Fall TV Preview

Blacklist Bosses Talk 'Different Feel' of Season 3 — Plus: Watch a New Trailer

Public-service announcement for longtime fans of Raymond Reddington & Co.: The Blacklist‘s upcoming third season won’t be the same series to which you’ve grown accustomed.

Although EP John Eisendrath tells TVLine that Season 3 (premiering Oct. 1 at 9/8c) will “still be delivering blacklisters” and will stay true to its procedural roots, he also previews that the James Spader-fronted series “will have a different feel” in its upcoming year, given the events of last May’s finale.

To refresh your memory, Liz Keen gunned down Attorney General Tom Connolly in the Season 2 ender, making her a fugitive alongside Red. With her photo now on the FBI’s Most Wanted bulletin board, Liz’s former colleagues — led by Agent Ressler — will be tasked with apprehending her.

The Blacklist Season 3“That’s going to cause a lot of tension between those on the task force, each of whom has a very specific point of view about the value of [arresting Liz],” Eisendrath continues. “Ressler is a dogged, by-the-book guy who is going to bring [Liz and Red] in. At the same time, we have found opportunities for Red and Liz to convince the FBI that one of the best ways to keep track of them is to assist them in going after certain blacklisters, who Red and Liz are going after in order to exonerate Liz.”

According to series creator Jon Bokenkamp, Season 3 isn’t a complete reinvention of the show, but “it is a great shot of adrenaline. There’s a real energy and urgency, and it came from an organic place.”

That said, the producers are still in no rush to address the overarching mystery of the show — that is, Red’s cryptic relationship to Liz, parts of which the audience has been clued in on throughout the past two years.

“We will give hints. There will be echoes of questions that we will bring up about [Liz’s] mother,” Eisendrath promises. “We will infuse the episodes with some of that, but a lot of the beginning is, ‘What’s happening now? How are they going to escape Ressler? Are they going to avoid capture?'”

Adds Bokenkamp: “I understand that there’s an appetite to want the whole truth. But the whole truth won’t come until the end, and along the way, many breadcrumbs have been laid out. We’re definitely working toward an endgame.”

Blacklist fans, what are your biggest hopes for Season 3? Drop ’em in the comments below — after you watch the latest trailer above, featuring a newly blonde (!) Liz.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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68 Comments
  1. John says:

    So they are still going to drag on the Red/Liz connection …. I dropped last year and was going to give another try but maybe not. Plus didn’t they see the ratings drop last season? The need to give answers ASAP.

    • Simon Jester says:

      The ratings dropped because they moved from a cushy Monday timeslot to a more competitive Thursday one. And if you dropped last season, you missed several reveals on the subject of their relationship.

      • John says:

        Sure the move hurt it but go back and look at its first 8 eps from the fall.. Ratings were dropping slowly and down from S1

        • Gern Blanston says:

          I just looked them up and until the move to Thursdays the ratings from season to season weren’t even down a million viewers per episode. They were steady as well and not really falling all that much. It was the move that messed with the ratings.

          • johnhelvete says:

            The mistake NBC made was not moving the Blacklist to Thursdays at 9pm at the start of the season, which allowed ABC/TGIT lineup to become entrenched on Thursdays. Of course that is 20/20 hindsight based on knowing the outcome.

          • pixieballs says:

            Since they moved The Blacklist to Thursday the ratings stopped falling (though it has little to with timeslot and more with the quality of 2B over 2A). In the premiered with 1.7 demo and finished with 1.6 and average rating for e11-e22 is 1.6.
            NBC must be quite happy with how the show performs if they didn’t move it back on Mondays.Thursday night is more competitive, but also probably more profitable to the channel.

            The main problem with The Blacklist ratings is low young adult demo. Which is what they are trying to fix by pairing it with Heroes Reborn, I think.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      I love the show but “what is the relationship between character A and B’ isn’t that compelling of a mystery to hang an entire series around.

      • John says:

        Yea… Sometimes too much question with no answers can backfire

      • Olivia says:

        I agree. I love this show and I can’t wait for S3 to start but their connection needs to be addressed asap. Because even I, as much as I love watching this show, will get tired of not getting a clear answer eventually. The feeling is shared in my house and among my friends and I’m sure lots of people will get frustrated as the season progresses.
        That being said, the trailer has me excited!

