NBC Renews The Blacklist

James Spader thriller earns a second season

NBC is going all-in on The Blacklist.

The network on Tuesday announced it has ordered a second 22-episode season of the hit drama, which airs Monday nights after The Voice. Through its first 10 episodes, The Blacklist remains the season’s highest-rated new series, averaging a 3.1 in the 18-49 demo. (ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the No. 2 freshman strip, averaging a 2.9 rating, while Fox’s Sleepy Hollow is hot on its heels with a 2.8.)

A model of consistency, The Blacklist premiered Sept. 23 to 12.6 million viewers and a 3.8 in the dollar demo. Since then, the show has dipped below a 3.0 only once, drawing a 2.9 rating on Nov. 4.

The Blacklist is also outstripping its predecessor by a healthy margin. At this juncture a year ago, the Monday 10 p.m. time slot occupant, Revolution, averaged 8.38 million viewers, although the older-skewing Blacklist hasn’t improved on that show’s demo. (Along with The Voice, Revolution last fall went on a three-month hiatus; the same fate will not befall The Blacklist, which is only knocking off for a relatively brief six-week respite, returning Jan. 13.)

When the first six weeks of C3 ratings data are baked into the L+SD stream, The Blacklist stands as the sixth biggest show on broadcast TV and the fourth highest-rated scripted show behind CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and the ABC properties Scandal and Modern Family.

Starring James Spader as a criminal mastermind who assists a young government agent (Megan Boone) in her pursuit of international evildoers, The Blacklist is NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt’s most successful launch to date.

“The success of The Blacklist demonstrates that inspired storytelling is alive and well in broadcast television, and I’m impressed on a daily basis by this creative team’s imagination and the extent to which they will go to capture this grand vision on film,” Greenblatt said, by way of announcing the renewal. “With gratitude to both our partners at Sony Pictures Television and our NBC development executives who took a great script and shepherded it into a great series, I hope that Red Reddington never runs out of names to bring down on his list!”

This is only the second renewal of the 2013-14 campaign. On Oct. 3, Fox committed to another season of its kicky supernatural drama, Sleepy Hollow.

Buyers were sold on The Blacklist from the beginning. According to those surveyed by Adweek, The Blacklist is the season’s priciest new series, commanding an average unit cost of $198,667.