NBC renews 'The Blacklist' for Season 2

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NBC has renewed its freshman series, "The Blacklist," for a 22-episode Season 2. Although the James Spader-led show has not finished its first season yet, it will return for the full 2014-2015 television season.

This surprising early renewal comes after a fall of highly rated "Blacklist" episodes. The show is the number 1 drama in the 18-49 demo and has set records for live-plus-viewing. Starring Spader as "Red" Reddington -- an international criminal helping the FBI to further his own ends -- and Megan Boone as FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen, the show has been a critical as well as a ratings hit. Created by Jon Bokenkamp, the series also stars Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix, Ryan Eggold and Parminder Nagra.

"The success of 'The Blacklist' demonstrates that inspired storytelling is alive and well in broadcast television, and I'm impressed on a daily basis by this creative team's imagination and the extent to which they will go to capture this grand vision on film," NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. "With gratitude to both our partners at Sony Pictures Television and our NBC development executives who took a great script and shepherded it into a great series, I hope that Red Reddington never runs out of names to bring down on his list!"

With a 4.9 rating/13 share for its recent episodes, "The Blacklist" is also the number-2 show overall in 18-49 ratings and the number 1 new network show in all demographics. For the first 8 weeks of its run, "The Blacklist" holds the NBC ratings record for new dramas going back 19 years to "Earth 2" in 1994.

"The Blacklist" airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC and will return with new episodes in 2014.

Photo/Video credit: NBC