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The Blacklist (TV Series 2013– ) Poster

(2013– )

Trivia

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The birth date listed on the Raymond Reddington wanted posters is the actual birth date of actor James Spader (February 7, 1960).
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Baz Baz, who plays Red's (James Spader) chief of security Baz, is a veteran US marine and a former member of CIA's Special Operations Group. He is the founder of the Association for the Recovery of Children (ARC), which rescues abducted children. In 1991-2012, they had conducted 56 successful rescues.
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Red's signature fedora came about as a result of a suggestion from series star James Spader.
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Creator Jon Bokenkamp loosely based Raymond Reddington character on the real-life Boston mafia boss, James 'Whitey' Bulger. As explained at the 2013 Comic-Con panel, many news stories concerning Bulger's arrest and trial were prevalent at the time. Bokenkamp tossed around a few "what if?" scenarios and came up with the basic concept of the show, anchored by the nefarious "concierge of crime" we now know as Red. Although Spader came in very late to the concept (within approximately two weeks of the principal shooting of the pilot), he can be credited with largely contributing to the final "look" of Reddington: closely cropped hair, hat collection, Rx shades (for practicality - Spader really does need them to see), iconically tailored vest-tie-trousers-shirt ensemble, and the infamously expensive ($5,000?) all-weather navy blue coat. As for the acerbic humor & raconteur tendencies of Red? Spader claims these were already present in the pilot script, however one can't help but think that the writers expanded these qualities once they got to know Spader a bit better.
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Agent Ressler Diego Klattenhoff is possibly named in honor of Robert K. Ressler, a decorated FBI agent, now retired. He played a significant role in the psychological profiling of violent offenders in the 1970s and is credited with coining the term "serial killer". He was also fundamental in the setting up of the ViCAP system (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) and the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit. He is currently a consultant and best selling author,
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In 2013 The Blacklist was NBC's highest-testing drama in 10 years.
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Writer John Eisendrath said the casting process was difficult. In February 2013, NBC offered Kiefer Sutherland the lead role of Raymond Reddington.After considering other actors for the role, Eisendrath and Jon Bokenkamp called James Spader to see if he would be interested in it. Feeling confident in Spader's understanding of the character, they cast him three days before filming began.
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In 2014 James Spader was nominated in the "Best Actor - Television Series Drama" category at the Golden Globes, but did not win.
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The Blacklist was nominated in the "Favourite TV Crime Drama" category at the 2017 People's Choice Awards.
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As of January 2018 (S05E08), there have been 89 of 97 total episodes with a unique Blacklist number (excluding no numbers shown or two-part Episodes). Of these, the highest was 184 in The Blacklist: Natalie Luca (No. 184) (2017), and the lowest was 4 in The Blacklist: Mr. Kaplan (No. 4) (2017). There is no order to the list throughout the seasons, as both the highest and lowest took place in Season 4. Using 184 as the highest number, this leaves room for another 95 Episodes.
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Megan Boone took a week to prepare for her audition as Elizabeth Keen. Feeling like her initial audition was one of the better auditions of her career, Boone later was called back for multiple auditions. In March 2013, Deadline.com reported that she accepted the role.
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Andrew McCarthy (who directed 6 episodes) appeared in Pretty in Pink (1986), Less Than Zero (1987) and Mannequin (1987) with James Spader (Ray Reddington).
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A spin-off series, The Blacklist: Redemption (2017), premiered on February 23, 2017. It was cancelled on May 12, 2017, a day after The Blacklist was renewed for a fifth season.
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Kiefer Sutherland was considered for the part of Red.
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Frank Grillo was one of the actors originally considered for the role of Reddington, but had to turn it down due to conflicts with Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
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Prior to the third season episode The Blacklist: Cape May (2016), the title of every episode was the name of a criminal on the blacklist.
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James Spader's car on the show is a Mercedes Benz S550.
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Despite being set in Washington, D.C., the series is mainly filmed in the same Manhattan studio where Law & Order (1990) was filmed for 20 years.
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The series is filmed in 4K using Sony PMW-F55 video cameras that are adapted to use Panavision lenses. It is edited using Avid Media Composer, and editor Christopher Brookshire says the show has "a very distinctive look and pace". An average of three cameras are used at one time, but as many as six cameras are sometimes rolling.
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In the 2014 Entertainment Weekly Season Finale Awards, The Blacklist was nominated, but failed to win, in the following categories:
  • Best Non-Romantic Cliffhanger
  • Funniest Moment in a Drama
  • Weakest/Most Divisive Twist
  • Best Final Shot
  • Most Likely to Earn Someone an Emmy Nomination
  • Biggest Regret That I Didn't See It, I Just Heard or Read About It
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Many of The Blacklist actors also appear in Homeland (2011): e.g. Amir Arison played Prince Farid Bin Abbud in season 1, Diego Klattenhoff was Mike Faber in seasons 1-3, Omid Abtahi (Khan of S02E09) was Raqim Faisel in season 1, William Sadler (Sam of S01E08) was Michael Higgins in season 3, and Mark Ivanir (Ivan of S01E17) was Ivan Krupin in season 5.
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Titan Books released an official comic book series based on the series, written by Nicole Phillips and drawn by Beni Lobel. Issue #1 was launched July 22, 2015, in both comic book and digital stores.
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Rachel Brosnahan (Lucy Brooks/Jolene Parker), Reed Birney (Tom Connolly), Mozhan Marnò (Samar Navabi), and Reg E. Cathey (Ep 3-16 "The Caretaker") were all part of the cast of House of Cards (2013), starring Kevin Spacey.
