The Blacklist will have a new star when the show finally returns for its ninth season, although she will be familiar to Law & Order viewers. Diany Rodriguez, who starred in two episodes of Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 1, was cast in a "heavily" recurring role in the James Spader series. The Blacklist Season 9 will premiere on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, before the landmark 500th episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Rodriguez was cast as Weecha Xiu, whose tough physical presence and no-nonsense demeanor help her stop anyone who might threaten herself or her defendants, reports Deadline. She will make her debut in the season premiere of The Blacklist, which jumps ahead two years after the Season 8 finale. Raymond Reddington (Spader) and the FBI Task Force are no longer working together after Elizabeth Keen's (Megan Boone) death, but the agents and Reddington find themselves still clashing while they continue to take down dangerous Blacklisters.
Rodriguez starred as A.D.A. Maria Delgado in the Law & Order: Organized Crime episodes "What Happens in Puglia" and "Not Your Father's Organized Crime." She also starred in episodes of Bull, The Purge, Rat Donovan, Manifest, Lodge 49, NCIS: New Orleans, and Survivor's Remouse. She recently filmed the horror movie Night Teeth with Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and Debby Ryan.
The Blacklist was created by Jon Bokenkamp and debuted on NBC in September 2013. Although the show no longer features Boone's character, the series is soldiering on with Spader as the lead. Diego Klattenhoff is back as FBI Special Agent Donald Ressler, while Harry Lennix returns as FBI Director of Counterterrorism Division Harold Cooper. Amir Arison plays FBI computer specialist Aram Mojtabai, and Hisham Tawfiq plays Reddington's bodyguard, Dembe Zuma.
"Even as they've scattered to the four winds, the criminal world has just kept ticking along, which at a certain point becomes impossible for our heroes to ignore," executive producer John Eisendrath teased in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "Red and the task force might find themselves in new surroundings, but rest assured: The Blacklisters are just as nasty as ever." Eisendrath noted that Liz's death had a "profound effect" on the cast and "where they've landed in her absence is surprising and wide-ranging." The Blacklist will air Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, with SVU following at 9 p.m. ET and Organized Crime at 10 p.m. ET.