When the curtain falls on the final episode of Blue Bloods later this year, the thing Tom Selleck will miss most is the cast and crew. “Our dinner party scenes are like a reunion of friends,” says Tom, who adds that it’s been a “blessing” to play Police Commissioner Frank Reagan with a group that has become like family. “Sometimes it’s hard for the directors to get us to concentrate. We do the work, and we do it well, but we’re also screwing around and kidding each other and catching up.”

After nearly 60 years in the business, Tom understands that Blue Bloods was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “I never thought I’d be lucky enough to do a show that had that long a run,” admits Tom, 78, who is both sorry to see it end and looking forward to the future. “It has been an honor and a privilege to work on a show that not only celebrates the men and women who protect and serve in New York City, but also displayed the importance of family,” he says.

Unlike the end of his other most famous television series, Magnum, P.I., which ran from 1980 until 1988, this time Tom wasn’t the one pulling the plug. “CBS made the final decision — budget cuts were a factor — but Tom also thinks the timing was right,” an insider tells Closer exclusively.

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Once the series concludes next fall, Tom will be able to spend more time on his 65-acre ranch near Ventura, California — once the home of Dean Martin — where he grows avocados. “He wants to relax on his ranch, walk around his property, spend time with his wife and family, and travel a bit,” says the insider.

A Family Man

Tom’s wife, Jillie Mack, 66, remains the center of his heart. “Jillie has this sort of joie de vivre, this effervescent quality that just lights up a room,” says the actor, who is the more introspective half of their union. “Tom and Jillie can just sit at home, cook, go for a long walk and be very content,” says the insider.

Making plans for socializing, travel, or a date night to Staples Center to watch Tom’s beloved LA Kings play hockey is Jillie’s department. “He adores Jillie and trusts her to schedule activities or travel plans,” says the insider. “He’s looking forward to having more free time to spend with her.”

The couple also enjoy a warm relationship with their daughter, Hannah, 35, an accomplished equestrian. “Tom’s very close to Hannah and very proud of her competitive horse jumping career,” says the insider, who notes that Tom would make a wonderful grandfather. “He hopes Hannah finds love and has children, but he’s not the type of dad to push it.”

Story of His Life

Tom’s first book, an “intimate memoir” titled You Never Know, is scheduled for release on May 7, but if you were expecting a kiss-and-tell from one of Hollywood’s most popular leading men, you might be disappointed. “It’s not a gossipy Hollywood tell-all. He is sharing his experiences in this business, meeting some great stars and how they affected him, and what he’s learned,” says the insider.

In 1987, Tom called Frank Sinatra personally to ask him to guest-star on Magnum. “He says, ‘I’ll tell you what, I’ll do it for free. Just pay my expenses,’” recalls Tom. “That was Frank’s last acting job, and I’m proud to say he was great in the show. It was a big deal for us.”

In addition to sharing some of his favorite show business memories, Tom will also reminisce in his typically humorous way about the times when his career went sideways — like having to turn down the role of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark due to his contract with Magnum, P.I. “I hope the book is kind of funny because I don’t take myself that seriously,” says Tom. “A sense of humor is almost essential for a long career as is a sense of humor in your work.”

While Tom is looking forward to a quieter life, he hopes not to completely disappear. “Tom loves his profession, but he’s not a hungry actor anymore. He’s not actively looking for work,” says the insider. “If something comes his way and it excites him, he’ll definitely consider it.” In fact, the source says that Tom would be open to playing Frank Reagan again in a Blue Bloods movie “if the script was good.”

For now, Tom’s content to take it slower. “I think the danger is, you can’t do it all,” he says. “People say, ‘I don’t want to have any regrets.’ I don’t have [any].”