to go asymmetrical—her clothes are often off the-shoulder tops, wrap blouses, and one sleeve dresses.

"Victoria (Amelia Heinle) is influenced by the Victorian era but updated and not costume-y at all—high necks, puffed sleeves, a cummerbund at the waist. There are a lot of elements involved in dressing Sharon (Sharon Case), which makes it super fun. She has more pieces in her wardrobe than anyone because her style is a boho mix of a camisole with three necklaces, a jacket with fur, plus tights and boots.

"For Amanda, we researched how she dressed before and brainstormed how to empower her new character in a different way. I'd describe her wardrobe as having a soft Grecian or 1930s feel, but modern at the same time."

There Are No Repeat Looks

Actress Hunter King wears a burgundy sequined dress.

Hunter King on the set of The Young & The Restless in a dazzling dress

Photo Credit: Howard Wise/

"If they've worn a blue pencil skirt, you might spot it again, but with a different blouse or sweater. We never want to remind viewers of what happened when they wore it before," he says. "We want the story to move forward."

He Finds the Perfect Fit

Reylynn Caster as Faith Newman sitting on the arm of a couch facing the camera on The Young and the Restless set

Reylynn Caster as Faith Newman looks both casual and flawless in her attire.

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS

Zyla's goal for the clothes is heightened realism. "We're creating the idealized version of what your neighbor would wear at the coffee shop down the street," he says. "We don't want it to look good: We want it perfect. Idealized. Heightened." In fact, 90% of the clothes worn on camera are tailored, he says. Why is it so important to be a perfectionist? So no matter where the camera cuts, the actor will still look fantastic. "Our actors often tell me that they have a hard time shopping after being on the show because the clothes don't fit perfectly like they're used to," he says.

Biggest Fashion Emergency

Drawers of jewelry backstage on the Y&R set

Here's a sneak peek at the jewelry drawers backstage on set, each labeled with a character's name.

Photo Credit: Y&R

Earlier this year, a side zipper on Phyllis' dress broke during the shoot. "The design was totally asymmetrical, so it wouldn't stay up without the zipper," he says. "Her side was completely open, and there was no way to fix it in time." So they hid it the old fashioned way—with props. In the scene, she's holding an iPad under her arm over the gap.

Zyla's Tricks of the Trade

"For an over-the shoulder shot, I lower the collar of a man's jacket and remove the bump back there. The silhouette has to be perfect."

"Designers cut clothes to accommodate a variety of arm sizes, but on someone very lean, there's too much fabric. It's distracting."

"For men who wear their shirts untucked, we even out the hem and put slits in the side so that it looks like it's designed to be worn that way."

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A traditional Thanksgiving turkey ready for the Reagan family feast

Photo credit: CBS

By Michelle Darrisaw

In CBS police procedural Blue Bloods, both drama and comfort food are always on the menu as Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) and the NYPD's first family fight crime and corruption on the streets of New York. The Reagans share more than just a life in law enforcement: Their love for tradition also takes center stage, namely in their fondness for Sunday dinners.

Now, 12 seasons and over 250 Sunday dinners since its premiere, the Blue Bloods weekly ritual is practically a character all its own. And in case it isn't obvious, all the gorgeous food they serve on camera is real, delicious, and actually eaten by the cast during take after take. That means finding something to please everyone in a large group with different tastes during an exceptionally long meal—a challenge that sounds pretty familiar at this time of year.

With the holiday season fast approaching, we turned to Blue Bloods prop master Zach Badalucco and freelance recipe developer and caterer Treva Chadwell, the creative and culinary masterminds behind the legendary food and dinner scenes, for advice on setting our own Thanksgiving tables.

While you're gobbling up the current season, read on to find out how you can prepare for the big feast and make your guests feel welcome, in true Reagan style.

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1. Make Tradition and Variety Friends

Blue Bloods cast sit at a Thanksgiving table in a hospital with crew member holding boom microphone over them

Be flexible and find ways to include everyone. Take inspiration from the moving feast for Henry in Season 2's classic "Thanksgiving."

Photo credit: CBS

Badalucco, in his role as prop master, is responsible for supplying everything the actors touch on set, from the cars Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) and Jamie (Will Estes) drive to the food the Reagans eat.

