‘Designated Survivor’ Saved by Netflix; Fake News to Be Tackled in Season 3

Entertainment One

Some great news if you’re a fan of Kiefer Sutherland political-thriller series Designated Survivor.

ABC cancelled the series back in May, the result of declining ratings and a high showrunner turnover rate. The fans were understandably devastated, and as other shows such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Lucifer were saved, it appeared #SaveDesignatedSurvivor wasn’t making much of an impact. Well…

Negotiations between producing company Entertainment One and Netflix have paid off. The streaming giant will be taking on Designated Survivor‘s third season as a Netflix Original, with Sutherland continuing on in the lead role as President Tom Kirkman. Kal Penn, Adan Canto and Italia Ricci will also be returning; Maggie Q is currently in talks.

Penn tweeted the following after the news broke:

The third season will attempt to be more timely in the issues it tackles. The official synopsis Netflix has released for season 3 is as follows:

President Kirkman (Sutherland) will face a political reality… campaigning. What does it take to make a leader? What price will he be willing to pay? This season will explore today’s world of campaigning, smear tactics, debates, campaign finance and “fake news.” Democracy, as we know it, will hang in the balance.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to play President Kirkman for season 3 of Designated Survivor with Netflix, eOne and [showrunner] Neal Baer,” Sutherland said in a statement.

“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.”


Bela Bajaria, Vice President of Content for Netflix, said: “Timely and gripping, Designated Survivor has quickened the pulses of our Netflix members outside the US and Canada in its first two seasons. The international audience for the show drove our interest to bring the show to the world as a Netflix original for its third season and we are excited to bring the first 2 seasons to our US and Canadian members as well.”

The third season will consist of 10 episodes.  Production begins later this year with a release planned for 2019.



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Guillermo, Founder and Manager of Screen Realm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on Screen Realm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows. He's also started a video podcast with his wife, Cassandra. Find the LOUD OBSERVERS right HERE.