'The Blacklist': Why Megan Boone is Leaving as Liz Keen

The Blacklist is crossing out an original cast member, as Megan Boone is set to leave the show after eight years of playing rookie FBI agent turned fugitive Elizabeth 'Liz' Keen.

Per Deadline, the actor is set to leave the show during the Season 8 finale on Wednesday, June 23.

This news comes after a dramatic season for Liz. Early in the season, she made an attempt on the life of her former ally Raymond 'Red" Reddington (played by James Spader). She then spent much of the season on the run, with the actor missing from nine straight episodes until she returned to the NBC show in early April.

Why is Megan Boone leaving The Blacklist?

The actor has left the show to work on other projects, and let the makers know she was leaving way before the show was renewed for Season 9, giving the team enough time to write an exit for her character.

So far, her next project has not been revealed. Earlier this year, however, the actor appeared in her first non-Blacklist role since 2018 when she starred in an episode of Amazon's The Underground Railroad.

Her Instagram post announcing her role also hinted that she was ready for a new creative challenge. She wrote, "she is from a few paragraphs in the #colsonwhitehead novel. After reading it (and catching my breath) I wrote the folks adapting it and ended up getting to do these scenes in ep 2 of the series. It's the kind of creative challenge I've always wanted, and I'm so proud to be a breath in the body of this epic masterpiece." [sic]

So far, the actor has not posted anything about leaving the show. Earlier in June, however, she did post images that confirmed that she had finished filming Season 8, meaning she has now filmed her last appearance in the series. Those images featured a wrap party attended by multiple actors from the show, but Spader was noticeably absent.

megan boone the blacklist
Megan Boone as Liz Keen in 'The Blacklist.' NBC

As for exactly how Boone will leave the show, show creator Jon Bokenkamp dropped some hints in a recent TV Insider interview. He said, "these last two episodes are really sort of companion pieces. [With] the next episode, 'Nachalo,' we're going to go back to the very beginning and unpack answers to eight years' worth of questions...It may not be the ending of the series, but it's very much the ending of a story we've been telling for eight years."

With Boone's exit, three original cast members remain on the NBC show: Spader, Donald Ressler actor Diego Klattenhoff and Harold Cooper star Harry Lennix.

The show was renewed back in January for Season 9. This makes The Blacklist the third longest-running drama currently airing on NBC behind Law & Order: SVU and Chicago Fire. The series will return in fall 2021 without Boone, when the show will be back on Friday nights.

The Blacklist Season 8 airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. CT on NBC.