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When is Designated Survivor season 2 released on Netflix? Who's in the cast? What is going to happen?

Kiefer Sutherland returns for a second run-out as the US President-by-default in Netflix's explosive political drama

Published: Tuesday, 26th September 2017 at 5:04 pm

Netflix's explosive political drama returns for a second season this week after a summer hiatus.


Kiefer Sutherland stars as President Kirkman, formerly the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development until a terrorist attack killed pretty much everyone else in the government.

Find out everything you need to know about Designated Survivor season 2 below.

When is Designated Survivor season 2 released on Netflix?

Episodes of the new season will air weekly from Thursday 28th September.

Is there a trailer?

Not quite, but there is a short promo with sparse bits of dialogue from Kiefer, saying ambiguous things like "playtime is over". Check it out below.

Who's returning from season 1?

The majority of the cast from season 1 will return to fill out Kirkman's cabinet.

Designated Survivor

Italia Ricci, Kal Penn and Adan Canto return as White House chief of staff Emily Rhodes, press secretary Kal Penn and recently re-instated Aaron Shore respectively.

Outside of the Oval office, Natasha McElhone returns as First Lady Alex Kirkman, while FBI agent Hannah Wells (Michelle Q) and Secret Service agent Mike Ritter (LaMonica Garrett) will also be back.


Natasha McElhone in Designated Survivor

Virginia Madsen, who played alternative Designated Survivor Kimble Hookstraten, has announced that she will not be returning for season 2, but if Kiefer's previous show, 24, is anything to go by, there's always the possibility of a shock return.

Who is new to the cast?

The Night Of star Paulo Costanzo joins as a series regular, starring as new White House political director Lyor Boone, who is set to clash with the president from day one.

Paulo Costanzo

Suits star Zoe McLellan joins as wily attorney Kendra Daynes who lands a job as White House counsel.

Ben Lawson will star as MI-6 operative Damian Rennett, who meets Hannah while posing as a Dutchman in Amsterdam.

Ben Lawson

What is going to happen?

It looks as though the show will move in a slightly different direction under new showrunner Keith Eisner (former executive producer of The Good Wife).

ABC (the show's network in the US) President Channing Dungey told TVLine that the new season will feature less twists and turns, and hone in more on interpersonal dynamics in the fledgling administration.

"“One of the things we realized is it is a very high-concept show, and we had to get the audience past that concept and get [Kiefer Sutherland’s Tom] Kirkman into the White House and all the rest of it,” Dungey said. “And as much as we love the twists and turns and the cliffhangers, what we’re really looking forward to exploring in Season 2 is some of the character relationships and some of the interpersonal dynamics in the White House.”

The season 1 finale saw the President vowing to tell his people the truth about the conspiracy which took down almost the entirety of the US government and led to his appointment as commander-in-chief. However, while Agent Wells had apprehended CIA agent-turned-terrorist Nestor Lozano, and the mole in the White House (homeland security advisor Jay Whitaker) was sniffed out, there is still great cause for concern at the beginning of season 2.

Before he was apprehended, Whitaker disseminated classified security information to billionaire Patrick Lloyd, who is set to become the primary antagonist of the new season.


Designated Survivor season 2 will debut on Netflix on Thursday 28th September


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