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The Blacklist (TV series)

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Created by
Jon Bokenkamp

Original language(s)



Country of origin
United States

First episode date
23 September 2013

New York City

The Blacklist (TV series) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbtvbanners12995016p12995

Crime drama Action Thriller

James Spader Megan Boone Diego Klattenhoff Ryan Eggold Parminder Nagra Harry Lennix Amir Arison Mozhan Marnò Hisham Tawfiq

Dave Porter James S. Levine

James Spader, Megan Boone, Ryan Eggold, Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix


The blacklist official trailer nbc 2013

The Blacklist is an American crime thriller television series that premiered on NBC on September 23, 2013. Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader), a former U.S. Navy officer turned high-profile criminal, voluntarily surrenders to the FBI after eluding capture for decades. He tells the FBI that he has a list of the most dangerous criminals in the world that he has compiled over the years and is willing to inform on their operations in exchange for immunity from prosecution. However, he insists on working exclusively with a rookie FBI profiler by the name of Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). The series also stars Diego Klattenhoff, Ryan Eggold, and Harry Lennix. The pilot episode was written by Jon Bokenkamp and directed by Joe Carnahan. Executive producers for the series include Bokenkamp, John Eisendrath, and John Davis for Sony Pictures Television, Universal Television, and Davis Entertainment.


On October 4, 2013, NBC ordered nine more episodes, filling out the series' first season. On December 3, 2013, NBC renewed the series for a 22-episode second season. On May 11, 2014, owing to the series' breakout success, NBC decided to air an episode in the coveted post-Super Bowl timeslot in 2015. On December 5, 2015, the series was renewed for a fourth season, which premiered on September 22, 2016. A spin-off series, The Blacklist: Redemption premiered on February 23, 2017.

The series has received positive reviews, with many critics praising Spader's performance in particular.

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Raymond "Red" Reddington, a former US Naval Intelligence officer who had disappeared twenty years earlier to become one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, surrenders himself to FBI Assistant Director Harold Cooper at the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. Taken to an FBI "black site," Reddington claims he wishes to help the FBI track down and apprehend the criminals and terrorists he spent the last twenty years associating with; individuals that are so dangerous and devious that the United States government is unaware of their very existence.

He offers Cooper his knowledge and assistance on two conditions: immunity from prosecution, and that he wants to work exclusively with Elizabeth Keen, a rookie profiler newly assigned to Cooper. Keen and Cooper are suspicious of Reddington's interest in her, but he will only say that she is "very special." After Cooper tests Reddington's offer in locating and killing a terrorist in the first episode, Reddington reveals that this man was only the first on his "blacklist" of global criminals, which he has compiled over his criminal career, and states that he and the FBI have a mutual interest in eliminating them. The mysteries of Reddington's and Liz's lives, and his interest in her, are gradually revealed as the series progresses. Each episode features one of the global criminals, Reddington assisting the team tracking and apprehending them.

One of the ongoing themes of the series is the effect that working with Reddington seemingly has on the characters of the FBI task force, as some of them start to compromise their own professional integrity, and do expedient or unprofessional things that they would never have considered at the outset of the series.

The rank of the featured criminal on the list is displayed at the start of every episode. The only exception to this rule is the sixty-third episode of the series, titled "Cape May."

Main characters

  • James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington: Confidential informant, FBI
  • Megan Boone as Elizabeth "Liz" Keen/Masha Rostova: Special Agent, FBI
  • Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler: Special agent, Former Acting Director of the Counterterrorism Division, FBI
  • Ryan Eggold as Tom Keen/Jacob Phelps/Christopher Hargrave: Covert operative
  • Parminder Nagra as Meera Malik: Field agent, CIA (season 1)
  • Harry Lennix as Harold Cooper: Director of the Counterterrorism Division, FBI
  • Amir Arison as Aram Mojtabai: Computer specialist, FBI (recurring season 1; main seasons 2–)
  • Mozhan Marnò as Samar Navabi: Agent, Mossad (seasons 2–)
  • Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma: Reddington's bodyguard (recurring seasons 1–2; main seasons 3–)
  • Season 1

