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Netflix pulls Designated Survivor from the wreckage of its own cancellation

“Wait, really?”
Photo: Ben Mark Holzberg (Getty Images)

In what we can only assume was some sort of perverse challenge to America’s embattled entertainment headline writers, Netflix has abruptly announced that it’s chosen ABC’s long-canceled Designated Survivor to, uh…designatedly survive? The Kiefer Sutherland political thriller was kicked out of office back in May, during one of the network’s annual show-killing sprees, a move that didn’t really surprise anyone, given the show’s falling ratings and the departure of multiple showrunners across its two-season run.

Now, though, THR reports that the series—in which Sutherland’s former HUD Secretary becomes President after a terrorist attack during the State Of The Union—has been revived at the streaming service (with yet another new showrunner in tow, natch). Neal Baer, who was set to take over the series when ABC pulled the plug, has signed on to continue the show for a third, 10-episode run.


Netflix—which has the streaming rights to the show’s first two seasons outside of the U.S. and Canada—cited the series’ international appeal as its major reason for taking it under its big-budget wing. “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 two seasons to our U.S. and Canadian members as well,” a company executive told reporters. The show’s third season will air internationally on the service at some point in 2019.

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