      • Susannah says:

        It’s funny because the mystery behind Red and Liz’s relationship is what drew me to the show but now it might drive me away because it’s never resolved. Just a whole lot of, “If I tell you everything Liz it will put you in grave danger.”
        Well, she’s in grave danger now, so spill!

  2. Al says:

    “Ressler is a dogged, by-the-book guy”

    Isn’t this the same guy who had a drug problem?

    So this mystery will drag on… The longer it drags makes it harder for the reveal to be satisfying.

    • johnhelvete says:

      I completely agree about dragging out the mystery. At a certain point, fans get fatigue from following the “breadcrumbs” because half of the “breadcrumbs” will likely not really mean all that much when the final puzzle is revealed. Ressler is a fairly bad character.

  3. Laurel says:

    What an incredible mountain residence!

  4. Joey Padron says:

    good scoop about new season. trailer for new season looks good. can’t wait for show to be back!

  5. Lindsay says:

    I hope when he says endgame, he doesn’t mean the end of the series; the mystery of their past has been drawn out long enough. In fact I tend to groan anytime they talk about it. I enjoy the show a lot and like Keen and Red’s dynamic, but the whole back story mystery? Blah.

    On a side note, I access this website on my phone and I am getting really annoyed with all the full page pop up ads. Ugh!

  6. DL says:

    I’m sorry, but it’s a lousy mystery to drag out over now three seasons. Any worthwhile writer would have answered that question and then moved on to address the bigger overarching problem — who is #1 on the Blacklist and why is he (or she) after Red?

    • Anthony says:

      I’d have to agree with you. It makes no sense to keep their relationship connection dragged out for so long. Fans will get tired quick and they should know patience nowadays is not what it use to be. Tell us the connection and then if they want to drag something else for further seasons let it be who’s #1 on the blacklist.

  7. Mr. Tran K says:

    Liz Keen now being blonde is kind of a Alias-esque feel to it like Jennifer Garner’s character going undercover using different hairstyles. Can’t wait until October 1st when the new season of Blacklist begins and people still complaining about the whole Thursdays @ 9 thing because NBC hopes to revamp its Thursday night line-up with Heroes Reborn, Blacklist and the new series The Player. Complain if you dare.

    • Anthony says:

      I just hope while she’s trying to clear her name she doesn’t get knocked out by every person she’s fighting. She’s always getting taken out and then commercial and Red or someone else has to save her. Your an FBI agent. How can you be caught off guard that many times?

  8. davido says:

    Here’s an idea to revitalize the show and bring back the ratings: STOP this ridiculous, contrived, dragged out “mystery” of Red and Liz relationship. It has gotten tiresome. Just tell us what it is, and build the show around it. Plus Liz isn’t interesting enough to hold the show for long.

  9. Marci says:

    It’s annoying when showrunners drag out certain subplots season after season. Why not let us know Liz and Red’s relationship now and be done with it? Then we could focus on what sounds like an intriguing story line for this coming season.

    • Sheila says:

      YES! Everything you said. The fallout from the reveal plus new knowledge could bring new story to the program. They should just spit it out. The breadcrumbs don’t make me hungry; they make me want to get a dustbuster.

  10. So Happy says:

    Absolutely thrilled and excited for Season 3 to begin! :0)

  11. arial2 says:

    I just hope they do have an “endgame” planned. So many series just wander off with implausible denouements for the series’ primary mysteries. I want this show to work up to a solid, believable explanation of Red’s interest in and concern for Elizabeth.

  12. CK2 says:

    Yeah, there is no reveal that is going to make it worth the wait at this point. Unless they pull some insane game/series changing scifi mythos out of the blue to describe the relationship (Reddington is actually Keen’s some from the future or something crazier), it is going to be extremely disappointing.

  13. Rose says:

    Look, there is no mystery!
    Clearly Red is Liz’s Uncle – her Mother’s brother! Honestly people, go back through the episodes from the first year – they dropped enough clues!
    This isn’t that hard – Red clearly says he’s not her father but he never says they’re not related!
    The woman in the picture from the “Stewmaker” episode that Red is constantly staring at and kills the baddie over is Liz’s Mom – and his sister!

  14. Vlad3 says:

    Tired of Red and Liz. I’m more excited about Ressler and the task force.

