James Spader nabs 'Blacklist' pilot rumored for Kiefer Sutherland

james-spader-the-blacklist-gi.jpgNBC's action pilot "The Blacklist" has set Emmy winner James Spader to star in the lead role that was previously offered to Kiefer Sutherland.

Spader will play one of the world's most wanted criminals who inexplicably offers to work with a brand new FBI agent (played by "Law & Order: LA" alumna Megan Boone) and inform on all of his underworld associates.

The concept comes from "Taking Lives" screenwriter Jon Bokenkamp. It had been reported that NBC was pursuing Sutherland for the starring role, since the former "24" leading man's current show, "Touch," continues to struggle in the ratings.

But with Spader, "The Blacklist" has found another respected and well-known star with an established track record on the small screen. Spader won an Emmy for playing Alan Shore on "The Practice" before the character was spun off on "Boston Legal," which brought Spader three more Emmy nominations and two wins.

He then recurred on "The Office" in the 2011-2012 season. Spader also recently had a supporting role in Steven Spielberg's multi-Oscar nominated box office hit "Lincoln."
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