The Blacklist Got A Ratings Boost From Almost Executing Red

Red on The Blacklist, photo courtesy of NBC 2019
(Image credit: Photo courtesy of NBC.)

The Blacklist is currently airing its sixth season and the stakes have been amped up considerably. This week, following the big episode with Red nearly getting executed, the numbers are in. The NBC drama definitely got a ratings boost from a wild storyline involving Red escaping death (again).

Per NBC, Friday’s episode of The Blacklist brought in 4.1 million total viewers and a .6 rating in the 18-49 demographic when it aired at 9 p.m. ET. Those numbers are fairly impressive for a Friday night on network TV, but what’s most notable about them is that they are a ratings boost for the series.

In fact, the episode in question, "Bastien Moreau: Conclusion," was the second episode in a two-parter that matched a season high in the 18-49 demographic. In addition, it also grew 20% week over week in the 18-49 demo and 22% in overall viewers.

It also is up from the show that aired in the timeslot on Friday nights before The Blacklist. Earlier this year, Midnight, Texas was airing in the 9 p.m. slot on Friday nights. Ultimately, NBC opted to cancel that supernatural series.

The Blacklist has been pretty wild ever since Red pleaded guilty and was put on death row. More specific spoilers to follow. We got to the point where Red was nearly injected with a needle and executed on the show, because in the world of The Blacklist there’s no such thing as appeals. Luckily, Cooper had a backup plan to blackmail the President into letting Red help solve a case. The band got back together, albeit with Red wearing an ankle monitor, and a prison break was later staged to keep Red off executioner's row for now, although he's back on the Most Wanted list.

Friday was a big day for NBC overall as Blindspot also grew 16% in total viewers and Dateline was up a whopping 26% in total viewers. This was true even though an NBC station in San Francisco was preempted to play Major League Baseball. Blindspot ended up with 3 million total viewers and a .4 rating and Dateline ended up with 3.6 million viewers and a .8 rating.

None of these numbers were enough to win the night in either 18-49 viewers or total viewers. In fact, the NCAA tournament on CBS far and away blew other content out on Friday night this weekend, although typically on Friday nights Last Man Standing and regular CBS programming shows the highest numbers.

However, I think it is a little telling that the numbers for The Blacklist have been increasing thanks to this Red storyline. The Blacklist has already been renewed for Season 7 and heading into that season 22 episodes are expected to be produced. So, it's clear the network thinks the Friday timeline is panning out. The Blacklist kicked off Season 6 in January this year, so while a lot of shows are approaching spring finales, the NBC drama starring James Spader and Megan Boone is only in the middle of its season. You can catch up on new episodes when the show airs on Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET, after The Blindspot.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.