The Women of 'Blue Bloods' Take Us Inside the Upcoming Season 9 Wedding

Ileane Rudolph
Exclusive CBS

At home in Brooklyn, Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) sits at the head of the table during Blue Bloods' iconic Sunday dinner; at One Police Plaza in Manhattan, the NYPD commissioner leans on his two sons, detective Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) and sergeant Jamie (Will Estes).

At first glance, the hit drama may seem male-dominated, but Selleck disagrees. "It's an absolute fact that the women on the show are very strong," he says, "and that's something that has always been important for us."

Tom Selleck Teases the 'Blue Bloods' Nuptials & Frank's Romantic Future

Tom Selleck Teases the 'Blue Bloods' Nuptials & Frank's Romantic Future

The actor also teased an upcoming major family argument that 'results in a very tension-filled family dinner.'

There's no talk of law enforcement — or pretty much anything too serious — in the scene from the February 1 episode that's shooting this December day at an upscale bridal salon. Jamie's fiancée and former partner on the job, Eddie Janko (Vanessa Ray), is on the hunt for the perfect wedding gown, aided by Frank's only daughter, Erin (Bridget Moynahan), and her daughter, Nicky (Sami Gayle).

As the off-duty cop self-consciously models a high-priced, strapless, curve-hugging number, mother and daughter are enjoying glasses of champagne. Then college senior Nicky makes a joke about trying on one of the tulle confections herself. "You can't get married before 30!" snaps her long-divorced mom.

Vanessa Ray and Will Estes

While Eddie is leaning toward saying yes to the dress, Ray reveals that during her costume fittings, she "snuck in" her husband, musician Landon Beard, for his approval when her style guru Moynahan couldn't make it. Getting glammed up is a welcome change for the actress, whose onscreen NYPD uniform is less than flattering. "I forgot what my body looked like in real clothes," she says wryly.

So far, the lovebirds' wedding date and venue have not been revealed. For the near future, Eddie's romantic bond with Jamie, who's her boss, will remain under wraps at work while the couple continue to reconcile their personal and professional relationships.

Tom Selleck and Abigail Hawk

Ray remembers her excitement at being tapped to join the Reagan dinner table back in the Season 8 finale. "I threw a pillow!" she says. Then she got nervous — these meals aren't for wimps. In fact, "I had a meltdown," she confesses.

"I kept looking at Will, and he said, 'It's a tough table, but don't worry, you'll do great.'" After absorbing some major ribbing served alongside the meat and potatoes, though, confident Eddie gave as good as she got.

Is Danny Getting a Love Interest on 'Blue Bloods?'

Is Danny Getting a Love Interest on 'Blue Bloods?'

He just found out who was responsible for his wife's death.

Moynahan's character, too, is a role model for challenging the guys, whether at the heated dinner debates or in her new job as bureau chief in the DA's office. "She's had to learn to deal with the PC [police commissioner] as an equal who happens to be her father," Moynahan says.

"The most fun scenes are when they're fighting," Selleck notes. "They're going to continue to disagree." Discord could also ratchet up between Erin, the district attorney (played by Aasif Mandvi) and the governor (David Zayas) over some uncomfortable deals she's had to make. "We've certainly put her in some waters she has never swam in before," she says.

The waters are calmer for Moynahan, however, when it comes to Gayle, the young actress playing her TV offspring. Gayle joined the show at age 16 and quickly bonded with the more experienced actress. "Bridget and my own mother give similar advice," Gayle confides. "Both Bridget and Tom were very involved in my personal development. I still feel like they're my parents, but now I'm old enough to be their friend too."

Selleck's influence extended to her education as an actor, yes, but also as a political science and art history major at Columbia University. (The 23-year-old graduated in 2018.) "He would sometimes bring up issues that I would then write a 20-page paper on," she recalls.

Marisa Ramirez and Donnie Wahlberg

Two other major female characters, Danny's longtime partner in crime solving, Det. Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez), and Frank's chief aide, Det. Abigail Baker (Abigail Hawk), may not get dinner invitations, but their lives are still closely intertwined with the clan. The two actresses are personally connected as well, Hawk says, swapping text messages about "mom stuff."

Originally signed for one episode in Season 3 as the third of Danny's temporary partners, Ramirez — a New Kids on the Block fan — was thrilled to play opposite Wahlberg, even for a short time. "Luckily, Donnie and I hit it off immediately," the actress says,"and the next season I joined the cast full-time. I was so happy to just do something different — I was always the girlfriend or the wife in turmoil." (Notes Selleck: "Marisa really earned her spot here.")

This is an abbreviated version of TV Guide Magazine's latest cover story. For more from our conversation with the women of Blue Bloods, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.

Blue Bloods, Fridays, 10/9c, CBS