NBC’s The Blacklist shut down production early on season seven in New York as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold of the state. The last completed episode of a planned 22 episode season was episode 18 which could have served as a season finale if necessary. (Many primetime series ended the 2019-2020 season with episodes not designed as finales.) However, instead of going out without a true finale, The Blacklist team came up with a unique idea for finishing up the partially completed 19th episode. They decided to switch things up and transform the unplanned season finale into a live-action/graphic novel-style animation hybrid.
Episode 19, “The Kazanjian Brothers,” will air on May 15, 2020 at 8pm ET/PT. The episode will include scenes that were filmed prior to production being shut down as well as animated scenes that feature dialogue recorded by the cast in their homes. The episode’s a massive project as everyone involved works remotely in order to stay safe and stop the spread of the virus.
In an interview with AP, series star James Spader commented on this unusual approach to completing season seven. “I was intrigued,” said Spader. “I thought that it seemed like the right thing to do, to try and finish the episode in any way that we could, and not only the episode, but to end the season.”
In addition to James Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington, season seven stars Megan Boone as Elizabeth Keen, Amir Arison as Aram Mojtabai, Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler, Harry Lennix as Harold Cooper, and Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma. Brian Dennehy and Laila Robins guest star.
The Blacklist is executive produced by John Eisendrath, Jon Bokenkamp, John Davis, John Fox, James Spader, Lukas Reiter, J.R. Orci, and Laura A. Benson.
“The Kazanjian Brothers” Plot:
“The Task Force investigates an accountant who works for lucrative criminals in order to find the violent and thuggish brothers hired for his protection. Liz must make a momentous decision. Presented in a unique hybrid of live-action and graphic novel-style animation.”