‘The Blacklist’ Gets Full Season 1 Order – Is Spader Playing TV’s Next Iconic Role?

Published 2 years ago by

the blacklist renewed james spader The Blacklist Gets Full Season 1 Order   Is Spader Playing TVs Next Iconic Role?

One of the biggest fears that viewers usually have when they are faced with the prospect of jumping into a new drama is whether or not a show will be given the chance to resolve its main mysteries. If you were waiting to jump into NBC’s The Blacklist, you’re now out of excuses.

NBC has given the James Spader vehicle about a former fed turned criminal turned informant a back nine order. This means that fans will get a full season to see whether Agent Keen can trust anyone, whether the government can contain Spader’s Red Reddington, and perhaps most importantly, what exactly Reddington is working toward.

Here’s NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke on the decision:

“The many layers of Red Reddington and his mysterious reasons for getting into bed with the FBI seem to be fascinating to fans of this show, [...] With great talent like James Spader and Megan Boone on board, as well our stellar executive producers and the whole cast and crew, we believe this outstanding series will continue to make NBC a big destination on Monday nights.”

The Blacklist has been a huge winner for NBC, dominating its time slot while averaging 12 million viewers. So, is this the next great network drama? Possibly, but the ghosts of past fast starters may signal a need to exercise caution. Remember, The Event looked like a winner at this point a few years ago and so did ABC’s Flash Forward. Revolution made it to a second season after a great start, but it returned to sour ratings that only fell further last week.

James Spader The Blacklist Arrested The Blacklist Gets Full Season 1 Order   Is Spader Playing TVs Next Iconic Role?

So what do those shows have in common? A big central mystery and, for the most part, they were hindered by long mid-season hiatuses that seemed to shake viewers off the vine. Will The Blacklist see the same fate if (or when) NBC chooses to bench it for an extended period of time?

Maybe, maybe not. No disrespect to Jason Ritter, Joseph Fiennes, and the Revolution ensemble, but The Blacklist has something that those shows don’t have – a singular and magnetic main character. James Spader’s Red Reddington simply stands out despite what could be a ho hum story in someone else’s hands. People aren’t just tuning in to see how The Blacklist unfolds, they’re tuning in to see Spader the showman. His charm, his wit, the way he plays cat and mouse – that’s the addictive elixir, and a winning formula it is.

There’s a vast and impressive history of shows that rose above somewhat tired stories thanks to their compelling lead characters/actors, but if you need a recent example, look at House.

That show merged the detective and medical procedural genres, and while it had able supporting players and some really gripping drama, would we have really cared as much if not for Hugh Laurie? He was the #1 reason that people watched. And though The Blacklist has a lot going for it besides James Spader, if the character keeps developing like he has, it might be similarly successful.


The Blacklist airs Mondays @10pm on NBC

Source: Variety & TV By The Numbers

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
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  1. The show is good but I watch it mainly because Spader is downright amazing as Reddington. He’s got balls of titanium & an evil intellect to match.

  2. its a decent show

    • I would tend to agree with some aspects of many of the criticisms here. I am enjoying the show, but think it will become formula-matic at some point. It is not bad, but just not the show of the century or anything. I will watch it to the end, though. Some people have mentioned Revolution herein: I have just started watching it. Not bad, but again, while I will probably watch the whole series, nothing thunder-strike-amazing-special. I tried to watch Alcatraz: good concept, but confusing and not anything special..I knew it would be canelled shortly after I started watching it. The Event was probably the best of the lot mentioned here. It did have some flaws, but got more bad press than it deserved. I myself enjoyed it, bought the series on DVD, and wish it had gone into a second season. The potential was certainly there. Awkward juggling on the part of the network as well as the writers plus over-bearing critics kind of staked it through the heart at the time, but I thought it was a good attempt at combining X-File-ish stuff, government conspiracies in thriller-writer mode, and UFO-ish stuff all together (kind of an X-Files’ little brother that is smart but needs to mature just a bit). Blake Underwood was good as the President (that is what got me just starting watching Ironside, which is OK but nothing special, right now). The fellow who plays the Presidential advisor (was his name “Sterling”?) was good as well. And one of the gals on The Event who was kind of an assassin bad-guy turned good guy was a fox. All in all, this was a show that should have been continued, and I hope it will be revived.

