'The Blacklist' Turns to Animation to Complete Season Finale

Blacklist -Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy Sony Pictures TV

NBC's The Blacklist will close out its seventh season with a twist: After production on the drama was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, the show turned to animation to help complete the season finale.

The hybrid episode is set to air May 15 and will serve as the season finale for The Blacklist (it has already been renewed for 2020-21). 

The episode, titled "The Kazanjian Brothers," was midway through filming in New York when production stopped in mid-March due to the pandemic. The show's producers looked for outside-the-box ways to complete the installment and settled on graphic novel-style animation (as shown above) to be incorporated with scenes that had already been filmed. 

Actors recorded dialogue from their homes for the animated scenes, and all animation and editing was done remotely. As The Hollywood Reporter has reported, production on a number of animated series has continued largely uninterrupted during the pandemic as studios and producers have adapted to working remotely.

The Blacklist joins Pop TV's One Day at a Time in extending its season using animation. The latter will air an animated special later in the spring after being forced to shut down filming midway through its 13-episode season. CBS' legal drama All Rise, meanwhile, became the first scripted series to produce an episode remotely with Monday's installment, which depicted how the characters were dealing with isolation.

The season finale of The Blacklist will follow the task force as it investigates an accountant who works for criminals in order to find the violent and thuggish brothers hired for his protection.