Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Blacklist: Redemption puts a sexy spy twist on the Blacklist formula

Photo: Will Hart/NBC
Photo: Will Hart/NBC

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, February 23. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

Powerless (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): After a relatively strong premiere, Dennis Perkins was disappointed by the generic office-comedy feel of Powerless’ second episode and far more entertained by its third, which really took advantage of the show’s superhero premise. Thankfully, tonight’s episode seems more like the latter than the former. Emily dips into the dating world only to discover she’s fallen for one of the Riddler’s henchmen. Plus Teddy and Ron uncover Van’s secret superhero fantasy when they stumble upon a Batman artifact. Dennis always knew there was something odd about the Wayne family…

How To Get Away With Murder (ABC, 9 p.m.): As Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya wrote about How To Get Away With Murder’s lukewarm penultimate episode:The finale has to make it all feel personal again for the final twists to have any ground to stand on.” Hopefully the fact that the finale is two hours long will give the show plenty of time to get personal. Annalise changes up her courtroom strategy and the Keating Four finally learn who killed Wes. Kayla has her eye on Connor, but your What’s On Tonight correspondent still isn’t convinced that Draco Malfoy kid is entirely innocent. Wait, How To Get Away With Murder is just the grown-up adventures of Dean Thomas, right?

The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC, 10 p.m.): NBC has never met a procedural it couldn’t spin off into another procedural (we’re looking at you Chicagos Fire, PD, Med, and Justice). And it hopes to once again hit the spin-off jackpot with this new Blacklist-adjacent series. Led by Famke Janssen’s Susan “Scottie” Hargrave, elusive criminals from Red’s “blacklist” come together to form an elite mercenary team and make up for their past misdeeds. Tawny Cypress, Edi Gathegi, and Adrian Martinez star as Scottie’s ragtag crew. Plus Blacklist regular Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) makes the leap to the spin-off series as well, which will either be an eight-episode experiment or a hit that runs for 18 seasons (we’re looking at you Law & Order: SVU). Billed as more “sexy, fun, and explosive” than The Blacklist, Redemption is supposedly more spy thriller than cop procedural. And it promises a whole host of Oedipal vibes given that Tom is secretly Scottie’s long-lost son, which is something she doesn’t realize.

Premieres and finales

Project Dad (TLC, 5 p.m.): Rush home from work to catch the season finale of Project Day, which TLC is airing suspiciously early on a night when it has very little new programming to offer. Billed as a “retrospective,” the finale will look back on the journeys of C-list celebrity dads who are asked to—gasp!—parent their own children while their wives are away.


The Blacklist (NBC, 9 p.m.): Most shows offer their “winter finales” around the holiday season, but The Blacklist is mixing things up by airing its winter finale in February. The episode even offers a classic finale plot line: “Red is dosed with a lethal poison, so he retraces his steps to uncover who betrayed him.” Elsewhere, “Liz and the team scramble to save Red by searching for the designer of the toxin.” The episode will feed directly into the premiere of The Blacklist: Redemption, then The Blacklist will disappear for a bit to give its spin-off a chance to sink or swim on its own.

Project Runway Junior (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Project Runway Junior crowns another teenage winner in the show’s second season finale. Four young designers have the chance to take home the crown after a fashion show in Los Angeles.


Sun Records (CMT, 10 p.m.): This new CMT original drama stars Chad Michael Murray as Sam Phillips, the 1950s record producer who eventually brings together Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for an impromptu jam session. Loosely based on the musical Million Dollar Quartet, which is about said jam session, the “red-blooded, white-hot, born-from-the-blues” series charts the early days of rock ’n’ roll.

Regular Coverage

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 8 p.m.)

Top Chef (Bravo, 9 p.m.)

Riverdale (The CW, 9 p.m.)

Baskets (FX, 10 p.m.)

Portlandia (IFC, 10 p.m.)

Colony (USA, 10 p.m.)

Streaming pick

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Perfect Mate” (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, CBS All Access): Before she was Scottie Hargrave or even Jean Grey, Famke Janssen appeared in a memorable one-off turn on Star Trek: The Next Generation. In “The Perfect Mate,” she plays a beautiful alien empath with the ability to transform her personality to please the men around her. Despite being destined for an arranged marriage, she falls for stalwart Captain Picard, thus giving Jean Grey-Professor X shippers plenty of material to mine for decades to come.