Raymond Reddington has always been an animated guy — but The Blacklist is about to take that literally.
The drama’s makeshift Season 7 finale (airing Friday, May 15 at 8/7c) will include scenes with graphic novel-style animation, NBC announced Tuesday, as a workaround to the pandemic-induced production shutdown.
The show was halfway through filming Episode 19 — out of a 22-episode order — when production was suspended. As series creator Jon Bokenkamp told the Associated Press, he and executive producer John Eisendrath began to joke about turning the episode into “an old-school radio broadcast where we put the image of a crackling fire or a radio up on TV and the actors could voice it.”
Then, inspired by the digital comics that already exist for The Blacklist, Bokenkamp and Eisendrath decided to make the remaining material animated, resulting in a finale that will feature both live-action and animated scenes.
Cast members recorded dialogue from their homes for the animated sequences, while editors and animators also completed their work remotely.
“I hadn’t yet played Raymond Reddington with my son tiptoeing into the kitchen to get snacks,” star James Spader said to the Associated Press. “But you do what you do. You turn the heat off so it wouldn’t cycle, you try to remember not to run the dishwasher.”
Titled “The Kazanjian Brothers,” Episode 19 will find the FBI task force investigating an accountant who works for lucrative criminals in order to find the violent and thuggish brothers hired for his protection. Elsewhere in the finale, Liz must make a momentous decision.
And no need to worry that this ersatz conclusion will be The Blacklist‘s last episode ever: The show has already been renewed for Season 8.
ENSLAVED: A Samuel Jackson Docuseries Shedding New Light On 400 Years Of Human Trafficking From Africa Premiered
Samuel L. Jackson’s latest project, a docuseries which is looking to shed new light on 400 years of human trafficking from Africa to the New World, has been premiered. In this six-partere, the series uses a DNA test to identify Jackson’s ancestral tribe and trace his personal journey from the U.S. to Gabon for his induction into the Benga tribe. It was originally slated to debut this summer.
Each episode follows three stories: Jackson’s personal journey; the search for a sunken slave ship; and an “historical investigation” by “investigative archaeologist” Simcha Jacobovici and British writer/TV commentator Afua Hirsch. The first episode opens with Jackson’s trip to the vast country of Gabon, on the west coast of central Africa.
The show has used new diving technology to locate and examine sunken slave ships in the UK, the Caribbean and Florida, retrieving information and underwater artifacts that help reveal more about the transatlantic slave trade.
Fremantle has sold the show to 130 territories, including HISTOIRE TV (France), HISTORY (Germany), Movistar+ and RTVE (Spain), HBO Portugal (Portugal), BBC Earth (Poland), Discovery Film and Spektrum (Eastern Europe), Cosmote (Greece), BBC Persian (MENA), National Geographic (Latin America), M-Net (Africa, South Africa) and Cable & Wireless (Caribbean). The deals follows BBC Two picking up UK rights last month.
“Enslaved” is a Canada/U.K. co-production between Toronto-based Associated Producers and London-based Cornelia Street Productions. It is produced in association with Anonymous Content, along with UppiTV, Samuel and LaTanya Jackson’s production company. Fremantle holds the global distribution rights. “Enslaved” was produced with the participation of Rogers Cable Network Fund and Canada Media Fund, with the assistance of the Canadian Film or Video Tax Credit and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit.
The series is directed by Simcha Jacobovici. It is executive produced by Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Eli Selden, Rob Lee, Simcha Jacobovici, Ric Esther Bienstock, Sarah Sapper and Yaron Niski. Producers are Ric Esther Bienstock, Sarah Sapper and Felix Golubev.
50 Cent Announces Third ‘Power’ Spin-Off With Joseph Sikora
Starz has greenlighted the third new series in the Power universe, moving up the premiere of the new spinoff from Courtney Kemp and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. Power Book IV: Force will focus on Power’s Tommy Egan, with Joseph Sikora set to reprise his role.
Robert Munic will serve as showrunner and executive producer on the Lionsgate Television-produced series, with the order coming ahead of the September 6 premiere of Power Book II: Ghost, starring Michael Rainey Jr., Naturi Naughton, Mary J. Blige and Cliff “Method Man” Smith.
The previously announced new series centers around Tommy Egan (Sikora), after he cuts ties and puts New York in his rearview mirror for good. The Tommy spinoff, initially titled Power Book V: Force, has been renamed Power Book IV: Force, and will premiere following the prequel series Power Book III: Raising Kanan.