"We're entering the peak holiday season and planning our menus accordingly by featuring both warm and savory meals like roasts, chili, fried chicken, and sweets like chocolate cake and warm apple pie," Badalucco says.

But not everyone enjoys a forkful of decadence during multiple takes ("The actors perform the scene for the camera over 30 times per family dinner," he notes). Badalucco and his team always provide lighter options for the cast to eat while shooting.

His advice when planning your holiday menu: Cater to all your guests' dietary needs and accommodate any food restrictions, intolerances, or allergies for those who want to enjoy hearty dishes and sweets sans the guilt.

"If we're serving dinner, we always serve salad with cucumbers. The cast loves cucumbers because they are crunchy, light, and healthy," Badalucco says. "If we're serving dessert, along with a sugary treat like cake or pie, we'll serve mixed berries. Blueberries seem to be the cast's berry of choice."

2. Get Everyone Involved

Bridget Moynahan looks on as Tom Selleck cuts a ham and Donnie Wahlberg works at the sink on the Blue Bloods kitchen set

In this Reagan division of labor, the Commissioner cuts the ham as Danny prepares the sides and Erin supervises.

Photo credit: CBS

Chadwell, a classically trained chef, and her husband, John, have been preparing food for Blue Bloods since Season 3. Former owners of the now-closed BeeHive Oven restaurant, they work with Badalucco to ensure meals reflect scripts and scenes.

The Chadwells aren't just responsible for the signature family dinners. They also make casseroles for funeral scenes and even the green Jell-O fans see in hospital scenes.

For Chadwell, collaboration is key—and not just on set. Another way to make guests feel welcome is being open to receiving their help.

"Get people involved and let them help where possible," Chadwell says. "I like to have my menu planned before making the invitations so that when they ask what they can do, I have an answer."

Chadwell also recommends making an actual to-do list to coordinate the helping hands, adding, "everyone feels good when they contribute."

3. Set an Inviting Table

Strawberries sit at the far end of a table runner alonside chocoloate chip cookies, mini black and whites, and red velvet cupcakes

The Reagan desserts enhance the table's autumnal splendor. The array of strawberries, chocolate chip cookies, New York favorite black and whites, and red velvet cupcakes means there's something for everyone.

Both Chadwell and Badalucco agree the dinner table should look just as good as the plated meals sitting atop it. When it comes to Blue Bloods dinner scenes, Chadwell notes that "a lot of care goes into the 'look' of the table, making sure there is color, and the food looks appetizing."

As for her home decorations, Chadwell uses tablecloths and her best china during the holidays. She recommends that festive tabletop arrangements, if you add them, not be too large.

It's also important to keep everyone close: "I also have a rule that if it's possible, everyone sits at the same table," says Chadwell. "If that isn't possible, we work to get all the tables in the same room so we can all be together."

4. Start Early and Think Easy

Bridget Moynahan leans against the kitchen counter on the Blue Bloods set while drying her hands with a kitchen towel draped over her left shoulder

Count on Erin Reagan for strategic planning and thinking ahead.

Photo credit: CBS

To reduce Thanksgiving Day stress (and meal day chaos for other food-first holidays), the Blue Bloods pros emphasize starting preparations early. Chadwell suggests cleaning out your refrigerator and freezer two weeks before the holiday.

Both Badalucco and Chadwell recommend dishes that require minimal same-day effort. For Chadwell, this includes casseroles, lasagna, gratins, and macaroni and cheese.

She adds: "Desserts can be made a couple of days ahead. Prep vegetables, including chopping onions and celery for stock and blanching green beans, the day before. This helps so everyone can maximize visiting time and minimize the work."

"We recommend serving roasted or mashed potatoes," says Badalucco. "For roasted potatoes, chop up some sweet potatoes and throw them in to sweeten up the pot. You can also serve Brussels sprouts, butternut squash casserole, homemade stuffing, and, of course, a crunchy salad with dinner rolls on the side."

"I love making dishes that can go into the oven ahead of time and are easy to reheat," says Chadwell. "A potato gratin and traditional ham come to mind."

5. Avoid the Fussy Fixings

Vanessa Ray as Eddie Janko sits at the Reagan dinner table attempting to crack a lobster claw

Sure Eddie Janko can crack a case, but can Mrs. Reagan crack a claw? Consider saving the foods that require special tools to eat for another happy occasion.

