'The Blacklist' Renewed For Season 9 Amid #1 Blacklister Reveal

The Blacklist Raymond Red Reddington James Spader NBC
Will Hart / NBC

And the great news just keeps on coming! Hot on the heels of “The Blacklist” returning with new Season 8 episodes this past Friday (January 22), NBC has added to the happy tidings. The network has renewed the veteran crime drama for Season 9 and promised a huge – scratch that – massive reveal for this season.

Before you get worried that you will have to wait until the Season 8 finale to learn everything, take heart, and hold onto your fedora. In a press release, “The Blacklist” announced that this Friday’s new episode will be the one to unveil tantalizing and highly coveted info. (Drum roll, please.) Airing January 29 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, “The Blacklist” will reveal who is #1 on the titular blacklist.

Edit Note: This story has gotten edited to reflect that Liz got moved into the #1 spot on the titular blacklist in the January 22 episode.

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What makes this reveal interesting is that viewers supposedly learned who #1 is. After Liz attempted to murder Red, he subsequently told Cooper to put Liz at the top of the list. That the press release indicates it is a reveal suggests there could be more than meets the eye. There was obviously a #1 before Liz arrived on the scene, makes which this long-time fan of “The Blacklist” wonder. 

Will viewers finally learn who was the original numero uno on Red’s highly-secretive black book of much sought-after FBI targets? The series heavily hinted that Liz would take over that spot in the January 22 episode. Until then, the NBC drama had kept the #1 spot an elusive secret from the series’ viewers and its characters for eight seasons. Hence, the hype! Here is the excerpt from NBC’s press release exactly:

After profiling over 150 blacklisters in eight seasons, the audience of die-hard fans are about to learn the identity of the #1 criminal on THE BLACKLIST!

I am ready to find out who it is and am undoubtedly not alone. The news is pretty huge, and it could set up a ripple effect that rolls through Season 9. That is if “The Blacklist” reveals who was #1 before Liz seemed to claim that spot. Who could that #1 criminal be? For context, Katarina Rostova was #3, and “The Blacklist” proved she was a force for Red to reckon with, and painfully at that. So, what does that mean for #1 and Red? 

Well, my theory is that the original #1 could be whoever Red actually is. Remember, “Red” is an imposter, posing as the real Raymond Reddington. The real Red is supposedly dead. Faux Red’s identity has subsequently confounded viewers (and Liz) ever since that doozy of a reveal played out way back in Season 5 of “The Blacklist.” 

Whether the identity of the original #1 on the blacklist relates to Red’s true identity, whoever it was would be a massive piece to the series’ elaborate puzzle. The web of information has sprawled out and through the crime drama’s run and will now continue to unravel into Season 9. That renewal should be a welcome relief for fans enjoying the ride. In related news, here is the synopsis for this Friday’s revelatory episode: 

As Red and the Task Force search for Liz, she sets a new plan in motion that has catastrophic consequences. 

Is someone going to die? “The Blacklist” hinting about catastrophe does not sound like the most uplifting tease. Of course, death is not the only disaster that Liz’s plan could unleash. When will she ever learn? My guess is never, but we shall see. 

I do not know where I read it, but Raymond Reddington had been highly speculated as being #1 on the list by some fans. Of course, that was before the revelation that there is a real and fake Raymond Reddington and Liz taking the top spot. Thus, that fan theory could turn out to be true with a twist. For now, you can check out NBC’s full social media info card below: 

The Blacklist Elizabeth Liz Keen Megan Boone NBC
Sony Pictures Television
Liz out front and Red in the shadows. Nice! On that note, who do you believe was #1 on Red’s blacklist before Liz claimed it? Will that even get revealed, and if so, could it tie into Red’s real identity? Has the original #1 been hiding under our noses all of this time? If it is Red, that will turn out to be the case. 

Whoever it is, I am excited to found out the undoubted truth about this one. Tune in to find out if the original #1 on “The Blacklist” gets revealed when Season 8 continues on Friday, January 29, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Oh, and stay tuned for Season 9 to premiere in the future.