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NBC's 'The Blacklist' gets a second season (but...does it deserve one?)

James Spader as "Red" Raymond Reddington in "The

James Spader as "Red" Raymond Reddington in "The Blacklist." Credit: NBC

"The Blacklist," which ended the first half of its freshman season last night with a bang (bang and bang), just got a second season pickup. The only hidden surprise in this announcement is: What took so long?

 Per NBC...The Blacklist” is the No. 1 drama on the Big 4 networks in the 18-49 demo, averaging a 4.9 rating/13 share in most current viewing. It is the No. 2 scripted series on the Big 4 in the 18-49 demo, and the No. 1 new show in 18-49 and total viewers.

  Last night's second parter, by the way, closed out at over 12 million viewers, but that figure will grow -- "Blacklist" is one of those series that has a considerable post-broadcast following, on Hulu, and elsewhere. An early November telecast added some 6 million viewers (NBC says) to the so-called "in pattern" telecast figure of 10 million.

 NBC also notes that  "'List" is its most successful newcomer ('eight weeks in") in a couple of decades. (So back to that question -- what took so long?)  "Blacklist" stars James Spader as a terrorist  helping the U.S. nab other baddies for reasons unknown.

Have viewers got this one right? Well...it's violent, and bloody, and many people die. Plus outlandish. These elements tend to be behind the metrics that drive TV viewing these days, for reasons that have to do with beats-me. So I'm reserving judgement because Spader's a smart actor, and presumably not a sell-out.

And with these kinds of numbers, I'm willing to see if  this series has something else up its sleeve - besides another gun.  Nevertheless,  NBC has finally got a drama that is working, at least commercially. I'm expecting less brain, more blood. But...you'll note that Jane Alexander and Alan Alda have joined up, too. They're great actors, and not of a mind to hitch themselves to just another piece of commercial flotsam. So, holding out hope... 

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