Photo credit: CBS

Every family has its favorites—and it's tempting to try to please everyone. But Chadwell offers a solid rule of thumb for deciding what makes the menu: "I would skip anything that requires more time to make than eat."

"Fussy appetizers take a large amount of work but only a second to disappear," she says. "Instead of the little bites, a charcuterie board is great and easy to assemble."

When it comes to the main course, Badalucco thinks it's best to stick with traditional fixings like turkey or honey-baked ham that "come out oven-ready to carve and serve to a large group."

"If you're hosting a large family gathering, skip the fried chicken and save it for a night with fewer guests," says Badalucco. "The prep takes up a lot of time, and you have to fry each piece of chicken, so it's tough to present all the chicken at once [to guests]."

6. Embrace the Comfort (Food and Family)

Sami Gayle and Tom Selleck join Andrew and Tony Terraciano in a group hug with Len Cariou seated in a wheelchair in front of a Thanksgiving turkey

Big Thanksgiving hugs for Henry, back in Season 2 when Nicky, Sean, and Jack could jump on his lap without putting him in intensive care.

Photo credit: CBS

When the Reagans come together at the table, the focus of their feasts is no accident. Badalucco confirms planning comfort-food dinners for the Reagans is "100 percent intentional" and is meant to serve "as an escape from the pressure of real life."

Chadwell goes even further, adding, "I think comfort food is key during the holidays and for special family dinners. The food brings back memories of loved ones you are currently with and ones you no longer see."

But what comfort dishes get the real Reagan raves? Chadwell regards their crown rib roast and Turducken as well-received among the cast. Turducken is a trio of meaty goodness, consisting of stuffed chicken, duck, and turkey—all seasoned to perfection.

7. Pass the Finnerty's 18

Tom Selleck as Commissioner Frank Reagan sits at the head of the Blue Bloods family table with a Thanksgiving turkey and side dishes in front of him

Frank Reagan helms the Thanksgiving table, ready to toast his family, just as he does every other week of the year, come what may. Let us all be thankful for that.

Photo credit: CBS

According to Chadwell, you can't go wrong with white and red wine for dinner or sparkling punch as a nonalcoholic option. Badalucco echoes Chadwell's sentiment: "No Reagan holiday party is complete without red wine and a bottle of Finnerty's."

Sure, the Finnerty's 18-year scotch referenced on the show is a fictional drink, and Wahlberg once revealed in an interview with CBS that it's iced tea in the glasses on set. But that doesn't mean you can't crack open your preferred whiskey or wine to capture the spirit of Thanksgiving (and of the Reagan family) as you toast your loved ones.

The Reagans Are Thankful for Us, Too

Will Estes, Sami Gayle, Bridget Moynahan, Tom Selleck, Amy Carlson, Donnie Wahlberg, Tony Terraciano, Andrew Terraciano, and Len Cariou at the table on the Blue Bloods Set

Give thanks for all the dinners we get to spend with the Reagans and know that they appreciate all their fans.

Photo credit: CBS

Finally, here's something else we can all be grateful for this holiday season: Breaking bread with the Reagan family every Friday on CBS—and any other time we need the comfort of those gatherings by streaming our favorite meals past on Paramount+.

And remember, the cast and crew of Blue Bloods are thankful for all of us who tune in, too.

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Photo: John Paul Filo

By Nate Millado

Let's be frank: Blue Bloods has lasted for 12 seasons thanks largely to the character of Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck), the tough-love family man who runs both the Reagan household and the NYPD with fairness and diplomacy. Here are just a few of the traits that make him television's best police commish and paterfamilias extraordinaire!

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1. He's A Family Man

The Reagans at one of their famous family dinners

The stars of Blue Bloods gathered around the Reagans' dinner table.

Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS

One of the cornerstones of every episode of Blue Bloods is the family dinner, where Frank Reagan gets to break bread with his brood—all of whom followed in his footsteps to a life in law enforcement. Jamie (Will Estes) and Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) are both cops (and, of course, Frank's other son, Joe, died in the line of duty), while daughter Erin (Bridget Moynahan) works in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

And let's not forget Pop (Len Cariou)! Henry is the one Reagan who preceded Frank as a LEO, holding the top cop job before his son climbed the ranks. Time will tell if Frank's influence carries on to lead his grandchildren—beyond recent arrival Joe Hill (Will Hochman)—into the family business, but it wouldn't be a surprise given how much he inspires us.

