The Blacklist star James Spader may have been snubbed for an Emmy nomination this year, but he got a lot of love today from the Comic-Con crowd. The actor drew a roar from the more than 1,000 fans in the packed room 6A of the San Diego Convention Center. “It’s been quite a journey, this craziness — and the craziness really started last year right here at Comic-Con,” Spader said after the applause died down. Then again, one year after his debut at the confab and with a breakout show success in the crime drama, the man who plays former super-fugitive Raymond Reddington is a geekfest multitasker this time round thanks to his part as the primary villain in next year’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron pic – which got a big cheer when Spader mentioned his work on the Marvel movie.
Related: TCA: NBC Drama Series Showrunners Tell TV Critics How It’s Done
Not that the panel didn’t cut to the Blacklist chase. There was a big casting announcement with the revelation that Mary-Louise Parker would be joining the NBC series in Season 2 in a recurring role as a character named Naomi Highland. EP/creator Jon Bokenkamp didn’t reveal any more details of the former Weeds star’s Blacklist involvement, but he described the character as “completely tied to Reddington.”
Related: Emmy Snubs: ‘The Blacklist,’ James Spader And More
Then there is the question of relationships on a show all about unknown relationships. “The question of who is Reddington to Elizabeth Keen is the central conceit to the show,: responded Bokenkamp to questions of whether Reddington is the rookie FBI agent’s father, “but we’re really not going to answer that.” From burn marks to pocket photos and the secrets of a dying man, the May 12 Season 1 finale set up a lot for the show’s return – especially about who Reddington really is and what his relationship with Keen might be. Spader himself had some thoughts on the big question. “The real relationship is their present relationship,” the lead actor said. “Destinations aren’t enough. The ultimate answer should be that looking backwards.” Read More »
At the end of its day at Summer TV Press Tour 2014, NBC brought out four of the showrunners on returning drama series to take questions. Matt Olmstead (Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D.) said that when he was working on a cable program, “I missed doing 22 [episodes],” while John Eisendrath (The Blacklist) said, “Having never done a 12-episode order, I’m totally jealous.”
Eisendrath was set up to vent about the fact that neither The Blacklist nor its star James Spader scored Drama Series Emmy noms on Thursday. He said he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t disappointed. “I think he’s completely deserving of it. The competition is fierce, that’s the reality — TV is thriving, there’s that much competition. I was disapointed, but I understand how it happened and what happened. We have to continue to do the best shows we can and hope we’re on long enough for people to reconsider,” he concluded, diplomatically.
All the showrunners were asked a certain number of beauty-pageant questions, like ‘what qualities are necessary in a showrunner?’ Jason Katims (Parenthood, About A Boy) went with “embrace the collaborative nature of making a television show”; Eisendrath went with “not to panic..and be open to new ideas.” Asked what was the most difficult part of the job, Olmstead said, “Trying to figure out what … Read More »
Every year on this day we pay tribute to those who made The Dissed List, giving you a place to foam over:
The Good Wife. Neither the violent bumping off of Will Gardner (Josh Charles) in one of the TV season’s most buzzed about developments, nor the extremely aggressive For Your Consideration ad campaign, in which the show pointed out how easy is life for its competition with their 7-episode (Mad Men), 8-episode (Breaking Bad), and 12-13 episode (Homeland, House of Cards) seasons, compared to the grueling challenges of a CBS drama, appears not to have impressed the Academy in the best-drama category (though Charles and star Julianna Margulies are nommed).
The Walking Dead. Despite high hopes among its fan base that this would be the year AMC’s Dead broke out of the makeup and special effects nomination categories, the show instead will have to stagger along with its astounding demo ratings success — including a take-down of NFL football – but no Best Drama Emmy prestige.
Tatiana Maslany. After being snubbed by the TV Academy but showered with love by TV critics for her groundbreaking performance as not one, not two, but eight clones and counting, on BBC America’s Orphan Black, many industry navel lint gazers thought this would be the year the TV Academy finally got it right. They were wrong. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Underscoring the studios’ need for senior-level writer-producers, Sony Pictures TV has inked a two-year overall deal with drama writer Mike Ostrowski. This marks the first overall deal for Ostrowski, who will join Sony’s flagship broadcast drama series The Blacklist as a co-executive producer for the upcoming second season.
Ostrowski’s series credits include CSI: Miami, Jericho, Private Practice, Human Target and Being Human. He is with WME.
NBC Upfront is wrapping with about $2.52 billion in primetime and late-night advertising commitments. That’s about a 15% increase compared to last year’s 2.25 billion. Across all its properties — broadcast, cable and digital — NBCUniversal brought about $6 billion this upfront – up from $5.4 billion last year. At NBCU, broadcast moves as one with cable and digital upfront sales; other networks handle the annual exercise differently. NBCU is “done – its whole portfolio,” explained one exec with knowledge of the situation.
