NBC Gives 'The Blacklist' an Early Renewal

Issue 40 REP The Blacklist - H 2013
Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Issue 40 REP The Blacklist - H 2013

NBC is banking on The Blacklist. The freshman drama, which has outrated all new series of the fall season, has scored an early renewal for a second season.

The James Spader starrer will return in the 2014-15 season with 22 episodes, the network announced Tuesday.

The news comes after the thriller from Sony Pictures Television tied unscripted entry The Voice among adults 18-49 during Monday's midseason finale. The series is the fall's breakout hit among same-day viewers and live-plus-seven DVR viewing.

"The success of The Blacklist demonstrates that inspired storytelling is alive and well in broadcast television, and I’m impressed on a daily basis by this creative team’s imagination and the extent to which they will go to capture this grand vision on film,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said. “With gratitude to both our partners at Sony Pictures Television and our NBC development executives who took a great script and shepherded it into a great series, I hope that Red Reddington never runs out of names to bring down on his list!”

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Added NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke: “We are very proud of the creative achievements of The Blacklist, starting with creator Jon Bokenkamp and his incredible producing partners John Eisendrath, John Davis, John Fox and Michael Watkins. Our hats are off to them and to everyone in our dream cast -- starting with the incomparable James Spader and Megan Boone -- and our maverick pilot director, Joe Carnahan, and all of the gifted writers, producers, and directors who bring this cinematic show to life each week.”

The Blacklist has been huge for NBC, not only outperforming all other new series in same-day viewings (thanks in no small part to a lead-in from The Voice) but topping the charts in DVR growth. The season currently is averaging 68 percent improvement in live-plus-7 data, climbing to an average 5.2 rating among adults 18-49. That makes it broadcast TV's top drama and third-best performer, behind The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family. It also has been a hit among total viewers, adding north of 5 million viewers in live-plus-3 alone -- a TV first.

Its fall finale averaged a 3.5 adults rating, matching its Voice lead-in. The show will go out on its own in January, airing three weeks of originals before the Olympics without any notable lead-in from the reality competition.

For producers Davis and Fox of Davis Entertainment, the Blacklist renewal makes the film duo one-for-two this fall season. The duo also were behind NBC's Ironside reboot, which was canceled earlier this season. SPT, meanwhile, inked the duo to a two-year overall development deal.

At NBC, Blacklist marks the network's first fall series to earn a second season and second overall. Fox also gave an early 13-episode second-season renewal to breakout hit Sleepy Hollow.