Netflix has vetoed Designated Survivor‘s hope for a fourth season, cancelling the ABC cast-off after a 10-episode try-out on the streaming service.
“We are proud to have offered fans a third season of Designated Survivor, and will continue to carry all three seasons for years to come,” reads a statement from Netflix. “We’re especially thankful to star and executive producer Kiefer Sutherland, who brought passion, dedication and an unforgettable performance as President Kirkman. We’re also grateful to showrunner/executive producer Neal Bear for his guiding vision and steady hand, creator/executive producer David Guggenheim and EPs Mark Gordon, Suzan Bymel, Simon Kinberg, Aditya Sood and Peter Noah along with the cast and crew who crafted a compelling and satisfying final season.”
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The Sutherland-led political drama was cancelled by ABC in May 2018, after its sophomore run (averaging 3.9 million total viewers and a 0.7 demo rating) dropped 30 and 40 percent from its freshman season. Then-ABC chief Channing Dungey explained at the time, “We were less confident with the creative path forward than the other shows we brought back.”
Designated Survivor underwent three backstage shake-ups during its first two seasons. Amy B. Harris (Wicked City) originally served as showrunner on the series (which was created by David Guggenheim), only to be replaced in May 2016 upon its official pickup, with Jon Harmon Feldman (Blood & Oil). Feldman left in December 2016, and was succeeded by Jeff Melvoin (Army Wives). And then The Good Wife grad Keith Eisner stepped in to run Season 2.
Four months after ABC gave the series the hook, Netflix stepped in to “save” Season 3, with ER vet Neal Baer at the helm. TVLine readers gave those 10 episodes an average grade of “B+,” though some took issue with the TV-MA themes, language and content.