After an outcry of fan support and a lengthy deal, “Designated Survivor” is back for a third season this Friday on Netflix. This comes a little more than a year after ABC cancelled the high-profile drama after just two years.
Kiefer Sutherland returns as President Tom Kirkman, who was sworn-in as Commander in Chief in the Pilot episode following one of the most horrific attacks in U.S. history. On the Season 2 finale, Kirkman announced to the American people that he would run in the 2020 election… as an Independent.
Season 3 will focus on Kirkman’s campaign, with regulars Aaron Shore (Adan Canto), Emily Rhodes (Italia Ricci) and Seth Wright (Kal Penn) still on his team. Or are they? Plus, what’s Maggie Q’s Agent Hannah Wells up to? And how does new White House Chief of Staff Mars Harper (played by Anthony Edwards) fit into this constantly evolving equation?
“Designated Survivor” kicked off with an intense, unpredictable and highly satisfying first season. But the show an unexpectedly and forcefully lighter tone for the first half of Season 2… until a midseason twist that was essentially spoiled the day Season 2 premiered.
“DS”, which has had a number of showrunners in a short period of time, attempted a big bounce back with a second half of Season 2 arc involving Michael J. Fox’s Ethan West. As a devoted fan of the series, Fox’s presence and storyline helped bring the show back into its proper form. But it wasn’t enough to boost the ratings and keep ABC interested in having it on their lineup.
Their cancellation of “DS” came as a surprise considering the show’s solid following. On two occasions, live viewership was as low as 3.3 million viewers. But in Live +7 DVR viewing, it averaged well over 7 million.
Netflix, which now owns the streaming rights to the first two seasons, is gearing-up for a big Season 3. “Designated Survivor” will certainly take the place of “House of Cards” as their primary political program.
There will only be 10 episodes for Season 3, and they will reportedly be unveiled all at once. So – it’s safe to say – binging is an Executive Order.