The Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp is Exiting series following the season 8 finale. As part of a lengthy statement to fans posted on Twitter, Bokenkamp states "Dear Blacklisters: I wanted to write you directly to let you know that I’ve made the difficult decision to leave ‘The Blacklist.’ 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."
To the fans... pic.twitter.com/cSxLz1Q9Ay— Jon Bokenkamp (@JonBokenkamp) June 24, 2021
Jon Bokenkamp's exit from The Blacklist comes on the heels of series lead Meagan Boone also exiting the series. However, while Boone's exit was planned from the start of season 8 and announced to fans, Bokenkamp's departure is a surprise, as The Blacklist has set the stage for an exciting season 9 storyline.
(SPOILERS FOLLOW) In the season 8 finale of The Blacklist, Boone's Agent Elizabeth Keen was killed during an attempt to assassinate Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader) and usurp his criminal network. Now Liz is gone, but her Russian spy mother is still out there; Red has to maintain the balance of a wildly chaotic underworld, and Keen's FBI task force friends are going to be kicking major butt in her name.
It's an exciting premise that fans expected Bokenkamp to architect, but apparently, his story ends with the arc of Liz Keen. In his full statement (see above), Jon Bokenkamp indicates that new creative pursuits and projects are what led him to depart the show. No word on who will be showrunner of The Blacklist season 9.
In his full statement, Jon Bokenkamp said:
I wanted to write you directly to let you know that I’ve made the difficult decision to leave ‘The Blacklist.’ 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.
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 it's 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.
The Blacklist airs on NBC and can be streamed on Peacock.