    • Jean Alica says:

      I did once consider Red as her Uncle but I think that is to easy now and I think has more to do with the general mythology of the show. Just because some people do not have patience the show should just wrap itself around them. There are lots of people who like the show and the main characters. What do you watch anyway ? Something with instant gratification. Just to give the couple of young English fans on Megan Boone’s tweet who were having problem getting access to the Blacklist promos. Just ask for them on you tube and you will get all three. There are three girls but one is on holiday with her school. She is mine. I like the task force to Vlad 3 but I also the idea of of whats coming now. It seems fast and I think we will find the the contrast fun. I’m more interested Liz’s scar. It has always puzzled us. I think we are going to learn more about Liz and Red’s Identity. Given we do not know a great deal about Red at all. Naval intelligence. Married? More than once? We have seen him under pressure in Anslow Garrick and Braxton one and two. That is going to take some beating.

  15. Michael says:

    Consider the possibility that the writers don’t even know what the link between Red and Liz is. How many shows have you seen that start out with a compelling mystery and when they FINALLY reveal it you are left thinking you’ve wasted your time? TV writers know how to start shows and keep them going. They have no idea how to end them in satisfying ways. It’s a function of their employment.

    • Jean Alica says:

      James Spader knows the end game Michael and has said the is no point in revealing it until the end.

    • Olivia says:

      Wait, let me see… Lost, Dexter, HIMYM, PLL, Gossip Girl (although I’ve never watched it, it was pretty hard to avoid the disappointment of the fans), probably others that I haven’t watched and at this rate, The Blacklist seems on its merry way to become a serious contender for the “worst TV show finales” lists out there.
      Sad but if TPTB don’t see that it’s better to reveal it asap than flopping at the end then how we’re supposed to invest in future projects of theirs… on second thought, we’re the stupid bunch for going along with that mentality. This season will be make it or break it for me.

  16. Teri says:

    Would love to see Liz make a pass at Red, like a kiss, to show her gratitude & developing feels for him.

  17. Dawn Pennington says:

    I hope to see Tom Keen this season!

  18. mystic says:

    A great season 3…I hope… a new dynamic…It’s cool… I love the dynamic between red and liz and the chemistry between liz and tom.. They are extraordinary together..

  19. Marie Cloe says:

    Would love to see Tom and Liz build their relationship as lovers and allies under Red’s guidance – adds a dimension taking things from just “Is Red Lis’s Dad” to can Red teach his proteges to survive and thrive?

  20. Kay says:

    i hope the writers clear up the uncertainty of the facts surrounding Red and Liz , as father daughter. In season one Red killed Liz’s adoptive dad for suggesting that Red had to tell Liz that he was her father. So all the new developments seem unclear because we are pretty sure Liz is Red’s daughter. This needs to be clarified because the show doesn’t flow correctly. People are getting frustrated and won’t watch the show and I, personally, love the show and I don’t want to see it cancelled.

  21. Frank Jones says:

    Well let’s see . . . Liz’s mother was a KGB “asset” and so Red was her handler. We know that the “father” in the fire was arguing about the fulcrum and “that it is the only thing keeping me alive.” So, Liz’s mother was assigned to get it from him and getting caught leads to the argument. Liz as child shoots “father” in fire. The mystery is how the fire started. Most likely to cover up the scene of the crime. Perhaps mother thought Liz ran out of house she instead was in closet. Liz screams in the fire. Red saves Liz from the fire. Both are burned. She is taken away to a safe house – the step-father. Red leaves his family that night on the run telling everyone he has the Fulcrum. This is to save the mother and Liz – who is Red’s child.

    Not watching the show?

    • Jean Alica says:

      The man who put little Liz in the closet had an academy ring. So if not father Red could be an Uncle or a Navel friend of her father It might have been this friend he was handling for his intelligence department. I had forgotten that particular item about the ring. I think they have put the father thing to bed now but I agree with you that Red might have slept with a female KGB operative and be entrance by her for a number of years. This may be why he does like not like Tom because he can see the trouble that a certain type of relationships can cause and know they are unlikely to last.

  22. Would like to see Tom and Liz together in some sort of a relationship as this was a great part of the show. They have a great chemistry. She needs something to make it interesting because she comes across as too boring.