2. He's Highly Decorated

Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan in uniform standing at the podium

When we first meet Frank Reagan in the Blue Bloods pilot, he's the New York Chief of Police.

Photo: Marni Grossman/CBS

Just take a gander at all those breast bars on Frank's uniform! Among the accolades he's been awarded for his service: The American Flag Breast Bar, the World Trade Center Breast Bar, the NYPD Meritorious Police Duty medal, and the NYPD Medal of Honor.

3. He's Loyal To His City

Blue Bloods Tom Selleck stands in his NYPD office as Frank Reagan facing old friend Lenny Ross played by Treat Williams

The commissioner isn't open to job offers, as Frank tells Lenny Ross (Treat Williams).

Photo: John Paul Philo/CBS

Commissioner Frank Reagan has never worked a day in his life—if, that is, you go by the old adage about loving your work. As mayors have come and gone, the commissioner has been steadfast in his commitment to his city and the people who inhabit it.

We could have told Lenny Ross (Treat Williams) that no cushy job with the NFL, tempting as it might be for some, could persuade Frank to leave his city without strong leadership at a time of great challenges. That's inspiring loyalty!

4. He's A Dog Lover

Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan with a German Shepherd from the K9 unit on a leafy sidewalk near a canine obstacle course

Frank with a member of the K9 unit who's facing a tough accusation.

Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS

Frank has had many partners over the years—including Lenny Ross (Treat Williams) and Jimmy Burke (Gary Basaraba)—but he memorably served with four-legged friend Greta, his partner in the K9 Unit in the early '80s. He transferred out of the unit after Greta was shot and killed by a burglar Frank sent her to apprehend.
Greta's sacrifice isn't forgotten, nor is Frank's loyalty to her canine comrades in question, as he is forced to revisit this painful memory in the Season 4 episode "Bad Blood." When the Commissioner learns one of his most highly decorated officers—Raymond, a German Shepherd in the K9 unit—is being accused of police brutality, he gets to the truth and stands up for this dutiful dog's honor.

5. He's Faithful

Bebe Neuwirth in a red dress faces Tom Selleck in a scene from Blue Bloods

Frank meets the new Inspector General, Kelly Peterson (Bebe Neuwirth).

Photo: Giovanni Rufino/CBS

Frank married Mary Margaret Reagan in the early 1970s and has remained faithful to her even after her death from cancer. Fans have been clamoring for him to find love again—and there were certainly sparks with Inspector General Kelly Peterson (Bebe Neuwirth), who resigned after confessing her feelings for him—but Selleck is OK with his character's single life. "It's important he remains a man alone in overall concept because that's part of the sacrifice he's made," he told TV Insider.

6. He's A Hero

Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan at the 9/11 Memorial at night

Frank grapples with the impending loss of a friend who worked alongside him at Ground Zero.

Photo: Jojo Whilden/CBS

On September 11, 2001, Frank was working in the North Tower of the World Trade Center when the South Tower collapsed. He spent days at Ground Zero and slept in the pews with his fellow officers at St. Paul's Chapel. Blue Bloods was the first scripted series to film at the 9/11 Memorial.

7. He's A Survivor

Frank wears a long black coat and stands in front of a police car

Frank looks on as a mob boss is led away.

Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS

Frank survived not one but two assassination attempts! In 2011, he was shot by Kevin Brennan, the son of the former head of the Westies, who Frank arrested back in the '70s. Two years later, he was targeted by Hector Santiago, a mentally challenged teen who was tricked by the Los Lordes gang. The bullets miss Frank, but hit Mayor Poole, leaving him paralyzed. Frank's resolve to serve his city never wavers.

8. He Rocks That Mustache

A closeup of Tom Selleck with his trademark mustache

Tom Selleck has one of the most iconic mustaches in Hollywood.

Photo: Marni Grossman/CBS

Not since the OG Magnum, P.I., has there been a mustache as iconic as Frank Reagan's. It just happens that TV legend Tom Selleck played both! It's always Movember at the Reagan home—and that's the way we like it.

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