Netflix revives Designated Survivor for third series

Kiefer Sutherland's series is back from the dead thanks to the streaming service

(Netflix, JG)

Designated Survivor has been revived by streaming service Netflix who have ordered a third series, four months after the show was cancelled by ABC.

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The Kiefer Sutherland-starring drama was brought to an abrupt end earlier this year when the network declined to renew it, leaving fans to wonder what would become of his character, President Tom Kirkman, after he decided to run for re-election as an independent.

Now, they get to find out with ten new episodes ordered and a new showrunner – Neal Baer (Law & Order: SVU) – on board, the show’s fifth in three years. The series’ main stars are all returning, with Sutherland joined by Kal Penn (Seth Wright), Adan Canto (Aaron Shore) and Italia Ricci (Emily Rhodes), and Maggie Q (Hannah Wells) in talks to sign on too.

The new series will see President Kirkman campaigning, trying to convince people to re-elect him to a job he first won in extraordinary circumstances – while also showing the dark side of modern vote-winning, from smear tactics, to campaign finance to fake news.

Rumours had rumbled for a while that Netflix was planning to pick-up the political drama, with the streaming service confirming that its international broadcast of series one and two (in the UK and other regions) had encouraged its new acquisition.

“The international audience for the show drove our interest to bring the show to the world as a Netflix original for its third season,” said Netflix’s Bela Bajaria.

Sutherland added that the show’s new home “will allow us to continue to delve deeply into storylines and issues concerning the American electorate that were not previously possible.”

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Designated Survivor is not the first show to be rescued by Netflix this year – the company picked up Lucifer weeks after Fox pulled the plug on the Tom Ellis series, responding to a dedicated campaign from fans.