  3. I actually like everything about the show, NOT just Spader. He is a draw, but it isn’t all about him on this show.

    That ending scene with “Lizzy” and him in the car.. he almost spilled dah beans.. that pay-off will be well deserved.

    • what do ya think? is Red her father?? that is what I’m all but praying for, he needs to be her dad!! That will be a great reveal….

      “Lizzy” I have people who love me, what do you have?
      “Red” I have you Lizzy!

      • I’m guessing father or uncle. Anything else wouldn’t really make sense if you think about some of the stuff he has said (like when he talked to Liz’s stepfather).

        As for the show… if it didn’t have Spader’s awesome performance I wouldn’t watch it. Most of the other main cast just isn’t good. The dialogue and script is pretty bad at times. Some things just don’t make sense at all. It kind of seems like all the effort goes to writing Red. I really hope they pick it up a bit, because this show could be really damn good.

  4. Haven’t seen it yet (records tonight for me, damn you Sunday night for having Homeland’s return on at the same time) but I felt kinda sad at the “failure” comment lodged at Revolution in the article description because I like Revolution and don’t find it a failure at all. Can’t wait until it returns next March.

    • I feel the same way, and they did a review of the season 2 premiere and basically, well did, bash it badly. I was like WTFFFFFFFF and everyone else on the comments below and above me really aren’t liking the new season, I for one am enjoying it.

      • on this site*

      • I for one love this new blacklist show as its the best new show on any of the networks and its showing through the ratings. Also the new revolution season 2 episodes i have loved also. Don’t know why everyone is putting this show down

    • @Dazz – The article did seem to take a lot of shots at Revolution when trying to make a point about shows that started strong and only had a single season. Last time I checked, Revolution is in season 2 and hasn’t been cancelled. So, it sounds like Jason Tabrys has something personal against Revolution. The ratings may be down, but NBC moved the show to Wednesday night against Survivor and the X-Factor and we all know how people love those reality TV shows more than scripted television. Why that is…I have no idea.

      • I haven’t come across one critic who doesn’t go out of their way to bash Revolution. I’m in agreement with everyone else here — it’s definitely not the greatest show in the world, not by a long shot, but it’s not half bad, and it’s really the only show on right now that scratches my “totally out there sci-fi” itch. Having Giancarlo Esposito doesn’t hurt either.

    • I like Revolution. Is it a great show? No, but it’s one of those shows that just sits on my DVR until I have nothing else to watch. I like the concept of the show the first season but it did have it’s flaws. S2 is just all over the place right now. I think they just need to clean some things up as far as some plot issues and it could be great but right now it’s just another show IMO.

  5. You know what this show is? Keyser Soze coming out to play. That is more than fine with me. Is it nonsense? Oh yes. But it is fast paced nonsense and I am perfectly fine with that.

  6. James Spader’s Raymond Reddington will be the next Walter White in television. Spader’s going to take over the reins from Bryan Cranston, now that Breaking Bad’s over.

    • Maybe. There is the potential there but this show has a lot of work to do in order to even be remotely close to being in that Walter White stature. I love Spader’s work but this shows formula will get pretty old after a while. I will most likely still watch no matter what but as of right now it’s not even close to a Breaking Bad type of category, characters included.

  7. it fills my monday night, it can only get better as we learn more about his background and hers (i hope)

  8. Blacklist is enjoyable and a very large part of that is Spader’s magnetism, but I do not see it becoming an iconic show, not yet anyway. Maybe it has something more up its sleeve, a new twist. Right now, it is watchable but gimmicky.

