Designated Survivor is, well, surviving for another season thanks to Netflix. The Kiefer Sutherland-led drama was cancelled recently by ABC after two seasons, but Netflix has ordered a third of 10 episodes to air in 2019. The series follows Sutherland’s character Tom Kirkman, an unassuming politician who becomes president after the elected POTUS and everyone else in the line of succession is killed in an attack that he must then solve.
The pickup is interesting for two reasons: One, since Netflix has ramped up its slate of original productions, it has not been in the business of “saving” many (or really any) shows recently. The second is that the new season of Designated Survivor will also welcome the fifth showrunner for a show that just completed two seasons. Neal Baer (Under the Dome) will helm the series going in to Season 3, for a show whose line of succession also included Amy B. Harris (Wicked City), followed by Jon Harmon Feldman (Blood & Oil) after the series was officially picked up. After Feldman left in the middle of Season 1, he was succeeded by Jeff Melvoin (Army Wives), but then Keith Eisner (The Good Wife) took over for Season 2.
As for the plot of Season 3, a press release from Netflix revealed that it will find Kirkman facing “a political reality — campaigning. What does it take to make a leader? What price will he be willing to pay? Democracy, as we know it, will hang in the balance.” This new season will also “explore today’s world of campaigning, smear tactics, debates, campaign finance and ‘fake news.’”
Sutherland also said in the statement that, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to play President Kirkman for Season 3 of Designated Survivor on Netflix… I believe this format will allow us to continue to delve deeply into storylines and issues concerning the American electorate that were not previously possible.”
EP Mark Gordon added, “The continuation of the show via Netflix is a win-win for all involved. The story of President Kirkman and those around him has not been fully told and we look forward to working with our new partner in continuing the show for a global audience.”
Designated Survivor Season 3 will premiere in 2019 on Netflix.