James Spader To Star In ‘The Blacklist’ For NBC

James Spader has joined NBC’s “The Blacklist” pilot as the male lead, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

He’ll play Raymond “Red” Reddington, a master spy and the world’s most-wanted criminal, who will hand himself over to the FBI and give up all of his contacts on the condition that he must work exclusively with a rookie FBI agent (played by Megan Boone), whom he seemingly has no connection to.

Per THR, the character is described as “a dignified, worldly and magnetic former Army intelligence offer who went AWOL. He doesn’t consider himself to be a spy but instead a facilitator, who brokers deals for criminals and has no allegiance to any country or political agenda — only the highest bidder.”

In other pilot news …

“Blue Bloods” star lands reality pilot. Jennifer Esposito is reportedly filming a reality pilot for E! as a spinoff from her role in docu-series “Playing With Fire,” which follows the lives and careers of chefs and those in New York’s culinary industry. The proposed pilot would focus on Esposito’s newly-opened gluten-free bakery and her day-to-day activities. [Deadline]

One half of “Key and Peele” to star in USA comedy pilot. Keegan Michael Key will join Brad Morris in USA’s untitled comedy presentation from “Best Friends Forever” duo Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair. The pilot focuses on new single mom Maggie (Parham) who asks her single, career-driven friend Emma (St. Clair) to help her raise her baby. Key will play Emma’s ex, who is also a cop in the duo’s hometown, while Morris will portray Maggie’s cheating ex-husband. [THR]

“Treme” actor joins “The Sixth Gun.” Michiel Huisman, recently seen in “Nashville,” will play the male lead in the supernatural NBC pilot about a set of six mythical guns which each possess otherworldly powers. He’ll play Drake Sinclair a “rogue gunslinger” on the hunt for the titular gun because he believes it will lead him to a massive treasure.

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