‘The Blacklist' Is Ending With Season 10 — Why Was the Popular Crime Series Canceled?

Haylee Thorson - Author

Apr. 24 2023, Updated 8:10 a.m. ET

James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington in 'The Blacklist' Season 10
Source: NBC

After over 200 episodes and an entire decade on the air, The Blacklist’s tenth season is also its last. The long-running Emmy award-winning crime series debuted in 2013 and has consistently drawn widespread viewership.

However, cancellation rumors have accompanied recent seasons, and now the time is finally here. Why is the network giving it the boot?

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With only a few more episodes left, fans are devastated that The Blacklist is ending. So we explore the ins and outs of why it's ending along with when the final episode of The Blacklist will be. Between learning Red's (James Spader) true identity and figuring out what his genuine relationship with Liz Keen (Megan Boone) was, there's still plenty to learn in The Blacklist's final episodes.

James Spader as Raymond Reddington in 'The Blacklist'
Source: NBC
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Why did ‘The Blacklist’ get canceled? Here's why 'The Blacklist' is ending after 10 seasons.

On Feb. 1, 2023, NBC released a statement revealing that Season 10 would be The Blacklist’s final season. “After ten years, hundreds of Blacklist cases, and more than 200 episodes produced, we’re honored to reach our conclusion,” said showrunner and executive producer John Eisendrath. “We appreciate our dedicated fanbase who came along for this wonderful ride and are excited to share this final season with them.”

“It isn’t often that a series resonates so deeply with an audience that it airs for ten 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,” said Lisa Katz, President, Scripted Content, NBCUniversal Television, and Streaming.

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Anya Banerjee as Siya Malik, James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington in 'The Blacklist' Season 10
Source: NBC

While the series’ long-standing success is no secret, NBC’s decision to end Raymond Reddington’s legacy is unsurprising. The ninth season of The Blacklist saw the departure of several main characters, such as Amir Arison’s Aram Mojtabai and Laura Sohn’s Alina Park.

And during The Blacklist’s eighth season, Megan Boone’s character, Elizabeth “Liz” Keen, departed in the series finale.

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As one of the series' original main characters, Liz's departure seemingly kickstarted the beginning of the end. After Megan left The Blacklist, James Spader, Diego Klattenhoff, and Harry Lennix were the only remaining original cast members. Additionally, The Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp exited the series after Season 8.

James Spader revealed exactly why 'The Blacklist' is ending in 2023.

"I think if the show went beyond this year, it would turn into a very different show," James said in an interview with NBC. "And 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 recognizable to me."

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With consistent cast and crew departures in recent years, the series’ cancellation makes sense. However, The Blacklist’s creators are determined to go out with a bang.

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When is the final episode of 'The Blacklist'? We're counting down (sadly) until it ends.

Even though The Blacklist Season 10 didn't premiere until Feb. 26, 2023, James Spader told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show that we should still expect a full 22-episode season. TV Line then confirmed this in November 2022. As of April 23, there have only been nine episodes of Season 10, which means there are likely 14 episodes left! So there's some good news.

While NBC execs have said it's unclear exactly when the final episode will air, we can get close to figuring out The Blacklist's finale date with some calendar math. If the show continues to air every Sunday, the finale will air on July 23, 2023. However, we must assume that NBC could take some breaks, especially for holidays such as Mother's Day, Independence Day, and Memorial Day weekends. If so, NBC could air The Blacklist series finale sometime in August.

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In fact, it filmed one of its final two episodes on April 17 in Pearl River in the Town of Orangetown on the border of N.Y. and N.J. This means it will be at least a few months until those episodes are edited in post-production and ready to air.

As Red and the FBI Task Force fight against former Blacklisters who have banded together to seek revenge, we're eager to see how Season 10 plays out, making The Blacklist's finale a bittersweet hour for all of us.

New episodes of The Blacklist air on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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