‘Designated Survivor’ Renewed or Cancelled: Will the Show Return for Season 2?

Designated Survivor Finale, Designated Survivor Renewed or Cancelled, Designated Survivor Season 2, Will Designated Survivor Return for Season 2


Tonight is the season finale of Designated Survivor, and fans are itching to know if the show will be returning for a season 2. Is this the end of Tom Kirkman?

The series has been picked up for season 2. Variety reported the news last week, adding that while the ratings don’t place the series in the top 5 of ABC shows (based on ratings), it has seen “incredible success” in delayed viewing. On Tuesday, ABC also released their primetime fall schedule, and revealed that the show will continue to air at 10pm on Wednesdays. Come fall, it will play after American Housewife, which will run from 9:30-10pm.

Designated Survivor averaged a 1.24 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 5.8 million viewers. For comparison, the network’s top-rated show, Grey’s Anatomy, averaged a 2.07 and 7.8 million viewers.

Designated Survivor is a political thriller starring Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, a low-level cabinet member thrust into the role of President of the United States after an attack on Capital Hill kills everyone in the presidential line of succession. So far, viewers still don’t know who’s responsible for the fatal attack, but Sutherland promises this will be answered in the season finale tonight. The actor tells ABC7 New York, “The stories that started the beginning of the season will start to come to a conclusion… And that’s going to allow us, next season, to really explore the family dynamic of the stresses of living in the White House.”

A recent Hollywood Reporter article commented on the series’ relationship to the current political climate, writing, “…how is it possible for the modern political landscape to not impact the Designated Survivor writing process?” In his interview with the outlet, Sutherland spoke about how his experiences in the entertainment industry have seemed to be similar to and/or mirror real life on a number of occasions.

We shot seven months of 24 before the terrible day of 9/11. The next year, we decided that we were going to explore domestic terrorism. Three episodes aired, and they caught the guy who was coming into the country through Vancouver with Sarin gas. It was eerie how we were just imagining the worst circumstance possible, create a season of 24 around it, and six months later, it was happening for real.

The actor says that he hopes the show succeeds in breaking people’s strict adherence to certain political ideologies and that people can get “back to a place where [they] can actually talk to each other.”