To say the "Blue Bloods" cast members are dedicated is probably an understatement.
Many of the actors relocated to New York for the show, for one. And the tight-knit TV family members you see sitting at the dinner table each week are like a family when they're away from the set, too.
That camaraderie comes through on the CBS drama, which premiered in 2010 and is currently in its fifth season. The series, which centers on a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement, stars Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Amy Carlson, Len Cariou, Will Estes and more.
"It's really nice to be on a show running this long because you get to travel through people's lives together -- births, deaths, marriages and really see each other's lives grow," said Moynahan, who portrays assistant district attorney Erin Reagan-Boyle. "You get to fall in love with the actors as family and that's kind of what's special about the show is that we play that family on screen and that's what the audience is relating to, so we kind of have it on both sides."
The cast members recently got together to film the landmark 100th "Blue Bloods" episode in Brooklyn, New York, and not surprisingly, it was a big celebration -- with a dinner (of course) and a cake cutting ceremony.
In "Baggage" (the 100th episode airing Friday), Danny (Wahlberg) feels conflicted when he learns that a group of highly trained Army veterans are responsible for a robbery. Also, after a bomb scare in a subway turns out to be the work of a famous street artist, Garrett (Gregory Jbara) and Gormley (Robert Clohessy) argue about how to deal with the fallout.
"It's another great episode where [Danny's] dealing with some high politics and I'm dealing with a rift and trust issues that arises between myself and my partner," Estes said about Friday's episode.
Not surprisingly, viewers will also see another dinner scene, which has served as a centerpiece for the show since its start. It's where the cast members really got to know one another off-set.
"We're like a family. If one of us is walking around throwing tantrums and being a diva and goes to try to sit at the dinner table it's not going to fly....Everyone is going to hold each other accountable. I think everyone is grateful to be here...The gratitude starts with [Tom] and trickles down to us," said Wahlberg.
Many fans of the series -- Bill and Hillary Clinton among them -- "make appointments for our show," says Selleck.
When asked why "Blue Bloods" has resonated for as long as it has, Selleck said, "Our show has a police procedure in it. But it is ultimately a character-driven show. I don't think there's enough of that on TV. It's about the people. We play real scenes with beginning, middles and ends -- not snippets of cop-work going to another snippet...I think in that sense we've delivered something the audience wasn't getting."
Selleck is one of the original cast members of "Blue Bloods," but the series has introduced several other characters in later seasons -- all of whom fell right in with everyone the regulars, and simultaneously fell in love with their roles.
Vansssa Raye, who plays Officer Edit Jenko, joined in 2013: "When I came here, in terms of the show I didn't know any of the crew, I didn't know any of the cast. Will and I quickly jelled and became friends...You never know if you're going to love your co-stars or not, and I got really lucky to have that...Everyone is just so lovely."
Another relative newcomer, Marisa Ramirez, chimed in on playing Det. Maria Baez: "It's funny when I explain to somebody what my character is...[people] always say, 'Oh it's like a version of you that's kind of a badass.' But I am badass! I really am. They don't believe me...Anyway, I bring the genuine real qualities and real interaction between Donnie and I and this sort of street thing that I'm very comfortable with and yelling at people, which I'm very comfortable with."
"It's very therapeutic -- my character, for me," added Sami Gayle about her character, Nicky Reagan-Boyle, the only child of Erin Reagan and Jack Boyle. "I feel like I've gone through some of the stuff she's gone through...so I sort of have another medium to play with as I grow up. It's also been super cool to have things that I didn't have in real life like a super big Sweet 16, which I didn't want in real life but I had the most awesome one on set."
The actors, meanwhile, hope to spend some more time on the "Blue Bloods" set with one another; season 5 isn't their last hurrah by any means.
"It seems like we've been shooting for a year. Not five," Wahlberg said. "It seems like we can easily go another five and get to 200."
"It's exciting," added Moynahan. "I've never been on a show that has run this long. Obviously that's special for us all and it's one of those things as an actor that you never ever expect -- you hope when you're doing the pilot that you'll get a run out of it but you never expect it."
"Blue Bloods" airs Friday at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.