    • Jean Alica says:

      I like Liz and Red together and separate. I can see Tom doing a number of things before getting involved with Liz again. For instance he does not know what she did yet ! Liz will have other things on her mind, like avoiding arrest and staying alive. Much of this may be in Reddingtons company and I guess with that blond hair she will remind him of her mother. I think there is more about her past that she will want to explore(Greg)? Red though is the real mystery. We know he was in Naval intelligence and he was married with a daughter called Jennifer. Was he married before as a very young man? What happened there if this was so? I do think he had a very deep relationship with someone and it ruined him. This is why he is protective of Liz concerning relationships.

  23. Yvonne De says:

    They dragged the connection between them…It is time to confirm that they are father and daughter…..Then they can work together with trust….Maybe as international detectives…I love him..I was sad when Boston Legal ended. He is a wonderful actor. He should be the center of the show…then Liz. His protection of her is good…He has done things in his past that he uses to go after the “bad guys.”…I did like the show but I got bored with Liz ….Maybe now things will change for the better…..I would say better writers…….I will be watching …

    • PAT SLADICK says:

      Better writers and plots would certainly add to the show. The leads don’t have to be in every episode. Give some of the others a longer part. They are all excellent actors. 2 years of guessing the connection between Red and Liz is way too long.

  24. Debbie says:

    Why are you working toward an end game. I love the series and James Spader is absolutely an incredible actor. Hopefully we will be looking at a trailer for season 4 this time next year !

  25. ava says:

    I want to see more about Red’s storyline!!To understand who he is to Liz?! I hope to see more evil blacklisters that they cant catch and the good gays defeat!!! I can’ t wait..

  26. ” -We wont hurt you, however we’ll lock you in the bathroom.
    -Gracias”

    HAHAHAHAHA <3 Red

  27. tsevca says:

    That looks fun.

  28. John says:

    Liz will fall i nlove with Red. season 3 finale.

  29. Ann says:

    Spader has said it would be “too easy” if he were her father plus she point blank asked him in season one if he was and he immediately said no. So I do not think anymore that is the route they’ll take. Tom and Liz bored me in the beginning but towards the end of season 1 when things got tense it became interesting. I liked Tom and Liz’s goodbye session on the boat. And that ship has sailed for me lol. I want to see Ressler get out of that rule book box he comfortably constructs for himself and as much as he would ever bend the rules he has done it both for her and admitted his flaws (drugs) to her. Theirs is the chemistry I want to see develop as the series progresses and see them both take one another in uncomfortable places. Red and Keen’s chemistry is great too in a family/mystery sort of way but Liz is the character that saves as much as she may get “saved”. In several scenes she has led the charge with a gun and her partner trusted her abilities to lead them to safety. How refreshing from 30 years ago when the female cop usually never got to lead. So I dont mind seeing Liz get saved because she has bailed others out of danger too. I would love the team to work together again albeit out of the safety confines of the FBI. Plus I love Ressler/Red scenes. Im pretty excited about the various things going on in season 3 and Red’s secret past with Liz really isnt all that important to me to get hung up on. There is too much other stuff going on. I do want more Ressler stories versus Tom though. I think there is a lot of confusion with the Tom/Red history and seems the writers are trying to tie Tom up in areas where it feels forced. I will watch no matter what tho all criticism aside ;)

  30. Retha Coetsee says:

    Please can anyone tell me what TV Channel is S3 of Blacklist showing in South Africa? Is it also Thursday 9pm? The channel please……..we downloaded the series because we missed the start, cant find episode 3, why? We now want to follow the episodes on Tv, but what chanel???

  31. Deb England says:

    You all have painted Liz as a person with a background where her parents have abandon her at 4 years old. Red and Tom both love her but sadly are not good at heart. Can kill to fit their agenda. Ressler is a man with a moral code. Today’s society needs to see someone with honesty and principles win. Comments have been made that Ressler is the moral compass of the show. He is human and makes mistakes, can take a beating in stride. He should win a woman like Lizzie. Ressler and Keen.

  32. Wilda says:

    Iam actually thankful to the owner of this site who hass shred this great piece of writing at here.

  33. Mitch says:

    Brilliant SHOW…keep up the intelligent writing and A Class acting. SPADER is an awesome actor and the master of suspense.. Hope this show runs quite a few more series..Please keep it going

  34. Carolyn Tyson says:

    I hated the way last night’s episode ended, no Liz anymore, she was one of the main stars, or is this just a way of keeping her safe, faking her death?? I am a huge fan of both Red and Liz, the whole cast is excellent, the whole show is probably the best series I have ever seen on TV, fantastic writers in my book!