NBC's crime thriller "The Blacklist" has been filming in Westchester County for nine seasons. Actor James Spader has starred as Raymond "Red" Reddington, an ex-Naval intelligence officer turned criminal mastermind who voluntarily surrenders to the FBI after years of evading capture.
In exchange, Red shares a list of global criminals known as his "Blacklist." He and rookie FBI special agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) work together to hunt them down.
New York City
When you watch the NBC drama series The Blacklist, you might be surprised that most of the show is actually filmed in New York City. The series is a blockbuster hit that has gathered a loyal fan base and critical acclaim over the years.
The show centers around Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader), one of the FBI’s Most Wanted fugitives who voluntarily surrenders to them after eluding capture for decades. He tells the FBI that he has a list of the world’s most dangerous criminals, called the “Blacklist,” and is willing to inform the FBI on their operations in exchange for immunity from prosecution on the condition he works exclusively with rookie FBI special agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone).
The tenth season of the series will begin this month. It’s been a solid performer for NBC, especially after creator Jon Bokenkamp departed the show. However, rumors have swirled that it may soon end after the departure of stars James Spader and Megan Boone.
Long Island, the easternmost and largest of New York's five boroughs, extends east-northeastward for nearly 30 miles (48 km). The main island is separated from Manhattan to the west by East River tidal estuary. It is surrounded by a large number of smaller islands and by several deep bays that form excellent harbors.
Throughout its history, the island has been a centre of immigration. Its descendants include many ethnic Irish, Jews and Italians as well as an increasing number of Asians and Hispanics.
Its people have a particular sense of place and they are particularly attuned to the locality in which they live. However, they are also constantly crossing boundaries as they move about in their lives and engage in a variety of networks.
Filming for the NBC crime drama has taken place all over the county over the years, including Youngs Farm of Old Brookville for a scene set in Iowa in 2015 and Bayville Bridge in Ardsley in 2019. The show also shoots scenes on village streets and often involves fake gunshots and actors wearing police uniforms and prop weapons.
In the new FBI spy drama, Red Reddington (James Spader) and his team are on a mission to bring down dangerous criminals and terrorists. As such, the show’s plotlines often center around political landscapes. In this case, they’re set in Washington D.C., which is a recognizable location for many TV shows and movies.
While the blacklist is filmed in the same Manhattan studio where Law & Order has been filmed for over 20 years, specific Washington locations were chosen because of their “iconic American locations.” These include the J Edgar Hoover building, the Lincoln Memorial, and the National Mall. But while some scenes feature streets whose names are spelled out like New York’s Adams Morgan, Foxhall Road and Shaw neighborhoods, most of the scenes are taken from overhead shots of neighborhoods in the City of Washington. This is due to the different street patterns between Washington and New York City. For instance, the streets of Dupont Circle seem to radiate out from a traffic circle on a wagon wheel pattern instead of New York’s grid pattern.
One of the most acclaimed and widely watched crime series of all time, The Blacklist has a history of filming in Canadian locations. The series is known for capturing the beauty of the country, especially the province of British Columbia. A few of the show's most memorable scenes, including a chase through the streets of Vancouver and an undercover cop infiltrating New Westminster Secondary School, filmed in the city.
Pictou County native Diego Klattenhoff, who plays FBI counterterrorism assistant director Donald Ressler in the series, says that Canada is the ideal place to shoot a film like Radius because of its unique cultural and geographic diversity. He also points to the fact that it's a collaboration between Quebec-based filmmakers Labreche and Leonard, who "have an incredible understanding of Canada as a filming location." For now, however, he'll stick to his roles on The Blacklist and in the soon-to-be-released Canadian feature film Radius. We can't wait to see him in action!