James Spader, formerly of “Boston Legal”, will return to TV with a leading role in the new NBC Spy Drama “The Blacklist”.
Spader, whose many film credits include “Less Than Zero”, “Bad Influence” and “Storyville”, fielded multiple offers from TV broadcasters this season, including THR. “The Blacklist”, which at one time wanted Kiefer Sutherland (though stuck on Fox’s “Touch”) to star, was ostensibly the most desirable gig.
The pilot revolves around Raymond “Red” Reddington, the world’s most-wanted criminal who mysteriously turns himself in and offers to give up everyone he has ever worked with. His only condition is he will only work with a newly minted FBI agent Liz Keen (Blue Bloods’ Megan Boone) with whom he seemingly has no connection.
Spader will play Red, who is described as a dignified, worldly and magnetic former Army intelligence offer who went AWOL. He doesn’t consider himself to be a spy but instead a facilitator, who brokers deals for criminals and has no allegiance to any country or political agenda — only the highest bidder.
90210 grad Ryan Eggold will portray Tom, Liz’s easy-going husband and the emotional glue that holds the couple together who secretly has betrayed her.
Spader had also recently guest-starred on TV’s “The Office”.