[SPOILERS ahead for those not caught up on The Blacklist.]
It’s late spring, which means that Hollywood has reached the time of the year when the big TV networks wrap up their most recent season, and announce what they have on tap for the coming fall. During this tumultuous period, beloved long-running shows like Castle sometimes come to tearful ends, low-rated freshman series such as Grandfathered usually meet their maker, struggling sophomores like Galavant often lose the battle for renewal, and new programs are ordered to replace the ones that just got the boot. One such new pick-up by NBC is The Blacklist: Redemption, a spin-off of the popular crime drama starring James Spader.
A big hit at a time when NBC desperately needed one, The Blacklist debuted in 2013, and stars Spader as infamous federal fugitive Raymond “Red” Reddington. At the beginning of the series, Reddington turns himself over to the FBI, offering to help the bureau track down some of the world’s most dangerous criminals, provided he work directly with rookie profiler Elizabeth “Liz” Keen.
Over the course of The Blacklist’s three – soon to be four – seasons on the air, things have evolved a good amount from that initial setup, with characters coming and going and many personal revelations to be had. Even though The Blacklist isn’t quite the ratings king it used to be, it’s still in the upper echelon among NBC’s current line-up, and the network is clearly banking on a spin-off pulling in similar viewership.
Variety is reporting NBC has picked up The Blacklist: Redemption, which centers on Liz’s husband Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold), a regular character on The Blacklist since its debut – and one with a rather shady past. In the penultimate episode of season 3, Keen learns that his birth name is actually Christopher Hargrave, and that his long-lost mother is the mysterious, recently-introduced character, Susan “Scottie” Hargrave (Famke Janssen). This fact makes their occasional flirtatious moments prior to the reveal pretty creepy, although both were apparently unaware of the familial connection.
What kicks off Redemption’s plot proper is Tom/Christopher’s recruitment by Grey Matters, an ultra-secretive underground organization tasked with assignments requiring the utmost discretion. Upon finding out that his mother is the leader of this group, Tom joins up with the intention of learning more about his own past and Scottie’s still unclear motivations. What this means for Eggold’s ongoing participation in the main Blacklist series has yet to be clarified.
Is the world ready for a spin-off of The Blacklist, or will Redemption simply overstay the franchise’s welcome with audiences? Considering the number of series that NBC just canceled, the peacock network definitely hopes for the former.
The Blacklist airs its season 3 finale Thursday, May 19th at 9pm on NBC. The Blacklist: Redemption will premiere on NBC later in 2016.