Tom Selleck Vetoed Larry Manetti’s Appearance For Years Before Finally Approving it on Blue Bloods

When an actor is given the rare opportunity to lead two hit TV shows, it is tempting to give fans a good old shot of nostalgia. When Don Johnson’s “Miami Vice” co-star Philip Michael Thomas found a second successful TV run with “Nash Bridges,” he popped in for a couple of episodes. Heather Locklear also appeared in two episodes of “Boston Legal,” the show that gave William Shatner, her “T.J. Hooker” co-star, yet another successful chapter in his illustrious career.

Tom Selleck is one of television’s most recognizable faces, having played private investigator Thomas Magnum on “Magnum P.I.” from 1980 to 1988 and landing another long-running role on “Blue Bloods” in 2010. Selleck plays Frank Reagan, the New York City police commissioner and patriarch of a family of cops and civil servants, in the latter series. The police procedural offers plenty of opportunities to bring back Selleck’s former “Magnum” co-stars, and Larry Manetti, who played bartender and Magnum ally Orville “Rick” Wright, did appear in the 18th episode of the 13th season of “Blue Bloods.”According to Manetti, the reason for the delay was Selleck himself.

“Tom did not want to put me on the show because he thought it would confuse the audience because of’Magnum,'” Manetti explained to TV Insider. However, a little more than a year before Manetti’s appearance on the show, Selleck instructed producers to find a way to incorporate his co-star. Manetti explained that executive producer Kevin Wade was recovering from a medical problem when he came across some of Manetti’s work and came up with the idea for the guest appearance. But there was one more condition.

In their Blue Bloods episode, Tom Selleck and Larry Manetti do not share any scenes.

Although Tom Selleck and Larry Manetti appeared together on “Blue Bloods” for the first time in decades, they did not share any scenes. Sam Velucci, played by Manetti, is a grandfather out for vengeance after losing his granddaughter to a fentanyl overdose. It’s one of the episode’s main plots, but Velucci is mostly concerned with Eddie Janko-Reagan (Vanessa Ray), who catches him before he does something he might regret.Manetti stated that Selleck requested that their scenes be kept separate in order to avoid confusing the audience with such an obvious nod to “Magnum P.I.”

“He was concerned that our relationship on ‘Magnum P.I.’ would confuse the audience, but we’ve been friends for nearly 45 years, so we went out to dinner with my wife Nancy every night for the week I was in New York,” Manetti told TV Insider. They first collaborated a few years before “Magnum P.I.” on “The Rockford Files” in 1979, and they’ve been friends ever since.

“I first met Tom when we were cast in the same episode of James Garner’s ‘The Rockford Files’ in 1978.” At the end of the show, Tom’s character beat me up. “Tom and I are like brothers; we talk once a week,” said the actor.

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