The NBC broadcast network won the recently wrapped TV season in the demo for the first time in a decade with a 13% ratings spike — the biggest year-to-year gain for any Big 4 network in nine years. Even without its 18 nights of Sochi Olympics coverage, NBC boasted the season’s biggest demo audience, topping Super Bowl-boosted Fox. NBC’s gains blanketed the entire week, including double-digit year-to-year demo gains on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Its most talked about improvement: the 39% gain at 10 PM Mondays with The Blacklist originals – Blacklist being the season’s No. 1 new series and No. 2 drama, and NBC’s Monday being the top-rated regular schedule on any broadcast network in the demo, with an average 4.3 rating for regular programming. Read More »
The highest-rated drama telecast ever to air after the Super Bowl was ABC’s Thursday 9 PM series Grey’s Anatomy in 2006, during the show’s second season. The episode, crafted as the opening hour of a two-part storyline, drew 37.9 million viewers, with the conclusion on Thursday also garnering blockbuster ratings. NBC‘s head of scheduling Jeff Bader, who orchestrated the Grey’s Super Bowl scheduling while at ABC, is taking a page out of that rule book with The Blacklist. Also in its second season and about to move into the Thursday 9 PM slot, The Blacklist landed the post-Super Bowl spot on February 1 before it makes its Thursday debut February 5. At NBC’s upfront presentation today, chairman Bob Greenblatt announced that the episodes will be a two-part arc, clearly intended to give The Blacklist‘s Thursday premiere a hefty boost. Also at the presentation, Greenblatt promised more crossovers among Dick Wolf’s three NBC series: Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, and confirmed that the final season of Parks & Recreation will be 13 epsidoes.
Related: Jeff Bader’s First Big Test: Fixing NBC’s Thursday Night
NBC‘s Night Shift exec producer Jeff Judah insists he loves the idea of his big ensemble medical drama running on the broadcast network in the summer. “There are not as many shows on the networks, it may not get lost as much, maybe get a chance to be seen by more people — we love it.” he told reporters at NBC Press Day.
NBC series The Night Shift, about the men and women who work graveyard at San Antonio Memorial, got an 8-episode order as part of a four-show deal between NBC and Sony TV last May that included pickups of The Blacklist (with guaranteed Monday 10 PM slot), Welcome To The Family and The Night Shift, and a renewal of Community. The Night Shift pilot tested very well, with Irish actor Eoin Macken in the lead, as adrenaline junkie T.C. Callahan who, after a grueling tour of duty in the Middle East, now works in the ER. Creators Gabe Sachs and Judah executive produce with Pierre Morel.
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Sony Pictures TV‘s breakout drama The Blacklist is looking to join the elite handful of series that have been sold into off-network syndication in their first season on the air. The studio is putting together a pitch to cable networks and broadcast stations and has begun running ads in preparation for taking the NBC series out to buyers, which has not started yet. The Blacklist is a successful new broadcast procedural drama, which has been a rare breed during the past five years as the networks have gravitated toward more serialized fare. It would also be a rare non-franchise drama to sell in syndication in its freshman year. The two recent dramas to sell that quickly were CBS TV Studios’ NCIS: LA — a spinoff from a proven off-network procedural, NCIS — which sold to USA seven weeks into its run, and Hawaii Five-0, also a recognizable title being a remake of a popular cop drama, which was sold to TNT in April of the series’ first season.
Related: Primetime Pilot Panic
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It’s that time of year, when the TV viewers’ thoughts turn to plot wraps and cliffhangers. NBC today announced season-finale dates for 10 of its series. The Voice will wrap with a two-hour edition on May 20, and Community‘s term ends April 17. On the drama side, the 2013-14 season of Parenthood also wraps April 17, The Blacklist checks off its last episode May 12, Chicago Fire goes out May 13, Revolution wraps May 14, Grimm’s story ends May 16, the Law And Order: SVU and Chicago P.D. shifts end May 21, and Hannibal‘s last meal is set for May 23. The network last month announced an April 24 date for its hourlong Parks And Recreation finale featuring Michelle Obama.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
On the heels of a strong ratings finish of its fall run last night, NBC‘s hit freshman drama The Blacklist has been given an early second season renewal with a 22-episode order. The Sony TV-produced series starring James Spader is the No. 1 drama and the No. 2 scripted series on the Big 4 networks in the 18-49 demo, averaging a 4.9 rating/13 share (most current). It is the No. 1 new show in 18-49 and total viewers and NBC’s most watched new drama in 19 years, since Earth 2 in 1994. In addition to a strong Live showing, The Blacklist is a monster DVR gainer. Its November 4 episode delivered the largest total-viewer increase from Live+Same Day to Live+7 ever, growing by 6.589 million (from 10.337 million to 16.926 million). The Blacklist, which commanded the highest ad price for a new series this fall, now holds the top three L+SD to L+7 rises among total viewers in U.S. TV history. “The success of ‘The Blacklist’ demonstrates that inspired storytelling is alive and well in broadcast television,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said. “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!”
The Blacklist, produced by Davis Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures TV, … Read More »
After taking a lot of flak over the four-month break it imposed on freshman Revolution last season, which seemed to hurt the serialized drama, NBC vowed not to repeat the mistake with its new hotshot in the Monday 10 PM slot, The Blacklist — especially given that series’ more procedural nature. There had been talk of an extra batch of Blacklist originals airing between the fall and spring runs behind The Voice. NBC has now scheduled those for January. Following a Blacklist marathon of back-to-back repeats from 8-11 PM on January 6, three originals of the James Spader-starring drama will air on January 13, 20 and 27 behind a two-hour American Ninja Warrior special and fresh episodes of Hollywood Game Night. NBC will broadcast a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit special on February 3 before heading into two weeks of Olympics coverage. The network has not announced its Monday post-Olympics plans yet but, given the amount of promotion it is expected to give both The Voice and Blacklist, it makes sense for them to return right after — on February 24. That also would give support to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon which will have launched the previous Monday, February 17. The Voice‘s spring cycle premiere has varied widely, from March 25 last year to February 6 (after the Super Bowl) in 2012. The Blacklist‘s fall finale airs tonight. The two-part closer was pushed by a week after a … Read More »