2 December 2013 2:46 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

It’s a vote of confidence in hot rookie “The Blacklist,” the James Spader drama will return to NBC with new episodes in January — even if “The Voice” won’t be there as a lead-in.

Last season, NBC coddled Monday rookie drama “Revolution,” airing it only in weeks when it could follow “The Voice” and its big lead-in. But in keeping it off the air during winter, “Revolution” lost ratings momentum and never really recovered.

This season, though, the Peacock hopes to keep its new Monday 10 p.m. drama front-and-center in viewers’ minds by airing three episodes of “The Blacklist” in January. It will follow “American Ninja Warrior” on Jan. 13 and then “Hollywood Game Night” on Jan. 20 and 27.

This will also give NBC a chance to judge the ratings strength of “The Blacklist” when it doesn’t have a potent lead-in.

“Blacklist” has its fall finale tonight.

Sure, “The Voice »

- Rick Kissell

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