As of late, NBC is very much in the business of building new series within pre-existing ratings winners in an effort to create shows that will (hopefully) appeal to the same audiences, and, with any luck, give them as close to a sure thing as can be had in world of network television. The peacock network has built a veritable television universe with its stable of Chicago series that include Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, and Chicago Med, crossing them over with one another when the stories call for it and it presents a clear ratings win. The formula has been so successful that the group of shows has already lined up another series called Chicago Justice, so that the cluster can present all the big traditional TV genres under one umbrella.
While that model has worked well for creator and executive producer Dick Wolf, NBC isn’t merely interested spinning off shows from the creator of Law & Order, or that have the word “Chicago” in the title. In fact, the network recently announced it’s developing a spinoff of one of its biggest hits in recent years, The Blacklist. And, much like its predecessor, this offshoot will be centered on an actor with plenty of recognition on both the big and small screen, as former X-Men star and onetime Bond villain Famke Janssen will reportedly take a lead role.
According to Deadline, the as-yet-unnamed series and Janssen’s character – Susan “Scottie” Halstead – will be introduced via the show’s May 5 season finale, and will segue into her own show soon after, if NBC is confident enough that the spinoff series will be a hit. While there is little in the way of specific details surrounding Janssen’s character and the overall plot of the new show, it is believed Scottie will take a position similar to the one Spader’s Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington has with Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), but with Ryan Eggold’s Tom character in a co-starring role. This information was later bolstered by news that Edi Gathegi, who plays Mr. Solomon on The Blacklist and has been enjoying a considerable role in season 3, will be making the transition to the Janssen/Eggold series, possibly as the primary antagonist for the two leads.
Shifting Tom Keen to his own series makes a lot of sense for a few different reasons. For one, it would take him out of The Blacklist equation for the most part, thereby allowing more episodes to focus on what the show does best: examine Red and Lizzie’s relationship and their fight to take down the Cabal. Secondly, it would allow for a potentially deeper exploration of Tom’s character, one that may have wound up being more popular than the producers and writers had initially intended, leaving them with a mountain of potential storylines they couldn’t explore due to the narrative constraints of the original series. This option, then, allows creator Jon Bokenkamp to keep an interesting, well-liked character around, while also eliminating the burden of having to accommodate storylines catered specifically to him on The Blacklist. The other added bonus being, of course, Tom still exists in the Reddington-verse, meaning he’s just a crossover episode away from seeing his old pals and conjuring up those old romantic feelings between him and Lizzie.
So far, this seems like a win-win for the show and the fans (and Eggold – so maybe it’s a win-win-win). Moreover, it doesn’t sound like it will be the kind of spinoff show most people turn their noses up at. While the show’s writers are creating Janssen’s Scottie whole cloth, the rest of the primary cast (so far) is comprised of already established and popular characters who could conceivably lure in audiences and not make the enterprise feel like a desperate cash grab. And as far as Janssen’s concerned, she already earned plenty of credibility with The Blacklist‘s key demographic by appearing in three X-Men films as well as Goldeneye. With her recent stint on Netflix’s Hemlock Grove now behind her, it seems like the actor is ready get back into something a little more high profile.
Screen Rant will have more news for you on the proposed spinoff series of The Blacklist as details are made available.
The Blacklist airs Thursday nights on NBC @9pm.