Donnie Wahlberg stars as detective and Iraq war veteran Danny Reagan in the hit CBS drama "Blue Bloods," which returns for its sixth season finale Friday, May 6th.
The series, about a family of New York City cops, draws an average of more than 13 million viewers. Wahlberg attributes the show's success in part to the story plots that mirror real headlines. The upcoming season finale is centered on a retaliatory shooting of a police officer after another cop is not indicted for shooting a teenager.
- Donnie Wahlberg: Expect a lot of "fireworks" on "Blue Bloods"
- Donnie Wahlberg talks Tom Selleck, New Kids on the Block, Twitter
"What's great about our show is that we get to explore these issues from all sides... because each family member has their own take on these different things," Wahlberg told "CBS This Morning" Wednesday.
Wahlberg's character traditionally sides with the officers, but he undergoes a period of self-examination and becomes a "little more mindful" throughout the season.
In the real world, Wahlberg is vocal about his own political views. In February, he endorsed Marco Rubio, saying it was the first time he ever voted for a Republican presidential candidate.
"I'm sort of a man with no home. I think I'm like many voters nowadays," Wahlbeg said. "I have a very liberal heart and a sort of conservative mind."
With Rubio now out of the picture and Donald Trump likely to become the GOP nominee, Wahlberg said he was not sure who would win his vote.
"The great irony is... that people are voting with a lot of anger -- they're angry at the empty promises of government -- and no one's making more promises to the people than Trump and Bernie Sanders," Wahlberg said. "I mean, it's amazing. If either of them were elected, they can't deliver on half the stuff they're promising."
Since "Blue Bloods" debuted in 2010, the Reagan family dinner scenes have been a centerpiece of virtually every episode. Wahlberg believes this resonates with viewers because it brings back tradition.
"...If you come from a big family, you can relate, and if you don't, you can live vicariously through the Reagans," Wahlberg explained. "It's a very traditional show -- this one came back in the midst of all these unique family shows and it's become one of the most popular shows on television in real life."
In reality, Wahlberg himself comes from a large family with eight siblings. The Wahlbergs are the subject of an A&E reality series, based on the family's burger restaurant chain, Wahlburgers. While the actor said family gatherings were difficult in real life, he said these family projects paved more opportunities to bring them together.
Donnie Wahlberg is also on another reality show with his wife, Jenny McCarthy, called "Donnie Loves Jenny."
"We set out to celebrate love in this. We're blending families, we're bringing two teenage boys together and we really love each other," Wahlberg said. "And we made a pact with each other that we were going to showcase our relationship in all its goodness and not get caught up in all the salaciousness."
Long before these starring roles, Wahlberg made teenage girls swoon as a musician and founding member of the boy band "New Kids on the Block." Wahlberg has been on tour with the band during every hiatus from "Blue Bloods," but decided to skip this summer to focus on his family.