American crime drama series The Blacklist has continued to go strong with seven seasons full of twists, turns, action, and adventure.
While the last episode viewers saw in Season 7 wasn’t intended as a finale, even before that, the network and powers that be were looking ahead to another season.
With that in mind, here’s what we know as far as The Blacklist’s eighth season happening on NBC.
This article provides everything that is known about The Blacklist Season 8 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s dig down into what is known so far.
Is there going to be a Season 8 of The Blacklist?
Back in late February of 2020, The Blacklist was officially renewed for an eighth season.
At the time of the announcement, the show was strong amongst adults aged 18 to 49, averaging a 1.1 rating. That was tied for the best of all Friday dramas during the season.
In addition, the series has generally held a 90 percent or better rating since Season 3 when it comes to critics’ reviews collected on Rotten Tomatoes.
According to Hollywood Reporter, the cast and crew were celebrating the 150th episode of the crime drama series at the time the renewal news came through.
Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, co-presidents scripted programming at NBC, said of the renewal, “We couldn’t be more excited to continue Red and Liz’s story into season eight.”
Chris Parnell, the co-president of Sony Pictures Television, mentioned that the show is able to keep telling “exciting and imaginative stories” each season.” He also credited the cast and crew, including the writing staff, headed by Jon Boker and John Eisendrath.
“Wait until you see what’s in store for season eight,” Parnell said in his statement.
Release date latest: When does The Blacklist Season 8 come out?
Update (8/27/20): NBC has unveiled a release schedule for their shows in 2020. The Blacklist is set to return on Friday, Nov. 13 to NBC, with streaming episodes on Peacock.
The seventh season of The Blacklist officially premiered on Friday, October 4, 2019. A total of 19 episodes aired with the last episode arriving on May 15, 2020.
Initially, Season 7 was supposed to include 22 episodes, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, production was halted as of March 19. The 19th episode used animation rather than live actors due to that.
Still, there were supposed to be three more episodes to complete the seventh season, so there’s that possibility before a Season 8 starts up.
Most of the other seasons of The Blacklist had their premiere episode in late September or early October. The exception was Season 6, which premiered its first episode in early January 2019.
Right now, there’s no official word on when the show will return. Typically, a trailer arrives in the month prior to the premiere, or in this case, the next episode, so we’ll know more once that or an announcement hits the internet.
The Blacklist Season 8 cast updates
The American crime drama series has revolved around a few key characters including the master criminal turned informant Raymond “Red” Reddington played by James Spader and FBI profiler Elizabeth “Liz” Keen played by Megan Boone. Both are expected to reprise those roles.
Senior FBI agent Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) and FBI Director of Counterterrorism Division Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) have also been part of the show since Season 1 and should continue in the new season.
FBI computer specialist Aram Mojtabai (Amir Arison) was a recurring character in Season 1 and has been a main cast member since Season 2. It’s expected he’ll continue with the main cast as well.
So should Reddington’s bodyguard, Dembe Zuma, played by Hisham Tawfiq.
In Season 7, viewers were introduced to FBI field agent Alina Park, who is played by Laura Sohn. In early May, TVLine reported she was promoted to the main cast for Season 8.
Viewers also saw Katarina Rostova (Laila Robbins) as a significant part of the story in Season 7, so it’s entirely possible she’ll also return for the eighth season.
The Blacklist Season 8 spoilers
In November, producers stated that the first three episodes of The Blacklist Season 8 will be the final three from Season 7 that never aired, but reworked to launch the new season. Here is a promo from the new season.
During Season 7, Liz learned that Katarina Rostova was actually her mother. She struggled with whether or not to turn her in, because if she did, Reddington would go after her.
Ultimately, the final episode concluded with Liz deciding she was on her villainous mother’s side, feeling that maybe that will actually lead her to the truth.
That seems to put Liz and her mother against Reddington for the story in Season 8.
During a Comic-Con @ Home panel back in July, the show’s executive producer, Jon Bokenkamp, indicated that the arc of Liz choosing Katarina over Red was “accelerated” because it was supposed to happen over three episodes.
“I think it’s going to be clear of where she’s going when we start back up. It blows everything up … It’s going to be fun to watch unravel,” Bokenkamp said.
Executive producer John Eisendrath also weighed in on Season 8’s story.
“We usually finish off the stories we were contemplating in a given year … This year, we have all the big stuff from the end of last season at the start of this season. Season 8 starts in a much more heightened, dramatic place than normal,” Eisendrath said.
In addition, they noted that Red’s mysterious illness would be a continuing aspect of the story.
“The idea that he is going to be afflicted by something [that] makes him more vulnerable and less superhuman … he has to deal with his own mortality, and that will give him a different perspective on not only his life, but the people he is interacting with,” Eisendrath commented.
While making Red’s illness more of a factor and better understood, one other aspect of the story to watch for will include an exploration of “the dynamic between Ressler and Liz.” Actor Diego Klattenhoff called this “inevitable” during the panel.
All of that and more investigations will give viewers plenty of drama, intrigue, and adventure to watch for in Season 8.
The Blacklist Season 8 returns Friday, Nov. 13 on NBC.