  • Charles Baker as Grey; served as Raymond Reddington's aide.
  • Deborah S. Craig as Luli Zheng, one of Reddington's bodyguards and his money manager
  • Jane Alexander as Diane Fowler, Head of Criminal Division of the Department of Justice
  • Graeme Malcolm as "The Man with the Apple", a man who was spying on the Keen household
  • Rachel Brosnahan as Jolene Parker/Lucy Brooks, a woman who makes her way into the Keens' life
  • Lance Reddick as Cowboy, a bounty hunter hired by Red to find Jolene
  • Emily Tremaine as Audrey Bidwell, Ressler's former fiancée
  • Susan Blommaert as Mr. "Kate" Kaplan, Reddington's personal cleaner
  • Alan Alda as Alan Fitch, Assistant Director of National Intelligence
  • Peter Stormare as Milos "Berlin" Kirchoff, a former member of the KGB
  • Season 2

  • Alan Alda as Alan Fitch, Assistant Director of National Intelligence
  • Susan Blommaert as Mr. "Kate" Kaplan, Reddington's personal cleaner
  • Peter Stormare as Milos "Berlin" Kirchoff, a former member of the KGB
  • Mary-Louise Parker as Naomi Hyland/Carla Reddington, Reddington's ex-wife
  • Paul Reubens as Mr. Vargas, Reddington's double agent
  • Hal Ozsan as Ezra, a bodyguard assigned to Elizabeth by Reddington
  • Clark Middleton as Glen Carter, a DMV employee occasionally employed by Reddington to retrieve information
  • Scottie Thompson as Zoe D'Antonio, Berlin's daughter
  • Teddy Coluca as Brimley
  • Ron Perlman as Luther Braxton, a high-profile international thief
  • Janel Moloney as Kat Goodson, the Director's assistant and liaison between the NCS and the FBI
  • Reed Birney as Tom Connolly, the US Attorney General and a good friend of Director Cooper
  • Michael Kostroff as Martin Wilcox, the detective investigating Eugene Ames' death
  • Dante Nero as Samuel Aleko, a former informant for Meera Malik
  • David Strathairn as the Director (Peter Kotsiopulos), the mysterious head of the US National Clandestine Service
  • Adriane Lenox as Deputy Attorney General Reven Wright
  • Ralph Brown as Roger Hobbs, a Cabal member who aids Reddington
  • James A. Stephens as Kenneth Jasper, a Cabal member
  • Ned van Zandt as Leonard Caul, an ally of Reddington's and an expert on computer security
  • Michael Massee as Karakurt, an assassin
  • Season 3

  • Edi Gathegi as Matias Solomon, a Cabal operative sent to hunt down Reddington
  • Adriane Lenox as Deputy Attorney General Reven Wright
  • Paul Reubens as Mr. Vargas, Reddington's double agent
  • Clark Middleton as Glen Carter, a DMV employee occasionally employed by Reddington
  • David Strathairn as Peter Kotsiopulos, the Director of the US National Clandestine Service
  • Susan Blommaert as Mr. "Kate" Kaplan, Reddington's personal cleaner
  • Christine Lahti as Laurel Hitchin, the President's national security advisor
  • Fisher Stevens as Marvin Gerard, Reddington's lawyer
  • Ned van Zandt as Leonard Caul, an ally of Reddington's and an expert on computer security
  • Peter Vack as Asher Sutton, a socialite whom Tom Keen exploits to track Karakurt
  • Conor Leslie as Gwen Hollander, Asher Sutton's girlfriend
  • Andrew Divoff as Karakurt, an assassin
  • Tony Plana as Mr. Diaz, the Foreign Minister of Venezuela
  • Deidre Lovejoy as Cynthia Panabaker, the White House Counsel
  • Tawny Cypress as Nez Rowan, a mercenary
  • Famke Janssen as Susan Scott "Scottie" Hargrave, head of Halcyon Aegis' Grey Matters branch, a covert mercenary organization
  • Ulrich Thomsen as Alexander Kirk/Konstantin Rostov, a powerful businessman connected to Liz and Reddington
  • Season 4

  • Raoul Trujillo as Mato, a hitman
  • Leon Rippy as Hunter
  • Brent Spiner as The Architect
  • Melora Hardin as Isabella Stone
  • Linda Emond as Dr Adrian Shaw
  • Conception

    After showing a screening of the pilot at Comic-Con, producers revealed that their inspiration for The Blacklist came from the capture of Whitey Bulger. Recalling the experience in an interview with Collider.com, executive producer John Eisendrath stated:

    NBC bought the rights to The Blacklist from Sony Pictures Television in August 2012 and greenlighted the show in January 2013. During an NBC upfront presentation in May 2013, it was announced that The Blacklist was NBC's highest-testing drama in 10 years.


