Sep. 23, 2013
Returning Series
60 min.
NBC TV Network

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The Blacklist tv show photo

The Blacklist

For decades, ex-government agent Raymond "Red" Reddington has been one of the FBI's Most Wanted fugitives after brokering deals for criminals across the globe. Now, he's mysteriously surrendered to the FBI with an explosive offer: He will help catch a long-thought-dead terrorist, Ranko Zamani, under the condition that he speaks only to Elizabeth "Liz" Keen, an FBI profiler fresh out of Quantico.

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Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • Kiefer Sutherland was considered for the part of Red.
  • SPOILER: The 6 digit number Red receives from Wujing 042983. April 29 1983 is the real birthday of Megan Boone, the actress who plays Elizabeth Keen. This number was used by Red to access ViCAP where he found Lucy Brooks aka Jolene Parker.
  • Diego Klattenhoff who plays Agent Donald Ressler appeared as Team Leader on an episode of Stargate SG-1 in "Stargate SG-1" (1997) {Ex Deus Machina (#9.7)}, which was based on the movie Stargate Stargate that starred The Blacklist star James Spader.
  • Red's signature fedora came about as a result of a suggestion from series star James Spader.
  • Agent Ressler is loosely based on Robert K. Ressler, a former FBI agent and author, who played a significant role in the psychological profiling of violent offenders in the 1970s and is often credited with coining the English term "serial killer". He was also fundamental in the setting up of the ViCAP system . (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program )
  • Creator Jon Bokenkamp loosely based Raymond Reddington character on the real-life Boston mafia boss, 'James 'Whitey Bulger. As explained at the 2013 Comic-Con panel, many news stories concerning Bulger's arrest and trial were prevalent at the time. Bokenkamp tossed around a few "what if?" scenarios and came up with the basic concept of the show, anchored by the nefarious "concierge of crime" we now know as Red. Although Spader came in very late to the concept (within approximately two weeks of the principal shooting of the pilot), he can be credited with largely contributing to the final "look" of Reddington: closely cropped hair, hat collection, Rx shades (for practicality - Spader really does need them to see), iconically tailored vest-tie-trousers-shirt ensemble, and the infamously expensive ($5,000?) all-weather navy blue coat. As for the acerbic humor & raconteur tendencies of Red? Spader claims these were already present in the pilot script, however one can't help but think that the writers expanded these qualities once they got to know Spader a bit better.
  • Rachel Brosnahan (Lucy Brooks/Jolene Parker), Reed Birney (Tom Connolly), and Mozhan Marnò (Samar Navabi) were all part of the cast of House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey.
  • The birth date listed on the Raymond Reddington wanted posters is the actual birth date of actor James Spader (February 7, 1960).
  • Many of The Blacklist actors also appear in Homeland: e.g. Amir Arison played Prince Farid Bin Abbud in season 1, Diego Klattenhoff was Mike Faber in seasons 1-3, Omid Abtahi (Khan of S02E09) was Raqim Faisel in season 1, William Sadler (Sam of S01E08) was Michael Higgins in season 3, and Mark Ivanir (Ivan of S01E17) was Ivan Krupin in season 5.
  • SPOILER: As said on the FBI's top ten most wanted fugitives at the end of season two, Raymond Reddington's official charges are: sabotage, destruction of government property, conspiracy, unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, rico violations, weapons violations.
  • SPOILER: When Megan Boone became pregnant her pregnancy was written into the show, rather than resorting to various 'tricks of the trade' to conceal it.
  • Bazzel Baz, who plays Red's chief of security Baz, is a veteran US marine and a former member of CIA's Special Operations Group. He is the founder of the Association for the Recovery of Children (ARC), which rescues abducted children. In 1991-2012, they had conducted 56 successful rescues.
  • Prior to the episode "Cape May" the title of every episode was the name of a criminal on the blacklist.
  • Mr. Kaplan is named after the character Cary Grant played in the Alfred Hitchcock movie North by Northwest.
  • James Spader's car on the show is a Mercedes Benz S550.
  • Andrew McCarthy (who directed 6 episodes) appeared in "Pretty In Pink" and in "Less Than Zero" with James Spader (Ray Reddington).
  • SPOILER: The origin of Mr Kaplan's name is revealed season 4, episode 17.
  • The birth date on the "Ten Most Wanted" poster for Raymond 'Red' Reddington is February 7, 1960, the birth date of James Spader.
  • The scene where Agent Keen and Reddington visit the restaurant in Quebec was actually filmed at Schiller's Liquor Bar in the Lower East Side, New York City. The slim mirror on the tiled columns, ambiance, and the unique Men's bathroom sink, with the exposed/hung pipes, are in that restaurant.
  • Nina Simone's "Sinner Man" plays in the Montreal restaurant scene, with clear references to the scene in The Thomas Crown Affair where Pierce Brosnan 's character sets off the fire alarm.
  • The code Reddington receives from Wujing in the envelope is 042983. In reality, this is actress Megan Boone's, who plays Elizabeth Keene on the show, birth date.
  • SPOILER: In this episode, when Red is playing chess by himself one can hear the sound of children playing. This same audio clip can be heard in Ozzy Osborne's song "Mr. Tinkertrain" and originates from the movie "Sometimes They Come Back" scene 11.
  • SPOILER: The picture the Red takes out of the book is the picture of Berlin's daughter.
  • Santiago Meza Lopez, who has been dubbed the 'Stew maker', confessed to disposing of at least 300 bodies over a decade by dumping them in graves and pouring acid on them to let them dissolve underground. This episode's title character is similar to the real person.
  • The Farmer's Parable that Red tells The Stewmaker and Lizzy is essentially the premise of The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976).
  • The painting that Reddington sells over the phone is "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee" by Rembrandt. The painting was stolen from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as part of a $500 million dollar art heist in 1990.
  • The drug-tampering incident Red mentions in the park is a real life incident, and one of the reasons that over the counter medication containers come with tamper-proof seals.
  • Harry Lennix and Robert Sean Leonard appeared together in "House M.D." (2004) {DNR (#1.9)}.
  • When they are interviewing Frederick Barnes's old research assistant, she says about Barnes (Robert Sean Leonard), "Frederick was obsessive. Every research problem was like a puzzle that He had to solve". That quote is easily a nod to and perfect description of House's Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), the best friend of Dr. James Wilson (played by Leonard).
  • General Ludd blows up a plane leaving Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., the same airport from Die Hard 2: Die Harder. This episode also sees the introduction of William Sadler to the cast as Lizzie's father; Sadler played the villain in Die Hard 2: Die Harder.

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