  9. The 2nd week didn’t disappoint. In fact it got more intriguing. James Spader is simply outstanding. I suspect this show will gain not lose viewers.

  10. Why are you casting the net for “next great network drama” when you already have it… ‘Person of Interest’ which is not only awesome incarnate, but strangely sorely underrated! Many people have it pegged as just another CBS procedural when it is so very much more…

    • +1

      Too bad since Person Of Interest seems to be more complex than your average procedural without being complex.

  11. The Blacklist is good, great even but compared to shows like Person Of Interest, 24 or Spooks which are on network television, it’s pale in comparison.

    Overall, a nice show but the case of the week and how it is presented is pretty weak. Red saying this will happen, how, where and when will get old if they’re going to repeat it every week.

  12. I think Revolution failed when they pulled a switcharoo on the audience in the first minutes of the season premiere by turning the power back off. All that buildup for nothing! They could’ve explored one episode at least with the power on or even a multi-episode arc. But they just teased you in that fianle with the President and all that and still no big payoff.

  13. James Spader kicks ass. I loved Red speech to the Stewmaker about the farmer.

  14. No, I’m not out of excuses. I saw the pilot episode. It’s a bad show.

  15. I’m enjoying The Blacklist. It’s largely Spader, though the mystery involving “the husband” is moderately engaging.

    I enjoy Revolution, and very much hope it continues.

    The only “still produced” shows I watch are : The Big Bang Theory, Person of Interest, Revolution, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and The Blacklist.

    I also watch science and history documentaries and shows (although the former are nearly always targeted at such a profoundly ignorant audience that I tend to stop watching in disgust).

    Revolution is the only Sci-Fi show in the list (by far, my favorite genre), unless you want to count The Walking Dead.

    Having become a disabled shut-in, I’d love to find something else worth watching, especially sci-fi.

    It’s definitely time for another Star Trek TV series (original canon, not the “J.J. trek” crap). Better yet, two series.

    If everyone was like me, there’d be 5 or 6 Star Trek series, albeit without the totally unnecessary conflicts with reality.

    I understand having newly encountered aliens speak English (although that could be handled far more realistically, with transition periods while language analysis is performed for each new language, prior to use of language translation devices).

    I understand the story-telling benefits of aliens being able to reproduce with humans.

    However, there is NO reason to hear sounds in outer space. Ships swishing, the sounds of weapons firing, hearing explosions. Ships in a vacuum performing U-turns.

    The manner in which the technology of a new species is so compatible with Star Fleet technology. ["I can offer you a generous supply of iso-linear chips". One expects a reply of "Part number AQX-3875? Yes, that's what our frambulators use also. I'd order them over the galacticnet, but Ferengi shipping rates are too high".]

    It’s absolutely ludicrous. How can anyone more informed than a caveman watch such nonsense (such as swooshing spaceships) without being jarred out of a sense of reality?

    Yet, with all those deficiencies, I love Star Trek. I’d just like for a new series to avoid NEEDLESS clashes with reality.

  16. I started watching Blacklist the first night because of James Spader. He is a wonderful, super talent and makes you listen. He pulls you in with his charm, wit, class. I was not disappointed, I love this show and hope it goes on a long time. You could not have picked a better actor to star in this show. I love “Red”!

  17. I just finished watching the whole Season 1 of Blacklist on Netflix and it was absolutely fabulous. At the end of every episode I couldn’t wait to watch the next one to see what Red and Agent Keen was going to get into next. James Spader is outstanding! He reminds me of Kevin Spacey in House of Cards. He is a dominate character and keeps the audience on their toes. The rest of the sporting cast is also great. Agents Keen and Rider make a great impression and are interesting to watch. I will definitely be watching every episode of Blacklist this season!!

  18. I Love to what the Blacklist I love to what Jame S play the blacklist and Liz to and the all the other to keep on play the Blacklist it is the best show .I love to see Liz get mad at Red.