*Spoilers for Designated Survivor season 3 to follow*
Designated Survivor went a bit House of Cards in season 3, with Kiefer Sutherland’s Tom Kirkman getting his hands dirty on the campaign trail as he fought to get elected (for the first time, mind you) as President of the United States of America.
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The 10-episode season was its first on Netflix, after the streaming service decided to pluck the show from the jaws of death following its cancellation by US network ABC in 2018.
Has Designated Survivor been renewed by Netflix?
Though hopes were high that the series would continue on Netflix, the streaming service announced in July 2019 that it would not be commissioning a fourth season.
“We are proud to have offered fans a third season of Designated Survivor, and will continue to carry all three seasons for years to come,” it said in statement.
“We’re especially thankful to star and executive producer Kiefer Sutherland, who brought passion, dedication and an unforgettable performance as President Kirkman.
“We’re also grateful to showrunner/executive producer Neal Bear for his guiding vision and steady hand, creator/executive producer David Guggenheim and EPs Mark Gordon, Suzan Bymel, Simon Kinberg, Aditya Sood and Peter Noah along with the cast and crew who crafted a compelling and satisfying final season.”
Sutherland had previously indicated that the show might face cancellation (again!) in an interview on Scala Radio, revealing that many of the cast were never contracted for another season in the first place. “The contracts were so complicated and different from network television to Netflix – they didn’t book a lot of the actors who were on the show and they took other jobs,” he explained.
Since late last year, Netflix has cancelled quite a few shows that it deemed insufficiently successful, but it’s possible that these contractual complications was as strong a factor in Designated Survivor’s second axing as low audience numbers.
What could have happened in season 4?
At the end of season three, Kirkman won the election, having compromised his morals a bit along the way.
Earlier on, he had discovered evidence that his opponent Cornelius Moss (Geoff Pierson) was not involved in the biochemical conspiracy that loomed over the nation, and decided not to release this information ahead of the election.
As a number of people on his team are aware of this, it could very well have threatened his position in a fourth season. But bar a second miracle revival, it seems we’ll never know what happened next…