announced on Friday (October 4) afternoon that it has given a back-nine order to the freshman hit "The Blacklist," giving it a 22-episode full-season commitment.
The news was not especially surprising given that the James Spader-fronted drama has solidly won its competitive Monday 10 p.m. time period in both of its two airings. So far, "The Blacklist" is averaging a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 12 million viewers in Live+SD ratings. The premiere added a whopping 4.4 million time-shifting viewers in Live+3 Day DVR numbers.
"The many layers of Red Reddington and his mysterious reasons for getting into bed with the FBI seem to be fascinating to fans of this show," blurbs NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke. "With great talent like James Spader and Megan Boone on board, as well our stellar executive producers and the whole cast and crew, we believe this outstanding series will continue to make NBC a big destination on Monday nights."
Created by Jon Bokenkamp, "The Blacklist" stars Spader, Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix, Ryan Eggold and Parminder Nagra.
As the lede of this story noted, FOX technically became the first network to order more of a new series when it picked up a second season of "Sleepy Hollow" for next fall, following this season's 13-episode run. And NBC actually already was the first network to extend a new show to 22 episodes when it ordered "The Michael J. Fox Show" for that many half-hours sight-unseen.
The season's first back-nine pickup came just hours after ABC made the season's first cancellation by yanking "Lucky 7."
Just as the "Lucky 7" cancellation raised the question of which show will be killed first, the "Blacklist" pickup raises the question of which show will get extended next.
*** ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." because despite a big drop from its premiere to Week 2, it's still something of a hit (that might cease to be true with a big Week 3 drop). And even if "S.H.I.E.L.D." is only "something of a hit," between ABC and Marvel, there are some powerful entities that need that show to stick around, at least for a while.
*** FOX's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" has dreadful ratings, but FOX has been known to show patience with low-rated comedies in the past and additional scripts have already been ordered. Critical success, Andy Samberg's alleged starpower and the desire to maintain a relationship with co-creator Mike Schur all would play a role.
*** "The Crazy Ones" also took a big drop in its second week, but CBS is going to want to stay in the Robin Williams business, while also holding onto rising star James Wolk. Plus, CBS has much, much bigger comedy problems at this moment, so they might as well lock down "Crazy Ones" no matter how it's doing.
*** Neither "Back in the Game" nor "The Goldbergs" is really a hit, but with ABC looking at a slew of draw failures and "Trophy Wife" in trouble and a limited number of midseason comedy options, it probably behooves ABC to try to let these slow-starters build some momentum, if possible.
This one is less exciting than the "New show cancelled" question, because "S.H.I.E.L.D." will probably get that pickup next week after DVR numbers verify how much of the premiere audience remained.
Personally, I thought the second "Blacklist" episode held up reasonably well in terms of quality. Spader was still fun. The action was still sturdy. And I'm still no more invested in the mythology that the show is hinting at. I assume the writers know that if Spader is her father, it's going to be the biggest anti-climax in human history, so even if that's what the twist was supposed to be, they've got time to find something better. If they want to... I'll still happily watch Spader be Spader, at least for a while.
Are you pleased to have "Blacklist" around for a full season?