The news is unfortunate, but true — The Blacklist: Redemption is canceled after just one season at NBC following low ratings. The issue with the Ryan Eggold offshoot more so than the live+same day ratings (which weren’t that much worse than the flagship The Blacklist) were its performance in some other avenues. It didn’t generate tremendous DVR gains, and also struggled to build a huge social following.
Is there an argument to make that NBC did not give the show much of a launching pad? Sure. The first season only had eight episodes, and it was wedged into a midseason spot made possible only because of the hiatus for The Blacklist proper. Creatively, there was clear potential — Eggold showed himself to be a capable leading man, and the final two episodes of the season were outstanding.
If there is a quibble creatively, it comes via the decision from the show to go into a semi-procedural format in the episodes before that. With an eight-episode arc, the story would have been best served to be a continuous, focused arc that became stronger and stronger as time goes by.
It may be easy to say this, but the reality is that it may still not have saved the show. The biggest reason for The Blacklist: Redemption being canceled is strictly that there wasn’t all that much of a chance for it in the first place. If a network orders a branded spin-off, the odds of getting viewers outside of the core base are slim to none. The ratings for The Blacklist proper are a shell of its former self; therefore, this show would need a 90% or higher retention to have a shot. It didn’t happen, and now this is what it’s coming to.
In projecting Eggold’s own future now, hopefully The Blacklist finds a way to wrap up the arc with Howard and Scottie Hargrave. It may be true that he is a polarizing character within that universe to some, but he’s earned the opportunity to finish telling the story of Tom and his parents. Beyond that, the ball is in the court of the writers to figure it out.
Update: Eggold will return to The Blacklist season 5. Read more here.
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Meanwhile, be sure to visit our renewal / cancellation archive to secure some further updates on the subject of what is coming back and what’s disappearing off into thin air.