“Power has been one of the most successful series in premium pay television during its six-year run, garnering more than 10 million multiplatform views in its last two seasons and we can’t wait to take fans in a whole new direction as we pick-up Tommy’s story with Power Book IV: Force,” said Starz President of Programming Christina Davis.
Power Book II: Ghost premieres at 9 PM ET/PT on Sunday, September 6 before moving to its regular timeslot at 8 PM on Starz in the U.S. and Canada, and day and date on the Starzplay international streaming service. The premiere season will be split into two parts of five episodes each, with the second half scheduled to air later this year.
Prequel story Power Book III: Raising Kanan, that harkens back to the early years of Power character Kanan Stark, is set to resume production this fall for premiere on Starz in 2021. Mekai Curtis stars as young Kanan Stark, alongside Patina Miller who will play his mom, Raquel Thomas, Omar Epps, Hailey Kilgore and Lovie Simone. Power Book III: Raising Kanan is created by Sascha Penn who serves as showrunner and executive producer.
The Power Universe series are executive produced by Power creator and showrunner Courtney A. Kemp through her company End of Episode and through her overall deal with Lionsgate Television, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson through his G-Unit Film and Television. Also serving as executive producers are Mark Canton through his Atmosphere Entertainment MM, End of Episode’s Danielle DeJesus and Chris Selak, Shana Stein and Bart Wenrich.
It Is Time To Expose The Truth Of The Lies; The Blacklist [Season 8] Returns This November
The Blacklist – an American crime thriller television series that premiered on NBC on September 23, 2013, has been renewed, and is returning for the eighth season on the Novemver 13, 2020. With other details yet to be unveiled, it is believed Season 8 will start with the decimation that is Liz’s decision to side with Katarina Rostova — a person who has proven ruthless and diabolical, but who The Blacklist’s behind-the-scenes brass has characterized as trustworthy.
The seventh season of the American crime thriller television series was ordered on March 11, 2019. The season premiered on NBC on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 8.00 p.m. The season was originally set to contain 22 episodes. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the show produced by Sony Pictures Television to shut down production On March 14, 2020; the season was cut to 19 episodes, with the season finale containing some animated sections to complete the episode.
The final episode utilizes animation to complete the episode, as it had been in the middle of filming when production was suspended. The actors were able to record dialogue for the animation from their homes.
The producers considered having the cast “read their lines while an old fashioned radio appeared on the TV screen, or just putting voiceover to still comic book frames” before settling on fully animated sequences. Thought bubbles and text boxes were also added “to help bridge the gap” between the animated sequences and the live action footage.
The show follows Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader), a former U.S. Navy officer turned high-profile criminal, who voluntarily surrenders to the FBI after eluding capture for decades. He tells the FBI that he has a list of the most dangerous criminals in the world that he has compiled over the years and is willing to inform on their operations in exchange for immunity from prosecution. However, he insists on working exclusively with a rookie FBI profiler by the name of Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone).
“I MAY DESTROY YOU: Michaela Coel Latest TV Series To Debut On DSTV – 1Magic On Aug. 26
Writer and director Michaela Coel stars as Arabella, a celebrated young writer who is drugged and raped during a night out with friends — a fact she pieces together afterwards from the fragmented images coursing through her mind. Over 12 episodes that boldly dart back and forth in time, the series follows Arabella and her best friends Terry (Waruche Opia) and Kwame (Pappa Essiedu) as they wrestle with the aftermath of the assault.
“I May Destroy You” was inspired by Coel’s own experiences — not only as an assault survivor, but as the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants raised in working-class London and a creative person struggling to make a living by channeling her life into art. It has received ecstatic praise for its nuanced examination of sexual consent and the complications of race, gender, sexuality and class, as well as its authentic portrayal of contemporary, multicultural London.
Since the U.K. went into lockdown in late March, Coel — whose previous series, “Chewing Gum,” centered on the efforts of a 24-year-old religious woman to lose her virginity — has been holed up at home in East London, catching up on “Ozark” and making the odd loaf of vegan banana bread. But mostly she’s been working remotely on post-production on “I May Destroy You” and enjoying the socially distanced love the series has received.
“It’s required a lot of actors under their duvets trying to make soundproof rooms doing ADR. The morale was high the whole time, so I’m very grateful that we were able to finish it, and finish it with joy,” she told The Times by video conference call.
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