The latest on why The Blacklist was cancelled

The Blacklist spoilers follow.

After nearly a decade of James Spader's crime boss turned FBI informant Raymond Reddington, it was officially announced the tenth season of The Blacklist would be the last on our screens.

NBC called time on the hit crime thriller and Spader's never-ending masterful monologues in February 2023, ahead of the final season's US premiere date.

"After 10 years, hundreds of Blacklist cases and more than 200 episodes produced, we're honoured to reach our conclusion," said showrunner John Eisendrath with the NBC announcement.

"It's been incredibly fun to create the strange, devious and delightful Blacklisters to challenge Raymond Reddington and our FBI Task Force each week."

hisham tawfiq, anya banerjee, diego klattenhoff, harry lennix, the blacklist, season 10
NBC Universal

Why was The Blacklist cancelled?

As fans of The Blacklist were as invested as ever when the show's cancellation was confirmed, the decision to put it on the chopping block may have initially come as a puzzling one.

Yet the long-running NBC success-maker had seen a number of its main cast members bow out of the production in recent years.

The eighth season seems to have ushered in the beginning of the end with a major shake-up when Megan Boone's character Liz Keen departed the Washington DC crime world in the season finale. Her departure also coincided with The Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp's exit.

With Megan gone, only three of the original cast remained: James Spader, Diego Klattenhoff and Harry Lennix. Further cast members followed her out the door in the ninth season, when the likes of Amir Arison's Aram Mojtabai and Laura Sohn's Alina Park also exited The Blacklist.

anya banerjee, diego klattenhoff, the blacklist, season 10
NBC Universal

The production churn since then appears to be part of the reason behind the cancellation of the show, but the showrunners did not let the dead end on the horizon deter them from crafting a final season to live up to all those before it.

The tenth season saw Red's covert role as an informant at risk of being uncovered, putting him in serious danger of retribution from the world's most skilled and elusive criminals, also known as his infamous Blacklisters.

The show finale aired in July and provided a fitting ending to Red's story, as the Blacklisters united against him out for revenge.

In the two-hour last-ever episode of the NBC hit, entitled 'Good Night', Red went on the lam to Spain, where he had one last fateful encounter with a bull.

james spader, the blacklist, season 10
NBC Universal

Ahead of the tenth season, star and executive producer Spader shared his thoughts on the conclusion of the show, which he thought would become a "very different" prospect if it had gone on.

He told NBC: "I think that the thing that has been nice about this show was that we've never really had a really clear paradigm for the show.

"Tonally the show shifts a lot from episode to episode, and I think that even the show has taken strange turns, and I suspect that the show, if it went much further, would just become something that would be less recognisable to me."

Lisa Katz, president of scripted content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, added: "It isn't often that a series resonates so deeply with an audience that it airs for 10 seasons, but The Blacklist proved to be a perfect combination of highly talented producers, stellar writing, a cast that never failed to deliver and a crew that always rose to the occasion.

"A huge thank you to our partners at Sony, everyone from the past decade who made this show an integral part of NBC's storied history and, of course, a special nod to James Spader, whose performance remains nothing short of spectacular."

The Blacklist aired on NBC in the US and on Sky and NOW in the UK.

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