The Blacklist renewed for season 5 a.k.a. the joy in more James Spader

No longer is there a need to wonder if The Blacklist is renewed for season 5 — NBC made the glorious (and expected) news official this morning.

There wasn’t much of a reason to worry about the show. NBC loves it, it’s got great DVR ratings, there’s a rich per-episode pact over at Netflix, and it fares well internationally. It also has syndication potential now that it’s four seasons in. Even though the live+same day ratings are not lighting the world on fire, it’s in the midst of the its most kickass run of episodes since the very first season. Mr. Kaplan is an incredible Big Bad, and the show is re-centering around the original heart of it all: The relationship between Liz Keen and Raymond Reddington.

As for the timeslot, this will be revealed at the upfronts later this month — don’t be shocked if it remains on Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time. There is no word yet on The Blacklist: Redemption, but industry expectation at present is more pessimistic than optimistic. The show did some great things, but its DVR ratings don’t match the original — and the same goes for the live ones.

Here’s a quick look at what to expect in The Blacklist season 5:

1. More James Spader – Reddington’s the heart of the show.

2. New villains – Part of what makes it appealing is the comic-book quality of having more oddball characters turning up here and there. Reddington’s one part The Punisher and another part Batman in his approach.

3. Potentially more Gale – The character could become a series regular, depending on the direction of this story and what happens in turn with Redemtpion. There are a few balls juggling around in the air with that.

4. Clarity – Regardless of if you learn the answer to the question in the finale, you’re learning answers to some questions. This episode will give more closure than any other finale to date, which offers a chance for season 5 to embark on its own journey devoid of some of the major mythologies that have both helped and plagued the network at various times. This current arc is exciting; yet, there have also been times where the writers should have hurried things along.