The line of succession for Designated Survivor leads to Netflix. ABC cancelled the Kiefer Sutherland vehicle after two seasons earlier in the year, but the studio behind the series, eOne, had been locked in talks with Netflix about picking up season 3 for well over a month, and a deal was finally agreed last year.

It’s a mixed bag of news, as the third season will be much, much shorter than seasons 1 and 2 – Netflix has agreed to throw money behind just 10 episodes to start with.

Designated Survivor season 3 trailer

Here’s the first trailer for season 3…

Designated Survivor season 3 release date

Designated Survivor will arrive on Netflix UK on 7th June.

Designated Survivor season 3 cast

THR reported that ER and Miracle Mile star Anthony Edwards signed up for a role in season 3. He’ll play Chief of Staff Mars Harper, “likable and folksy in his manner, and uses that gentility to impose his will. Savvy, experienced, and professional, Harper has served many administrations in many capacities. He is respected by all, regardless of party or ideological orientation. He’s come to impart discipline and organisation to a West Wing that, from his perch, has lacked focus. He will clash with other staff when he sees that the President’s (Sutherland) needs are not made number one, which will at times put him at odds with the new Campaign Manager (White) who might have her own agenda.”

The ‘White’ in question is Julie White (Shia The Beef’s mum in Transformers). Her campaign manager is called Lorraine Zimmer, “a force of nature who takes no prisoners with her strongly held views, backed by years of professional experience running successful campaigns. Previously, she ran a PR firm and is noted for disrupting established businesses. She is embroiled in a nasty divorce, for which she’s expected to pay the alimony. At first, Zimmer is wary of working with President Kirkman (Sutherland), who’s never run in an election. But she’s keenly savvy and notes that he’s blazing a new trail as the nation’s first incumbent president running as an Independent. Zimmer loves the challenge of shaping the campaign, noting that she’ll go down in history if she helps Kirkman pull a win. That zest to win may drive her to engage in dirty tricks and ultimately more nefarious backroom deals.”

Designated Survivor season 3 plot

President Kirkman will be up for re-election in season 3, and this time he has to earn it for real. Here’s a brief synopsis of what lies ahead for you:

“President Kirkman will face a political reality… campaigning. What does it take to make a leader? What price will he be willing to pay? This 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.”

Designated Survivor season 3 revival

Star Kiefer Sutherland will be returning to the central role of President Kirkman, and he had this to say about the revival news:

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to play President Kirkman for season 3 of Designated Survivor with Netflix, eOne, and Neal Baer. I believe this format will allow us to continue to delve deeply into storylines and issues concerning the American electorate that were not previously possible.”

Designated Survivor was originally given a straight-to-series order by ABC and premiered in 2016 to strong ratings. While they declined in the second season, the delayed viewing numbers were promising, which bodes well for the streaming service.

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The production of the show has been, shall we say, “turbulent”, with four showrunners in two seasons, and a fifth signing on for the third season.



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