Raymond "Red" Reddington is on the lam, but we know it won't be long before he crosses paths again with FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen.
How do we know this? Because NBC has already renewed The Blacklist for a full second season, well before the first season has even finished production. The network's early order for an additional 22 episodes is fueled by the show's large (and getting larger) audience, and the overwhelmingly positive critical reaction.
"It was a huge vote of confidence, more than anything," creator Jon Bokenkamp told Spinoff Online. "It's very cool to know we can map out some of these longer story arcs."
"I thought [NBC Entertainment chairman] Bob Greenblat was kidding when he told us," added John Eisendrath, writer and showrunner of The Blacklist. "In my experience, I certainly haven't ever been involved with a show that's been picked up for a second season so early. I think it happens very rarely. We were incredibly pleased."
The renewal is excellent news for fans of the fast-paced drama, but Bokenkamp and Eisendrath aren't getting too carried away. Just 10 episodes of The Blacklist have aired, with 12 episodes remaining in the back-half of Season 1 -- so while Bokenkamp and Eisendrath are excited about the potential of the second season, their eyes are focused on the road in front of them.
"We have our first season's larger turns and signposts and where the story's going to go — it's all laid out," Bokenkamp said. "The mission for what we're doing doesn't change for the moment. We're focused on the next story and focusing on the episodes that are ready to go into production coming up."
"We're entirely focused on Season 1," Eisendrath agreed. "We don't have the luxury of looking that far down the road. We'll hang some pictures in our office, now that we know we're sticking around! But that's about the only thing we're doing to act on the reality of having another season."
The Blacklist stars James Spader as criminal mastermind Red Reddington and Megan Boone as rookie agent Liz Keen. Stay tuned to Spinoff Online for much more from the Blacklist producers when the show returns on Jan. 13.