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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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This publicity image released by NBC shows James Spader as "Red" Raymond Reddington in "The Blacklist." (AP Photo/NBC, David Giesbrecht)
Review: James Spader is perfectly cast in 'The Blacklist'

NBC's The Blacklist (Monday, 9 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5) has one very big thing going for it - James Spader.

Spader is great fun to watch as he's having great fun playing the central character in this violent, engaging thriller. He stars as Raymond "Red" Reddington, a former American operative who turned rogue many years ago and has been on the most-wanted list for decades.

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As "The Blacklist" begins, he comes in from the cold and surrenders. He offers to help U.S. authorities prevent a terrorist attack, but he has one strange condition - he'll only talk to newly minted FBI profiler Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), who has absolutely no idea why she's been chosen.

Spader is delicious to watch as he manipulates everyone around him. And there's genuine suspense in the pilot episode, offering up hope that this could indeed be a good series.

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