What Is Amy Carlson Doing Now After Her Exit From Blue Bloods?

Amy Carlson played Linda Reagan on "Blue Bloods" for the show's first seven seasons — including the pilot episode — but was unceremoniously written off the series in 2017. Her character, an ER nurse who was the wife of Donnie Wahlberg's Detective Danny Reagan, was given an off-screen death that was explained as an on-duty helicopter crash in Season 8. Many fans were upset with how Carlson's character was not given a proper sendoff. "I know the audience is grieving her loss too," Wahlberg told Entertainment Weekly in 2017, while urging fans to give the full season a chance.

It was not Carlson's choice to leave the CBS series, as the network did not offer another contract after her initial seven-year agreement expired. "No, I was not invited [for Season 8], it didn't happen," she told Deadline in 2017. Even she had misgivings at how Linda's death was handled. "I feel badly that she dies the way she dies ... I wouldn't have done that," the actor said after seeing the jarring way her character's demise was explained. Although Linda was a tertiary character on "Blue Bloods," Carlson believed she was integral to the show. "I think that Linda and Danny's relationship was really touching and grounding," she told Deadline.

While she appeared on "Blue Bloods," Carlson worked on multiple movies. She continued to appear in films after leaving the series, although in lower-profile projects. That included playing a music executive — an industry she had real-life experience in. 

Amy Carlson started a music label with her husband

One of the first projects Amy Carlson worked on after exiting "Blue Bloods" was the indie film "The Incoherents," where she played a music executive named Jerry who had dealings with a rock band that was attempting a comeback. Carlson had ample experience to draw from to mold the character, as she and her husband, Syd Butler, launched an indie-music label in 1999 called Frenchkiss Records. Early in the label's inception, Carlson had a hands-on role. "At the time, I was working on 'Third Watch' and was making enough money to give [Butler] start-up capital. I'm really good at organizing projects," Carlson told Forbes in 2020 while discussing how she drew from real life experiences to prepare for the film. "As soon as I read [the script], it was like: 'I know that person,'" Carlson added. In fact, it was her work as a series regular on multiple shows that helped keep Frenchkiss Records afloat financially, as her husband told Forbes.

Carlson used "Third Watch" money to launch that indie label, and later collaborated with a fellow alum from the NBC series for 2020's "Sunny Daze." That film starred Jason Wiles, who also wrote and directed the project. Wiles knew Carlson from their "Third Watch" days.

In 2020, Carlson directed and acted in her own short film titled "The Letter," which won acclaim at the Hollywood Women's International Film Festival. Besides these films, Carlson also continued to work in television, which included a return to CBS.

How Amy Carlson landed on another CBS series

While Amy Carlson stayed active in the film scene in her post-"Blue Bloods" days, she also dabbled in television work. She appeared in one episode of "The Village" in 2019, and two episodes of "The Society" that same year. By 2020, Carlson was cast in "FBI: Most Wanted," which was on CBS. The veteran actor landed the role after auditioning for a different series at the network. "It's a really great feeling that they have the confidence that I will bring to the table whatever my special thing that I do is!" Carlson told Soap Opera Digest in 2020 when discussing the opportunity to work on "FBI: Most Wanted." Unfortunately, that did not lead to regular work for Carlson as she only appeared in two episodes.

Afterwards, Carlson was cast in the 2021 horror film "Know Fear," which was a departure from her work on procedural television. "This was a totally new character for me, and also a new genre ... I just created [my character] Wendy straight from scratch," Carlson said in a 2021 YouTube interview with The Dorkening.

Once again, Carlson returned to the family of CBS networks when she appeared on the CW game show "Would I Lie to You" in 2022. On the show, celebrities tell wild tales as guests have to guess whether the celeb is telling the truth or not. Even when she's not a series regular, Carlson appears to always find work.