Yes, the increasingly circuitous saga of The Blacklist is confirmed to continue for at least another season, presumably extending its life into the 2020-2021 season. The move continues the ongoing saga of enigmatic antihero “Concierge of Crime,” Raymond Reddington (James Spader), the world’s most-wanted criminal who – unbeknownst to the general public – enjoys an immunity deal with the F.B.I. in exchange for leads about his vast array of criminal contacts (the titular Blacklist), frequently shadowed by special agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), who, as revealed later in the series, happens to be the daughter he conceived with a deadly Russian spy.
As Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, co-presidents of scripted programming at NBC Entertainment, laud in a statement:
“Congratulations to our incredible cast, producers and crew, all of whom continue to reach excellence week in and week out.” They add, “We couldn’t be more excited to continue Red and Liz’s story into season eight.”
The network’s renewal is surprising, with many having written the show off, notably because NBC’s previous order for The Blacklist occurred nearly two years ago, on May 2018, and was made for two seasons; a move that, at least for a series as long in the tooth as this one, seemed to signal a finish line. Indeed, the series, created by Jon Bokenkamp (Taking Lives, The Call), debuted back on September 23, 2013, and came out of the gate as one of television’s hottest shows, averaging around 12 million viewers in Nielsen’s Live + Same Day Ratings for the inaugural season. That, however, was six-and-a-half years ago, and while the series – currently in a midseason hiatus – is hardly the juggernaut it once was, the currently-running Season 7 still pulls around 6.6 million in the same metric.
Chris Parnell, co-president of Sony Pictures Television (which produces the series with Universal Television in association with Davis Entertainment,) adds:
“The Blacklist continues to tell exciting and imaginative stories. It’s due to the brilliant cast, crew and our writing staff, led by Jon Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath, who commit to unparalleled creativity. Wait until you see what’s in store for season eight. Thank you to Lisa Katz, Tracey Pakosta, Pearlena Igbokwe and all of our partners at NBC and Universal Television.”
While NBC did not confirm anything about the nature of its renewal for The Blacklist Season 8 (made in celebration for its upcoming 150th episode), the move does evoke some key questions about the length of the upcoming run and, most notably, if it will serve as the show’s last. The series – which had franchise expansion designs with short-lived 2018 spinoff The Blacklist: Redemption – does maintain a steady fanbase, but some might argue that the show is well past its sell-by date.
In the meantime, The Blacklist will resume its Season 7 run on NBC with back-to-back new episodes on Friday, March 20 at 8 p.m.