(NBC News) NBC's "Premiere Week" kicks off Monday with the return of "The Voice" and its debut of the much-talked about new drama "The Blacklist", starring James Spader.
It's gotten widespread praise from critics as one of the best, if not the best, new drama of the season.
Playing a most wanted fugitive who turns himself in held plenty of appeal for Spader.
"He is a mystery. He's absolutely a mystery," said Spader.
Raymond Reddington's a former government agent who's spent decades spinning a global web of criminal activity while still keeping tabs on the FBI.
"He alludes to things that are very specific and very intimate and very particular about other people's pasts in the show," Spader said.
Especially a rookie profiler named Elizabeth Keene.
For unknown reasons, she's the only person Reddington will deal with as he offers help tracking down his "blacklist" of spies and terrorists.
"He knows the details of my life. He's clearly done his research or been there the whole time, and i don't what to make of it," said actress Megan Boone who plays Keene.
That mystery not only keeps her character ready for anything but the actress and her cast-mates are braced as well.
"You go to play a scene with James Spader and you kind just have to go by the seat of your pants," Boone said.
It's that embrace of the unexpected that Spader welcomes.
"I want to be excited and curious and intrigued with what's going to happen next week. With this show, the possibilities are limitless," said Spader.
Which means "The Blacklist" must also be one very long list.
"The Blacklist" premieres tonight on NBC 5 at 10pm right after the season premiere of "The Voice" on NBC.