Why wait for Spring when you know you have a good thing? Rhyme unintentional. The point is, The Blacklist is a hit, and sure, NBC could wait until the warmer weather to formerly renew the series for a second season, but it looks like they’ve decided to shine that green light sooner rather than later, as the Peacock announced the series’ official renewal today. This news comes a day after the series aired the second part of its two-part fall finale, which brought in strong ratings, climbing by more than a million viewers by comparison to the episode that aired last Monday night.

We already knew that NBC was set to move forward with a full first season of The Blacklist, but today the network announced that they’ve gone ahead and ordered a full 22-episode second season of the drama, which stars James Spader and Megan Boone. The series premiere introduced us to Spader’s Red Reddington, an ex-government agent turned criminal who turns himself in after spending decades on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. He agrees to help the FBI under the condition that he work directly with Boone’s Elizabeth Keen. The first half of Season 1 has centered on the developing relationship between Liz and Red, though Red’s true motives remain unclear as he continues to feed her advice and information in an effort to track and capture dangerous criminals.

NBC says The Blacklist is their most-watched new drama eight weeks into its run in 19 years, since Earth 2 in 1994. And the recent ratings suggest the series isn’t faltering. Per Deadline, last night’s episode (“Anslo Garrick”) brought in 12.3 million viewers in the fast nationals, coming in second to its series premiere in terms of the series’ overall viewership. Given that shows tend to drop in viewers after their series premiere, it’s impressive to see The Blacklist managing to hold onto so many of theirs. Of course, The Voice lead-in doesn’t hurt, but speaking as someone who doesn’t watch The Voice but does tune into The Blacklist, I like to think the series is holding up somewhat on its own merits. We’ll find out whether or not that’s the case when the show returns in January without the benefit of The Voice boost.

EW reported yesterday that NBC is bringing The Blacklist back for the second half of its first season on Monday, January 13. NBC’s choice to bring the drama back ahead of The Voice’s anticipated return is a shift from the approach they took earlier this year with Revolution, which used to air on Mondays after The Voice. In that case, NBC scheduled Revolution to return in March to coincide with the return of The Voice, likely believing/hoping the series would benefit best from the lead-in. And it probably did, but it lost a million viewers between the fall finale and the midseason premiere, and the numbers only dropped from there. The extended delay between the two episodes likely contributed at least somewhat to the drop. There’s a whole other argument that could be made about the plot direction, but that’s for another time. The point is, it’s good to see NBC bringing The Blacklist back sooner rather than later. And even better news that the drama will continue into the 2014-2015 season.

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