nbc drama showrunners panel tca press tour 2014 'The Blacklist' Season 2: Liz's mom, Red's family and more to look forward to“The Blacklist” executive producer John Eisendrath (far right) took part in a panel of NBC drama showrunners Sunday (July 13) at the 2014 summer TCA press tour. He fielded several questions about Season 2 of the James Spader-Megan Boone thriller, here are some highlights:

On Red’s scars seen in the Season 1 finale: “I hope it did not answer the question [of whether Red is Liz’s father] for the viewers. It

tells us there is story yet to come about what the truth

is about whether or not he is her father. This season,

we’re going to take the opportunity to ask and answer that question in ways that will get us closer to the ultimate


On what Season 2 will focus on:
“Last season, I think some of the most successful

individual moments were when James Spader’s character

expressed some remorse or bittersweet memories about his

family or the loss or things that he experienced in the

past. This year, we will explore more of his life with his

family, what that was like, and bring that into the

present and sort of explore relationships with people who

he was incredibly close with in the past and who he hasn’t

been with in a long time.

“And where Liz is concerned, while their relationship will

remain central to the show, she is now single and trying

to start her life again after the disaster of her

marriage. … That will be central to the show as well.”

Season 2 will touch on Liz’s mother: “Liz came to this show with a point of view about the story of her life … but the first year made clear that little of what she knew about herself was true. We’ll continue to explore the issue with her dad and the way into it this year is for her to say, well, if the part about my dad wasn’t true, what was the truth, if any, that I need to learn about my mom.”

On James Spader not receiving an Emmy nomination:
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I think

he’s certainly deserving of it. But the competition is

fierce. … I was disappointed, but I understand how that

happens and we just have to continue to do the best show

we can and hope we’re on long enough for people to

reconsider the decisions they made this year. … But 17 million people watch ‘The Blacklist.’ That we didn’t get Emmy nominations that I may or may not think we should have gotten is a minor bump in the road. We’re incredibly lucky.”

On the chemistry between Boone and Spader:
“Luck. We cast Megan first and we cast

her for various reasons, one being that the part we knew

was going to require a great deal of introspection,

ultimately a journey that was very painful emotionally and

she brought an incredible amount of that the first day we

saw her. We were trying to find the person to play Red at

the time and we offered the job to many actors who turned

us down before we managed to get James to do the show, so

I would be lying if I said, ‘Oh well, we knew all along he

was the only one we were going to cast.’
It was as much luck as anything. … But the parts were

written so clearly by Jon Bokenkamp that once we were able

to find people to embody those parts, it felt like a

natural that the two people we ended up with, who were

truly Red and Liz, went together the way they did.”

Eisendrath also confirms that Tom’s fate will be explored in Season 2, though not necessarily revealed immediately. The premiere episode won’t pick up immediately either, a small amount of time will have elapsed between the Season 1 finale and the Season 2 premiere. And we haven’t seen the last of Peter Stormare as Berlin.

He also tells Zap2it that Nos. 1-7 on the Blacklist have not yet been determined by the creators (remember that Berlin was No. 8), but he jokes that perhaps we’ve given him a good idea for the season finales — each year can countdown to No. 1.

“The Blacklist” returns Monday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and will air for eight weeks, then go on hiatus before returning as the post-Super Bowl show in early 2015 and then moving to Thursday nights for the spring.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."