The Law & Order universe isn’t done growing despite Organized Crime premiering less than a year ago, as the original Law & Order that launched SVU back in the day is on the way back. In fact, the revival of the original series for Season 21 is coming sooner than fans might have guessed, and it will be joining SVU and Organized Crime on Thursday nights starting in February 2022. That’s good news for a full block of Law & Order action on NBC, but what it means for The Blacklist could be more complicated.
Season 21 of Law & Order (which recently cast a new star) debuts on Thursday, February 24 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, leading into Law & Order: SVU and taking The Blacklist’s spot in the process. Given the success of One Chicago taking over a full night of NBC action on Wednesdays with Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. (plus Wolf Entertainment’s FBIs over on CBS Tuesdays), it’s no surprise that NBC would want to block all the Law & Order shows together on Thursdays.
But the block of Law & Order action means that The Blacklist will lose its Thursday night slot not too long after gaining at, as it moved from Fridays at the end of Season 8 to Thursdays to start Season 9. The Blacklist will return from its winter break on January 6, but after a break for for 2022 Winter Olympics, it will go back to Fridays at 8 p.m. ET starting on February 25. And under just about any circumstances other than The Blacklist’s, being booted from a prime slot NBC Thursdays over to Fridays would be a bad thing.
Although The Blacklist did experience the expected dip when it moved from Wednesdays to Fridays to start Season 6, the show found its niche as a Friday night staple and did reasonably well before being shifted at the end of Season 8. Instead of getting a big Season 9 boost in moving to Thursdays for a more desirable slot, SpoilerTV reports that the current season is averaging a 0.34 rating and 3 million viewers, which is a dip from the Season 8 averages of 0.35 and 3.26 million.
Admittedly, a dip from 0.35 to 0.34 isn’t too huge, but it’s worth noting that the switch from Fridays to Wednesdays for the last two episodes of Season 8 didn’t deliver the best ratings, and those might have lowered the average from what it could have been if viewers could keep tuning in on Fridays. Of course, The Blacklist is historically a winner in delayed ratings, and that remains the case this season. So what does this move back to Fridays with Law & Order joining SVU and Organized Crime on Thursdays mean for The Blacklist?
In the grand scheme of things, returning to Fridays might actually be best for The Blacklist. The show survived well enough in that time slot, whereas other shows have floundered on Fridays. Like Manifest last season, The Blacklist also stuck out from the two Law & Order shows after Organized Crime premiered in April. So while only time will tell how The Blacklist does once it moves back to Fridays in February, fans shouldn’t be too pessimistic about what it means for the show’s future on NBC beyond the fall TV season.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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