THE BLACKLIST, Production Design by Nick Lundy, Uses Graphic Novel-Style Animation To Finish Season 7 Finale
May 5, 2020

by Nellie Andreeva, Deadline

Like many other broadcast series, NBC’s The Blacklist will not be able to air a full season because of the coronavirus pandemic-related production shutdown. But the Sony Pictures TV-produced drama has found an innovative way to complete one more episode, which will now serve as a season finale.

The Blacklist Season 7’s 19th episode, titled “The Kazanjian Brothers,” was midway into filming in New York when TV production across the industry was halted due to COVID-19. 

Brainstorming ways to finish the episode and close out the season, the series’ producers came up with an idea to add graphic novel-style animation that would incorporate with the already filmed live-action scenes.

Cast members, led by James Spader and Megan Boone, recorded dialogue from their homes for the animated versions of the unshot scenes in the script, with editors and animators completing their work remotely.

The season finale of The Blacklist‘s seventh season, originally set to span 22 episodes, will air May 15. The week before, the series, which already has been renewed for an eighth season, will air its 150th episode.

The Blacklist studio Sony TV also is working on an animated special for another of its series whose production was suspended by the pandemic, Pop TV comedy One Day at a Time. 

The Blacklist stars Spader, Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Amir Arison, Hisham Tawfiq and Harry Lennix. John Eisendrath, Jon Bokenkamp, John Davis, John Fox, James Spader, Lukas Reiter, J.R. Orci, and Laura A. Benson serve as executive producers. The Blacklist is a production of Davis Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television and Universal Television.

Here is the Season 7 finale logline: The Task Force investigates an accountant who works for lucrative criminals in order to find the violent and thuggish brothers hired for his protection. Liz must make a momentous decision. Presented in a unique hybrid of live-action and graphic novel-style animation.

Production Designer: Nick Lundy