NBC’s The Blacklist will air the first episode of its anticipated fourth season at the end of next month.
First broadcast three years ago, The Blacklist is a crime thriller series that revolves around former U.S. Navy officer who’d since turned high-profile criminal and, in the very beginning of the series, surrenders himself to the FBI. The officer Raymond “Red” Reddington, played by James Spader, exchanges his bounty of knowledge—in the form of a list of names— of the most dangerous criminals in the world for immunity to prosecution.
The past three seasons have covered everything from love stories to faked deaths to powerful female characters beating up their counterparts in broad daylight and not even breaking a sweat. Last season’s finale left the audience with a lot to mull over; the producers added a shocking twist to the show’s storyline in a direction no one was expecting. And fans are waiting anxiously for the arrival of season
four on September 22, when they can hopefully start to piece together exactly where each character stands.
It’s possible that season three’s surprising culmination was written to boost show stats. In 2013, Blacklist boasted an even 15 million viewers per episode, on average. By the end of last season, however, that number had dropped to only 11 million.
In an interview with Deadline, Blacklist creator Jon Bokencamp shed light on his decisions for last season and how to keep viewers in.
“I feel like we landed on a really great engine driving us forward, and I think we have a similar engine here. The entire team is splintered, not just physically, but emotionally,” Bokencamp said about his cast of characters. “It’s gonna be really exciting to spin those in the room this year.”
Filmed in New York City and surrounding areas, the show is able to take Red, Agent Liz Keen (Megan Boone), Scottie Hargrave (Famke Janssen), Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) and other main characters into a plethora of diverse locations for action and stopping crime. Bokencamp said he likes to venture down roads—both literally and figuratively—that have yet to be brought to television. Changes in character development and slowly revealing hidden pasts are primarily what add to the charm of a program,
“That’s one of the things we like about the show — trying to surprise ourselves. Once you feel like you know somebody, you realize you don’t know them at all,” Bokencamp said. “[Red] is still somewhat of an enigma to us — and that is part of what makes the show fun.”
When it first came out, Blacklist was television’s highest ranked program. Netflix bought seasons 1 and 2 of the show immediately, for $2 million an episode, eclipsing their previous most expensive deal (AMC’s The Walking Dead for $1.35M). There are 22 episodes a season. Due to a decent plunge in stats, Netflix has yet to add the third season, but with the onset of the upcoming premiere, however, a deal with Blacklist is to be soon expected.
A lot of dramatic plot twists and (hopefully) character tell-alls await us until the end of September. Between now and then, fans and new viewers alike can whet their appetite for the show by watching full episodes on Hulu, the NBC official website, and Amazon Prime. You can also catch the first two seasons on Netflix.