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Throughout the series, when Reddington (James Spader) is seated and speaks to people his head is usually tilted at an angle.
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Diego Klattenhoff who plays Agent Donald Ressler appeared as Team Leader on an episode of Stargate SG-1 in Stargate SG-1: Ex Deus Machina (2005), which was based on the movie Stargate Stargate (1994) that starred The Blacklist star James Spader.
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Agent Samar Navabi speaks six languages fluently - English, French, Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, and German. Her actress Mozhan Marnò genuinely speaks five of those languages in real life herself. (The one she does not speak is Arabic)
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The Blacklist shares the same End-Credits Music as AMCs Preacher (2016). Dave Porter uses the same track, slightly different arranged.
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A mobile game by Gameloft based on the series, The Blacklist: Conspiracy, was released on June 23, 2016, for Android, iOS and Windows devices. The game mainly consists of searching for missing items in different environments, as well as mini games to further the investigations. Players can also make decisions that alter the route of the story.
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In 2014 The Blacklist was nominated in the "Favourite New Television Drama" category at the People's Choice Awards.
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The Blacklist won an award at the 2014 ASCAP Film & Television Music Awards in the "Top TV Series" category.
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James Spader (Red) and Susan Blommaert (Mr. Kaplan) both appeared on The Practice. James Spader would go on to reprise his role as Alan Shore and star in the spin off series Boston Legal
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In 2015 James Spader was nominated, but failed to win, the "Best Actor -Television Series Drama" award at the Golden Globes.
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At the 2014 Saturn Awards, the series was nominated in the "Best Network Television Series Release" and James Spader was nominated in the "Best Actor in a Television Series" category. Neither award was won.
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At one point, Dembe says "Orange Whip? Orange Whip? Orange Whip? Three Orange Whip!!" A word for word John Candy quote from The Blues Brothers 1980.
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The Blacklist won a Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award for "Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Miniseries, or Movie" in 2014.
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Alan Alda was nominated for "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series" at the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards, but did not win.
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Amir Arison & Diego Klattenhoff also appeared together in Homeland (2011).
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The Blacklist was nominated, but did not win, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award for "Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Miniseries, or Movie."
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At the 2016 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, The Blacklist was nominated, but did not win, in the "Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Miniseries, or Movie" category.
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Diego Klattenhoff (Donald Ressler) & Jason Butler Harner (Walter Gary Martin) also worked together on episode 3.4, Homeland: Game On (2013), of Homeland (2011) as Mike Faber & Paul Franklin respectively.
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At the 2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards, The Blacklist was nominated, but did not win, in the "Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series" category.
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Famke Janssen and Edi Gathegi both played characters in Marvel's X-Men movies. Janssen played Jean Grey/Phoenix in X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) while Gathegi played Darwin in X-Men: First Class (2011).
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The season 7 finale was partially finished using animation due to the restrictions posed by the covid 19 pandemic experienced in 2020.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The 6 digit number Red (James Spader) receives from Wujing 042983. April 29 1983 is the real birthday of Megan Boone, the actress who plays Elizabeth Keen. This number was used by Red to access ViCAP where he found Lucy Brooks aka Jolene Parker.
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When Megan Boone became pregnant her pregnancy was written into the show, rather than resorting to various 'tricks of the trade' to conceal it.
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The origin of Mr. Kaplan's (Susan Blommaert) name is revealed season 4, episode 17. Kate, originally Kathryn Nemec, took the last name of her bail bondsman girlfriend, Annie Kaplan (Amy Rutberg). The moniker "Mr. Kaplan" was given to Kate by an angry customer who fatally shot Annie, before turning his gun on Kate's head--the source of her metal plate. The name is NOT after the character Cary Grant is mistaken for in North by Northwest (1959), but rather a coincidence.
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As said on the FBI's top ten most wanted fugitives at the end of season two, Raymond Reddington's (James Spader) official charges are: sabotage, destruction of government property, conspiracy, unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, rico violations, weapons violations.
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The character Susan Hargrove, played by Famke Janssen, was considered as the main character for a potential spin-off of The Blacklist (2013). This came to fruition when The Blacklist: Redemption (2017) was produced. It aired in February 2017 and was cancelled after eight episodes.
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In season 3, Kate Metcalfe who played evil FBI agent Teresa Snow technically wasn't a villain when she helps Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) rescue the hostages when the bomb in the building explodes killing Teresa.
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If Reddington is an impostor, doubtful he'd fool the FBI simply by a face change from plastic surgery, as his fingerprints and dental work could never be replicated and he'd also have to have the same blood type and height.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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