'The Blacklist' Season 2: Liz's mom, Red's family and more to look forward to

nbc-drama-showrunners-panel-tca-press-tour-2014.jpg "The Blacklist" executive producer John Eisendrath (far right) took part in a panel of NBC drama showrunners Sunday (July 13) at the 2014 summer TCA press tour. He fielded several questions about Season 2 of the James Spader-Megan Boone thriller, here are some highlights:

On Red's scars seen in the Season 1 finale: "I hope it did not answer the question [of whether Red is Liz's father] for the viewers. It tells us there is story yet to come about what the truth is about whether or not he is her father. This season, we're going to take the opportunity to ask and answer that question in ways that will get us closer to the ultimate truth."

On what Season 2 will focus on:
"Last season, I think some of the most successful individual moments were when James Spader's character expressed some remorse or bittersweet memories about his family or the loss or things that he experienced in the past. This year, we will explore more of his life with his family, what that was like, and bring that into the present and sort of explore relationships with people who he was incredibly close with in the past and who he hasn't been with in a long time.

"And where Liz is concerned, while their relationship will remain central to the show, she is now single and trying to start her life again after the disaster of her marriage. ... That will be central to the show as well."

Season 2 will touch on Liz's mother: "Liz came to this show with a point of view about the story of her life ... but the first year made clear that little of what she knew about herself was true. We'll continue to explore the issue with her dad and the way into it this year is for her to say, well, if the part about my dad wasn't true, what was the truth, if any, that I need to learn about my mom."

On James Spader not receiving an Emmy nomination:
"I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. I think he's certainly deserving of it. But the competition is fierce. ... I was disappointed, but I understand how that happens and we just have to continue to do the best show we can and hope we're on long enough for people to reconsider the decisions they made this year. ... But 17 million people watch 'The Blacklist.' That we didn't get Emmy nominations that I may or may not think we should have gotten is a minor bump in the road. We're incredibly lucky."

On the chemistry between Boone and Spader:
"Luck. We cast Megan first and we cast her for various reasons, one being that the part we knew was going to require a great deal of introspection, ultimately a journey that was very painful emotionally and she brought an incredible amount of that the first day we saw her. We were trying to find the person to play Red at the time and we offered the job to many actors who turned us down before we managed to get James to do the show, so I would be lying if I said, 'Oh well, we knew all along he was the only one we were going to cast.' It was as much luck as anything. ... But the parts were written so clearly by Jon Bokenkamp that once we were able to find people to embody those parts, it felt like a natural that the two people we ended up with, who were truly Red and Liz, went together the way they did."

Eisendrath also confirms that Tom's fate will be explored in Season 2, though not necessarily revealed immediately. The premiere episode won't pick up immediately either, a small amount of time will have elapsed between the Season 1 finale and the Season 2 premiere. And we haven't seen the last of Peter Stormare as Berlin.

He also tells Zap2it that Nos. 1-7 on the Blacklist have not yet been determined by the creators (remember that Berlin was No. 8), but he jokes that perhaps we've given him a good idea for the season finales -- each year can countdown to No. 1.

"The Blacklist" returns Monday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and will air for eight weeks, then go on hiatus before returning as the post-Super Bowl show in early 2015 and then moving to Thursday nights for the spring.
Photo/Video credit: NBC