The Blacklist Shocker: Why The Creator Is Leaving The Show After Season 8 Finale

The Blacklist dropped some big surprises throughout Season 8 (or any of the seven seasons before it), and the long-running NBC drama is also still dropping jaws behind the scenes the day after its deadly season finale aired. Following in the footsteps of now-former star Megan Boone, whose exit from The Blacklist made waves prior the the season's end, series creator and showrunner Jon Bokenkamp has shockingly revealed that he is also making a grand departure ahead of Season 9.

With fans still reeling about what went down in the Season 8 finale with Megan Boone's Liz, as well as the presumed identity confirmation of James Spader's Red, The Blacklist's Jon Bokenkamp took to Twitter to reveal to the fandom that he was parting ways with his creation, effective immediately. Here's how he explained it:

Dear Blacklisters: I wanted to write you directly to let you know that I've made the difficult decision to leave The Blacklist. I love this show with all of my heart, and it's been an incredible journey, but after eight years I feel it's time for me to step out of my comfort zone, try something new, and explore a few of the other characters and stories that have been crawling around in my head.

Like Megan Boone's touching farewell to fans, Jon Bokenkamp followed up his justification with praise for the fandom, pointing out how much viewers' faithfulness impacted him, while also hyping up how massively creative the show's fans are on social media. Here's some of his fan love:

While I'm excited about this next chapter, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I have mixed emotions about my departure. The Blacklist is a family, and saying goodbye is difficult. I already miss my fellow writers, the brilliant cast and our fearless crew, but more than anything I will miss all of you - the fans. I've penned my share of screenplays that were never made and are sitting on a shelf gathering dust, which is why this experience has been such a blessing. Having the ability to tell a new story every week - to an audience excited to watch - is a dream come true. . . . I am likely biased, but the Blacklist fanbase is not only the most dedicated and ravenous in television, but whip smart and hard as hell to fool. You are the lifeblood of our show, and it's your enthusiasm that leave me feeling - more than anything - grateful.

Jon Bokenkamp ended his announcement by basically affirming that he didn't leave the show because he thought it was creatively bankrupt, saying that he thinks it's still "full of life" in that respect. Plus, he now gets to sit back and watch the show's remaining seasons as a fan for the first time, which is an added bonus in his book. Now to see who The Blacklist's producers find to take his spot as the new showrunner.

As fans wait for more news about The Blacklist Season 9, with hopefully some of it not involving people leaving, Season 8 episodes are available to stream on Hulu, and there are more than enough 2021 Summer TV shows to keep your mind off of The Blacklist's big changes for the near future.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.