The Blacklist is a TV show that continues to have a large following, even after over nine years in production. That’s due in part to at least two factors. One is the show’s initial premise which makes it different from the standard crime procedural. The other is actor James Spader, who plays the show’s lead anti-hero (and sometimes flat-out villain) “Red” Reddington. You can watch all nine current seasons on Netflix and the 10th season is due to launch in early 2023 on NBC. But what shows like The Blacklist would be great to watch after you finish up your dose of Reddington?
We have selected seven shows like The Blacklist that you can check out if you’re a fan of the show. The list includes the sadly short-lived spin-off series, along with six other shows you might like to check out. You can sign up for Netflix to watch The Blacklist’s previous episodes at the link below.
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What is The Blacklist?
If you are unfamiliar with the show, here’s the basic premise that it starts out with, although it does evolve over the next several years, with a pretty drastic turn in season 9 (spoilers!). As we mentioned, James Spader plays a criminal called Raymond “Red” Reddington. He’s evaded capture by law enforcement authorities for some time. However, one day he decides to turn himself in. The carrot that he dangles in front of the FBI is something he calls the “blacklist.” It has the names of a ton of other major criminals that Red has encountered over the years, and he’s willing to help the feds capture them with his special knowledge and skills in exchange for immunity. One other thing: he will only work with a relatively new FBI agent, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), but he won’t say why.
Shows like The Blacklist
The Blacklist: Redemption
Any article about shows like The Blacklist has to include this series, which was a sadly short-lived spin-off of The Blacklist. The main character is Tom Keen, who appeared in the first five seasons of the main show. He’s the husband of Elizabeth Keen, and he’s also got a very complicated past. The spin-off saw Keen (played by Ryan Eggold), discover that his dad, Howard, who he thought was dead, was, in fact alive, having faked his own death.
Dear old Dad convinces his son to join Halcyon Aegis, a secret private military company that just happens to be owned by Keen’s mother, played by Famke Janssen. The show’s eight episodes show Tom learning more about his past and that of his family, which ultimately may force him to choose between his mother or his father. You can watch all the episodes of the series for free on Tubi.
Here’s another show that was once on NBC that takes the crime procedural in a weird direction, much like The Blacklist did. Jaimie Alexander plays a woman who, in the first episode, emerges from a duffel bag in the middle of Times Square. She’s naked, she has tattoos all over her body, and she has no memory of who she is or anything about her past. Through the five seasons of the show, the FBI discovers that her tattoos are, in fact, clues that they can use to stop certain crimes from taking place.
The idea of a woman with no memory that could be used to stop evil is certainly interesting, and as the seasons went on, we also learned more about this mysterious female. You can catch all five seasons of the show now on Hulu.
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The Blacklist’s lead character, “Red” Reddington, was once a US Navy officer who was later accused of selling secrets to the enemy and thus was kicked out of the military. In the USA Network show Burn Notice, the main character is Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), a highly skilled CIA agent. However, the CIA suddenly ditches Westen with a “burn notice”, meaning he no longer has any contacts or involvement with the organization. The series shows Westen trying to find out why this has happened to him, while also helping others as a private investigator in Miami.
The show is definitely on the lighter side of action and adventure, but it’s still entertaining. Plus, it has Bruce Campbell in it as Westen’s sometimes helpful pal Sam Axe, making this a must-watch. You can watch all seven seasons for free now via Amazon Freevee.
The Blacklist is all about going after criminals who hide in the shadows. It’s also about using a criminal, in this case “Red” Reddington, to help find them. The Netflix original series Mindhunter takes a darker turn on that team. It’s all about the beginnings of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, which started to interview serial killers in the 1970s so the team members could learn more about how these murderers operated.
The two-season show offered fictionalized versions of the FBI’s real investigations of serial killings by their profiling unit, including the Atlanta child murders in the early 1980s. The show also has a great visual style thanks to famed director David Fincher, who directed several episodes during the show’s run.
In our list of shows like The Blacklist, we always come back to the themes of criminals who either help law enforcement catch bad guys on their own accord or are forced to help against their will. The latter is certainly the case for Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer), the lead character of this USA Network series. Caffrey is a slick con man who goes after items like fine art, jewelry, and other expensive properties. However, he’s finally caught, but the FBI tries to convince him to help their white-collar crime unit in exchange for an early release.
Of course, this relationship is tenuous at best. Caffrey tries all the time to dodge this agreement and either commit his own crimes or just escape. You can see the ups and downs of this show when you watch all six seasons for free on Amazon Freevee.
Ok, this series goes on our list of shows like The Blacklist mostly because it also has James Spader. In his early career, Spader played a lot of young jerks in films like Pretty in Pink, Mannequin, and others. However, he has since evolved into an actor who inhabits characters with lots of eccentricities. That’s definitely on display in his role on The Blacklist, but it’s also true of his role on Boston Legal as the somewhat arrogant, but almost always right, lawyer Alan Shore. Plus, you can watch William Shatner’s banter with Spader as somewhat insane fellow lawyer Denny Crane. You can watch all five seasons for free on The Roku Channel.
For the final series on our list of shows like The Blacklist, we decided to pick this unusual series. The Blacklist is all about a criminal who helps stop other crimes, and Lucifer is about the biggest criminal of all time helping the Los Angeles Police Department solve crimes. Yes, the devil himself, played by Tom Ellis, has arrived on Earth after being thrown out of Hell. He owns a nightclub, and he’s bored, so he decides to team up with an LAPD detective to use his own special set of skills to solve mysteries in the city. Of course, the show goes into more than just crime-solving, as there are lots of other angels, demons, and other supernatural beings out there. You can watch all six seasons on Netflix.