Closely following a game-changing season 8 finale, series maker Jon Bokenkamp declared his takeoff from the NBC crime drama Thursday. His exit follows that of leading woman Megan Boone, whose character met her shocking end in Wednesday’s episode.
“I love this show with all of my heart and it’s been an incredible journey,” Bokenkamp said in a statement posted to Twitter, “but after eight years I feel it’s time for me to step out of my comfort zone, try something new, and explore a few of the other characters and stories that have been crawling around in my head.”
NBC declined to comment on Bokenkamp’s exit.
The Blacklist debuted in 2013, with criminal mastermind Raymond Reddington (James Spader) walking into the life of fresh-faced FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen (Boone) and fashioning an unconventional partnership devoted to catching bad guys. Bokenkamp had been in charge all along, and during his run the show likewise brought forth a short-lived spin-off, The Blacklist: Redemption.
Bokenkamp is leaving after a season that saw Liz’s story take a significant turn and finished with two of the show’s greatest episodes to date. “It’s really hard after eight years to find new surprises, and I think [these two] episodes have some of the biggest surprises we’ve had in eight years,” he told EW recently.
In his statement Thursday, Bokenkamp thanked the show’s devoted fans and referenced that he has delighted in after their podcasts, tweets, fan fiction, and more.
The Blacklist has been renewed for a ninth season, and its maker says he’s excited to follow along as a fan.
“I genuinely believe the series remains full of life, creatively strong, and that bright days lie ahead,” Bokenkamp added.

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