James Spader is staying on NBC. The peacock network renewed The Blacklist for a sixth season late Saturday.
According to Variety, the new season will run 22 episodes. Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix, Amir Arison, Mozhan Marnò and Hisham Tawfiq will all return. However, Ryan Eggold has left to star in NBC's new medical drama New Amsterdam.
The series was created by Jon Bokenkamp and is produced by Davis Entertainment with Sony Pictures Television and Universal Television. Executive producers on the show include Bokenkamp, Spader, John Eisendrath, John Davis, John Fox, Lukas Reiter, J.R. Orci and Carla Kettner.
Spader stars as Raymond "Red" Reddington, a criminal on the FBI's most wanted list who decides to turn himself in and help the bureau track down other criminals on his personal "blacklist." Elizabeth Keen (Boone) is only a rookie at the start of the series, and was assigned to be his partner in tracking down the criminals.
The series initially earned critical acclaim, with Spader earning Golden Globe nominations in 2014 and 2015. Alan Alda also earned an Emmy nomination for his 2015 guest appearance.
The Blacklist getting renewed likely tied into NBC's decision to pass on L.A.'s Finest, the Bad Boys spinoff series starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. Like The Blacklist, L.A.'s Finest was a Sony TV production.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Finest was dropped after talks over NBC's annual packaging of Sony series fell apart. The network is also considering Norman Lear's new project Guess Who Died, which is also a Sony production. Timeless, which will likely not be renewed, is also a Sony TV show.
The Blacklist has continued to be a moderate performer for NBC and even spawned a short-lived spinoff called The Blacklist: Redemption last year.
In a December interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bokenkamp said it was a challenge to write the last episodes of season five without knowing if they would be renewed.
“It’s interesting to not know, and how you write toward that,” Bokenkamp told the magazine. “We’ve decided that we love the characters enough that if, for whatever reason, we didn’t have an opportunity to come back, we just have to find another way to do it, but we’re not going to rush to some ending out of fear that we’re not coming back. We have a story that we’re telling that we really like, and it’s going to take the time it takes to tell it.”
Photo credit: NBC