‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 Will Open With 2-Year Time Jump

Megan Boone-less season debuts Oct. 21

The Blacklist - Season 8
Photo by: Will Hart/NBC

“The Blacklist” Season 9, the NBC drama’s first year without now-exited star Megan Boone, will open with a time jump that will pick up with Raymond Reddington (James Spader) two years after the death of Elizabeth Keen (Boone), the network revealed Thursday.

Per NBC, “In the two years following the death of Elizabeth Keen, Raymond Reddington (James Spader) and the members of the FBI Task Force have disbanded – their lives now changed in unexpected ways and with Reddington’s whereabouts unknown. Finding themselves each at a crossroads, a common purpose compels them to renew their original mission: to take down dangerous, vicious and eccentric Blacklisters. In the process, they begin to uncover lethal adversaries, unimaginable conspiracies, and surprising betrayals that will threaten alliances and spur vengeance for the past, led by the most devious criminal of them all – Raymond Reddington.”

“The Blacklist” Season 9, which also stars Diego Klattenhoff, Amir Arison, Hisham Tawfiq, Laura Sohn and Harry Lennix, is set to debut Oct. 21 at 8/7c on NBC.

“The Blacklist” launched in 2013, with Boone starring as FBI agent Elizabeth “Liz” Keen alongside Spader as criminal mastermind Raymond “Red” Reddington. The initial premise of the series was that the pair would team up to hunt down the names on Red’s “blacklist” of dangerous criminals, with the exact nature of Red’s connection to Liz and their shared backstory serving as one of the driving mysteries throughout the eight seasons.

Heading into its June finale, with Boone’s exit having been planned well in advance, all signs pointed to the show finally delivering answers. The recap-heavy penultimate episode had already tied up a number of loose threads, leaving just one question unanswered: Who is Raymond Reddington?

But the finale, which aired on NBC on June 23, didn’t answer that one either — not really. Boone’s character was killed off at the end of the episode without getting the answers that she was promised. Both episodes seemed to hint at a popular fan theory about Red being Liz’s birth mother, but no outright confirmation was provided before Boone’s character died on screen.

Following the Season 8 finale, series creator Jon Bokenkamp revealed he was exiting “The Blacklist,” saying in a statement announcing his departure that he “genuinely believe[s] the series remains full of life, creatively strong, and that bright days lie ahead.” His co-showrunner, John Eisendrath, remains aboard.