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‘The Blacklist’ season 9: Trailer, release date and everything we know about the NBC crime drama

The Blacklist
James Spader in 'The Blacklist' (Image credit: NBC)

Thursdays on NBC isn’t just for Law & Order, as The Blacklist is returning for its ninth season on the Peacock network following a shocking end to season 8 that will change the dynamics of the show moving forward. So, without any delay whatsoever, let’s dive right into exactly what you need to know about the return of The Blacklist

What is the plot of ‘The Blacklist’?

The Blacklist was created by Jon Bokenkamp and debuted on NBC in 2013. The series began with a young FBI profiler, Elizabeth “Liz” Keen, who has her life uprooted when a mysterious criminal, Raymond “Red” Reddington, who has eluded capture for decades, turns himself in and insists on speaking only to her. This inciting incident led to Liz and Reddington teaming up to take down some of the most nefarious criminals in the world using what is called “the Blacklist.” 

In the show’s eight seasons this has seen Liz and Reddington deal with numerous aspects of the world of crime, while also having to deal with plenty of twists and turns and a greater exploration of the mysterious origin of their relationship.

SPOILER ALERT if you are not caught up with The Blacklist as we’re about to go over the ending to season 8 (may be best to go catch up as soon as possible because it has some series-changing events).

Early on in the finale of season 8, viewers are told to expect a death. Reddington tells Liz that he is dying but that he wants her to be the one to kill him so that she can take over his criminal empire. To sweeten the pot, he reveals that he has a note from Liz’s mother explaining exactly who Red is, but she can only have it after she has killed him. Liz begrudgingly accepts, but when the time comes to shoot Red she can’t do it, which he understands. However, a rival associate pieced together Red’s plan and arrives on the scene and shoots Liz in the back. Red holds her as she dies.

Season 9 will jump forward into the future with its premiere episode “The Skinner.” Here is the synopsis:

“In the two years following Elizabeth Keen’s death, Reddington and the task force have disbanded, with Red’s whereabouts unknown; but when one of their own is injured in the line of duty, they are drawn back together to bring down a global conspiracy.”

Who is in ‘The Blacklist’ cast?

The Blacklist has always featured the tenuous partnership between Red and Liz, played for the entire series by James Spader and Megan Boone, respectively. Of course, following the events of season 8, that partnership has come to an end, with only Spader continuing with the show.

Of course, there have been other members of the team that will still be around for Red to work with, including Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler, Harry Lennix as Harold Cooper, Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma, Amir Arison as Aram Mojtabai and Laura Sohn as Alina Park.

While not part of the cast, creator Jon Bokenkamp also exited the series as showrunner at the end of season 8, with John Eisendrath taking over lead creative duties after having been with the show since 2014.

When does ‘The Blacklist’ air?

The last of NBC’s fall primetime lineup to debut, The Blacklist will air weekly on Thursdays at 8 p.m. This makes it the lead-in for Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime.

This was not always going to be the plan. The Thursday air date is a change from season 8 when The Blacklist aired on Wednesdays. However, NBC needed to fill its 8 p.m. Thursday slot after it cancelled a new Law & Order spinoff before it really got going. So, the network simply slid The Blacklist into the open space.

In addition to airing live each Thursday on NBC, the latest episodes of The Blacklist will also be available to stream the next day on Peacock and Hulu. 

Heads up though, The Blacklist will be on the move again in February 2022, as it will be moved to Friday's at 8 p.m. starting Feb. 25 to make room for the Law & Order revival, which will join its sister programs Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime on Thursdays starting Feb. 24.

Is there a ‘The Blacklist’ season 9 trailer?

Network TV shows don’t usually offer full length trailers for their upcoming seasons, especially ones that rely on twists and turns like The Blacklist does, but we still do have a trailer for the premiere of The Blacklist. It’s not a lot, but the trailer confirms that Red’s journey isn’t over yet. 

How to watch ‘The Blacklist’

NBC is one of the four major broadcast networks that has a local affiliate station in just about every TV market across the U.S. As such, it is included on just about every traditional cable/satellite pay-TV subscription, all of the major live TV streaming services (including Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV) and can even be received the old-fashioned way, with a TV antenna picking up the local station’s signal. 

There are also multiple streaming options available to viewers if they aren’t able to watch the show live or have cut the cord from cable. The first is the NBCUniversal-owned Peacock streaming service. Via Peacock Premium, which is available at either $4.99 per month (with ads) or $9.99 per month (ad free), subscribers can get the latest episode of The Blacklist the day after it airs on broadcast. The same option is available for Hulu subscribers as well. These streaming services also offer previous seasons of The Blacklist

Subscribers to pay-TV or live TV streaming service can also watch The Blacklist on-demand through the NBC website.

Past seasons of The Blacklist are also available to watch on Netflix.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.