“The Blacklist” creator and Jon Bokenkamp is exiting the NBC series following last night’s Season 8 finale.
Bokenkamp, who has been co-showrunner and executive producer on the James Spader drama since it premiered in 2013, announced his decision to leave “The Blacklist” — which was renewed for Season 9 by NBC in January — on Twitter Thursday.
“Dear Blacklisters: I wanted to write you directly to let you know that I’ve made the difficult decision to leave ‘The Blacklist,'” the series creator said in his tweeted statement. “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. 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.”
He continued: “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’ve loved following your tweets and podcasts, your recaps and Tumblr pages, your art, and theories and fan fiction. 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 its your enthusiasm that leaves me feeling — more than anything —grateful. I genuinely believe the series remains full of life, creatively strong, and that bright days lie ahead. So now I join you — as a fan — to see where ‘The Blacklist’ takes us next. Thank you for eight incredible seasons. JB”
John Eisendrath, who has been co-showrunner on the series alongside Bokenkamp for all eight seasons, will continue in his role for Season 9.
Bokenkamp’s decision to leave “The Blacklist” comes on the heels of star Megan Boone announcing she’s exiting the show after an eight-season run starring as Elizabeth “Liz” Keen opposite Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington. Her time on the FBI drama also came to an end with Wednesday’s Season 8 finale, which is the final episode that will feature Boone as a series regular.
“The Blacklist” studio Sony Pictures Television declined to comment Thursday and NBC did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request.
See Bokenkamp’s tweet below.