Designated Survivor is not surviving for another season. Instead of renewing the presidential drama for a third season, the ABC network has opted to cancel the series and move on.
Variety has shared a report that sheds some light on the behind-the-scenes reasons for the Designated Survivor cancellation. According to the report, the show’s revolving door of showrunners – which would have seen Neal Baer stepping in as the series’ fifth showrunner for season 3 – frustrated the show’s star, Kiefer Sutherland. Additionally, there is said to be a clause in Sutherland’s contract that necessitated an expensive production move to Los Angeles. The combination of rising costs and an unsteady helm, it would seem, put the ABC executives off the idea of renewing. The show’s ratings were dipping, as well, which probably didn’t help.
Designated Survivor starred Sutherland in the role of Thomas Kirkman, the US government’s Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development, who was promoted suddenly to the role of POTUS after an explosive attack on the Capitol Building wiped out every other contender for the role.
This was a very strong concept for a show, and in Designated Survivor‘s two seasons, the writers and actors involved told some interesting stories within that framework. It is somewhat sad that behind-the-scenes issues got in the way, and the story will have to abruptly end at the close of Designated Survivor season 2.