'The Blacklist' Creator Jon Bokenkamp Exits Ahead of Season 9

Season 8 of NBC's The Blacklist came to a controversial ending this week with longtime star Megan Boone exiting the series, with her character Elizabeth Keen getting killed off. Not only is Boone not returning for season 9, but The Blacklist's creator Jon Bokenkamp also announced that he would be leaving the series after eight seasons.

"I wanted to write you directly to let you know that I've made the difficult decision to leave The Blacklist," Bokenkamp tweeted on Thursday. "I love this show with all of my heart, and it's been an incredible journey, but after eight years I feel it's time for me to step out of my comfort zone, try something new, and explore a few of the other characters and stories that have been crawling around in my head."

"While I'm excited about the next chapter, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I have mixed feelings about my departure. The Blacklist is a family and saying goodbye is difficult. I already miss my fellow writers, the brilliant cast and our fearless crew, but more than anything I will miss all of you — the fans," Bokenkamp continued. "I've penned my share of screenplays that were never made and are sitting on a shelf gathering dust, which is why this experience has been such a blessing. Having the ability to tell a new story every week — to an audience excited to watch — is a dream come true."

Bokenkamp also thanked the fans for their dedication to the story, even admitting to loving their art and fanfiction. "I've loved following your tweets and podcasts, your recaps and Tumblr pages, your art, and theories and fan fiction," he wrote. "I am likely biased, but The Blacklist fanbase is not only the most dedicated and ravenous in television but whip-smart and hard as hell to fool. You are the lifeblood of our show, and it's your enthusiasm that leaves me feeling — more than anything — grateful."

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"I genuinely believe the series remains full of life, creatively strong, and that bright days lie ahead," Bokenkamp concluded. "So now I join you — as a fan — to see where The Blacklist takes us next." No new showrunner has been announced yet ahead of the series summer hiatus.