    Eisendrath said the casting process was difficult. In February 2013, NBC offered Kiefer Sutherland the lead role of Raymond Reddington. After considering other actors for the role, Eisendrath and Bokenkamp called James Spader to see if he would be interested in it. Feeling confident in Spader's understanding of the character, they cast him three days before filming began.

    Megan Boone took a week to prepare for her audition as FBI profiler Elizabeth Keen. Feeling like her initial audition was one of the better auditions of her career, Boone later was called back for multiple auditions. In March 2013, Deadline.com reported that Boone accepted the role as the female lead in the series.

    Filming locations and technique

    Despite being set in Washington, D.C., the series is mainly filmed in the same Manhattan studio where Law & Order was filmed for 20 years. Producer Richard Heus said they chose to film specific Washington, D.C. locations for the series because they were "iconic American locations". These locations included the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the National Mall.

    The series is filmed in 4K using Sony PMW-F55 cameras that are adapted to use Panavision lenses. It is edited using Avid Media Composer, which editor Christopher Brookshire says keeps the show's "very distinctive look and pace". An average of three cameras are used at one time, but as many as six cameras are sometimes rolling.

    Critical response

    The first season of The Blacklist received strong reviews from television critics. On Metacritic, the first season has a score of 74 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a rating of 82%, based on 45 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The consensus reads, "James Spader is riveting as a criminal-turned-informant, and his presence goes a long way toward making this twisty but occasionally implausible crime procedural compelling". The second season received a rating of 80%, based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 7.7/10. The consensus reads, "Though The Blacklist flirts with narrative overload, it's held together by James Spader's scenery-eating performance and wildly entertaining action." The third season received a rating of 92%, based on 12 reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The consensus reads, "The Blacklist is back in top form with fresh dangers that put Red on the ropes while giving James Spader room to shine."

    David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle said about the pilot, "You think you know this situation and how it will turn out, but there are surprising, yet entirely credible, twists throughout Monday's episode". Robert Bianco of USA Today said, "The Blacklist is a solid weekly crime show built around a genuine TV star. That's the kind of series the networks have to be able to pull off to survive. And with Spader in command, odds are NBC will". Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter praised both Spader's performance and the procedural elements of the show, writing "there's an overarching element to the premise as well that makes it intriguing without making it overly complicated."




    The series is broadcast simultaneously on Global in Canada. In New Zealand, the show premiered on TV3 on February 2, 2014. The second season premiered on September 23. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the show premiered on Sky Living on October 4, 2013. The second season premiered on October 3, 2014. Netflix has streaming rights to seasons 1-3 in the United States, Australia, Latin America, Finland, Switzerland and Sweden and The Netherlands.


    Titan Books released an official comic book series based on the series, written by Nicole Phillips and drawn by Beni Lobel. The series' crew is working in the project as well.

    Editor David Leach told The Hollywood Reporter that the comic is "a true extension of the television series" giving "new dimensions of the characters that have captured the audiences worldwide". The series will open with a six-issue story arc, which will be "a journey deep into the dark world of international espionage, conspiracies and intrigue on a global scale".

    Issue #1 was launched July 22, 2015, in both comic book and digital stores.


    A mobile game by Gameloft based on the series, The Blacklist: Conspiracy, was released on June 23, 2016, for Android, iOS and Windows devices.


    In March 2016, NBC begun developing a spin-off series created by Bokenkamp and Eisendrath, who would also executive produce with Davis and Fox. The project would star Famke Janssen as Susan "Scottie" Hargrave (formerly Halsted) and Eggold, in his role as Tom Keen, as well as Edi Gathegi reprising his role as Matias Solomon. Tawny Cypress has been cast as Nez Rowan, a character already recurring during the third season. Hargrave first appeared on The Blacklist episode "Susan Hargrave", with "Alexander Kirk" serving as a backdoor pilot for the potential series. That episode was written by Bokenkamp and Eisendrath and directed by Michael Dinner. On May 14, 2016, a pilot for the series, The Blacklist: Redemption, was ordered.


    The Blacklist (TV series) Wikipedia

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