EXCLUSIVE: NBC has given an early Season 7 renewal to veteran thriller drama The Blacklist, from Davis Entertainment, Sony Pictures TV and Universal TV.

I hear the pickup had been in the works for awhile. Standard broadcast series’ cast contracts are for six years. While I hear The Blacklist star James Spader had renegotiated his deal early on, adding an extra year, the rest of the show’s original cast members’ contracts were up at the end of the current sixth season. I hear over the past several months, Sony TV inked new pacts with co-lead Megan Boone and the other two original series regular cast members Diego Klatenhoff and Harry Lennix. Securing the core cast paved the way to a Season 7 renewal.

The Blacklist was a massive hit when it debuted on NBC in 2013 behind The Voice on Monday. It took a hit when the network in Season 2 relocated it to shore up Thursday night, using a post-Super Bowl airing to give it a pop. While The Blacklist never came close to the ratings heights of its first season on Monday, it has been a relatively consistent ratings performer, boosted by solid DVR gains. It has been a reliable utility player which had been assigned 5 different time slots on four different nights over its six seasons to day, most recently Friday 9 PM this season.

Airing on a low-trafficked Friday night, The Blacklist is averaging a respectable 1.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.3 million viewers overall in Live+7 Nielsen ratings. It’s been a strong delayed gainer, growing by 119% from Live+Same Day to L+7  in adults 18-49 (from a 0.57 rating to a 1.25) and by 3.4 million viewers (3.9 million to 7.3 million).

NBC

The Blacklist is also this season’s #1 most upscale drama on the Big 4 networks among adults 18-49 living in homes with $100K+ incomes, indexing at a 140 among those viewers in L+7 results, which is important when selling advertising.

Additionally, because of NBCUniversal’s ownership in the show (initially 25%, increased to 50% early in the series’ run), NBC has a financial incentive to keep The Blacklist on the air. The show also is a big profits generator for Sony TV  from international sales and the lucrative SVOD pact with Netflix.

“Congratulations to our amazing producers, cast and crew, all of whom continue to work at the top of their game and make The Blacklist one of NBC’s signature series,” said Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, Co-Presidents of Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment.

NBC
NBC

In addition to Spader, Boone, Klattenhoff and Lennix, The Blacklist also stars Amir Arison, Mozhan Marnò and Hisham Tawfiq.

Jon Bokenkamp, John Eisendrath, John Davis, John Fox, James Spader, Lukas Reiter, J.R. Orci, Carla Kettner and Laura A. Benson serve as executive producers.

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