NBC’s The Blacklist is another show whose producers and writers are finding intuitive ways to end the season while on-set production has come to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic. The show’s seventh season finale will air as a half-live-action, half animated special next week.
The animation will be comic book-style, according to Variety. Based on the artwork above, it looks like the episode might be visually similar to movies like Sin City, which used similar art styles. The animated component will be added to incorporate the live-action scenes that have already been filmed, Variety reports, with lead actors James Spader and Megan Boone recording audio from their individual homes. Everyone’s work on the episode will be carried out remotely.
Although The Blacklist is the latest show to figure out a way to tell a narrative story by introducing new methods to editing an episode from home, it’s far from the first. CBS’ legal drama All Rise produced an entire episode remotely, incorporating video conferencing tools like Zoom to conduct a court case while characters practiced social distancing protocols. NBC’s own Parks and Recreation found its 10 main cast members reunite for a one-off episode about the coronavirus pandemic. The network’s long running Saturday Night Live has also produced two episodes completely remote since mass self isolation protocols went into effect in the United States.
The specials have received applause from critics who have stressed how impressive it is that teams have created each episode. Some critics have stressed that while it works as a one-off, the episodes prove that television is a long way off from producing seasons long entertainment executed in completely remote settings.
The Blacklist’s season finale is set to air on Friday, May 15th at 8PM ET.