'Designated Survivor,' Kiefer Sutherland get new life on Netflix

USA TODAY

Published 1:15 p.m. UTC Sep 6, 2018

'Designated Survivor,' Kiefer Sutherland get new life on Netflix

"Designated Survivor" lived up to its title Wednesday, getting revived from cancellation after Netflix picked up a third season of the Kiefer Sutherland White House drama.

The streaming service committed to 10 episodes of the drama, which follows a low-level cabinet member (Sutherland) who becomes president after at terrorist attack.

After a strong start in 2016, "Survivor" lost viewers in its second season and ABC canceled the show in May. There was immediate speculation that Netflix might become the show's new home, although no action was taken until Wednesday.

What "Survivor" lacked in audience numbers, it may have made up for in devotion. The drama series ranked second, behind NBC's "Timeless," among voters in USA TODAY's Save Our Shows poll. As a result of fan devotion, "Timeless" will get a two-hour movie in December to wrap up the series. 

More: Rescues prove TV cancellations are reversible: Is 'Designated Survivor' next?

More: ABC cancels 'Designated Survivor,' 'Quantico'; 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' could resurface

In a statement, Sutherland expressed gratitude to Netflix, production studio Entertainment One and executive producer Neal Baer and said the streaming service offers new creative opportunity.

"I believe this format will allow us to continue to delve deeply into story lines and issues concerning the American electorate that were not previously possible," he said.

According to Netflix's description of Season 3, Sutherland's President Tom Kirkman "will face a political reality: campaigning. What does it take to make a leader? What price will he be willing to pay? The season will explore today's world of campaigning, smear tactics, debates, campaign finance and 'fake news.' Democracy, as we know it, will hang in the balance."

Production will begin later this year with a premiere in 2019. The first two seasons will be available exclusively on Netflix this fall.

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