Due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down TV and film productions around the world, most network television series weren't able to finish their current seasons. Many of them are ending early, with makeshift finales in place to bridge the gap to the fall season. Others are delayed altogether. Some shows, like The Blacklist, are getting innovative. NBC's long-running series was halfway through production on the 19th episode of its current season when things got shut down, and it is turning to the world of animation to complete the episode and put a finale on the air.
The upcoming season finale, titled "The Kazanjin Brothers," will be a mix of live-action and animation when it arrives on NBC. The half of the episode that was filmed already will remain, while the other half has been turned into a comic-style animation in order to make up for the work that couldn't be completed in person. The stars of the series recording voiceover work from their homes and a team of animators and editors have been putting everything together remotely.
NBC's logline for The Blacklist Season 7 finale reads: "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."
The Blacklist is just one of the shows that has found unique ways to deliver new content in this difficult time. All Rise, the courtroom drama on CBS, recording its first season finale on video conferencing calls, using the real-life pandemic as the influence for the events of the series. Parks and Recreation returned with a special episode last week, featuring all of the original cast members recording their parts from home.
While none of The Blacklist's episodes have been animated to this point, the franchise has been translated to the comic book medium over the years, so there is some familiarity with the style.
James Spader stars in The Blacklist alongside Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Amir Arison, Hisham Tawfiq, and Harry Lennix. NBC has already renewed the series for Season 8, so it will be returning with new episodes this fall.
The Season 7 finale of The Blacklist will air on May 15th at 8pm ET on NBC.