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Designated Survivor in the Media: Breaking News from the White House (Set)

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Premieres this fall in the Wednesday 10pm Eastern timeslot, following a two-hour sitcom block.

 

Full Trailer:

 

Official Description:

Quote

Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Kiefer Sutherland (“24”) returns to primetime in a conspiracy thriller as Tom Kirkman, a lower cabinet member who unexpectedly becomes president after a devastating attack on Washington. He will struggle to prevent the country and his own family from falling into chaos, as he is thrust into one of the most difficult presidencies in history.

“Designated Survivor” stars Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, Natascha McElhone as Alex Kirkman, Maggie Q as Hannah Watts, Kal Penn as Seth Wheeler, Adan Canto as Aaron Shore, Italia Ricci as Emily Rhodes, LaMonica Garrett as James Ritter, and Tanner Buchanan as Leo Kirkman.

“Designated Survivor” is from The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios.  David Guggenheim is creator and executive producer.  In addition to Guggenheim, the series is executive produced by Simon Kinberg, Kiefer Sutherland, Mark Gordon, Nick Pepper, Suzan Bymel, and Aditya Sood. Paul McGuigan directed the first episode.

(pulled from the ABC press site)

Edited by Just Here

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On 5/18/2016 at 2:48 PM, Just Here said:

Premieres this fall in the Wednesday 10pm Eastern timeslot, following a two-hour sitcom block.

On after sitcoms?  Mixed blessing. Those four sitcoms have a built in audience that's fairly healthy, but then people will start talking about "drop offs" and other stuff like that if the show loses those viewers.

It's up against one of those Chicago shows, so again that's a mixed result. I think Chicago P.D. is the most established of those, and that's what they have to deal with, but the actual ratings seem okay, but not THAT insurmountable (1.55 18-49 demo average). Note that NBC's ratings are SO shit overall, that still made it their 5th best rated scripted show last year, at least going by those demo scores.  

And the CBS competitor in the slot, Code Black, got mediocre ratings at best last year too (1.27 18-49 demo average).  That said, better known CBS shows like Hawaii Five-O, Elementary, The Amazing Race and Madame Secretary scored even worse (Elementary MUCH worse) and also still got renewed. 

Nashville, what ABC previously had in this spot, left some pretty easy numbers to better though... (0.96 18-49 demo average for their last season on ABC). 

Of course we have to actually SEE the show, but I think just on the star, premise, timeslot, competition, it stands a decent chance.

 

In other "news" Kiefer sings.  Because of course all middle aged actors do. The audio on this video for the album he's trying to peddle now is definitely "sweetened" digitally though (you can tell). I'd probably have to hear him live to decide if he's actually any good.

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Wait. Here he is on Kimmel (apparently just the other day).. Yes, it was sweetened on the formal video, but to Kiefer's credit he's okay here:

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7 minutes ago, paigow said:

Kiefer managed to get Kurt Cobain & Dwight Yoakam in his band....

One of those is a much harder task than the other!

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I realize Kiefer would hate the idea but I'd like to see him do a 24-themed ballad ("Damn it, there's not enough time/Chloe, open a socket/The terrorists are about to fire/A nuclear rocket").

As regards this show I'm looking forward to it. It clearly takes inspiration from Tom Clancy, who wiped out the entire US government except for one guy all the way back in 1993 (via a commercial airliner turned into a crude missile - I sure hope actual terrorists never think of that one!). The following book, Executive Orders, was all about what a Presidency would be like with no House or Senate, no SCOTUS, no Joint Chiefs, etc. while the new POTUS gets himself in trouble by speaking plainly because he wasn't really a politician to begin with. As with all Tom Clancy works there is war and this show looks like it will have plenty of military drama as well. However, I hope we get some domestic conflict as well. I know it's silly of me to hope that a Kiefer Sutherland military/political drama will tackle hard-hitting issues like tax policy or the environment but I've already seen Jack Bauer save the world from nuclear/chemical/biological annihilation nine times over. Let's see what a well-intentioned but clueless President does without checks and balances.

Edited by dwmarch

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On 31/08/2016 at 4:00 AM, dwmarch said:

 I know it's silly of me to hope that a Kiefer Sutherland military/political drama will tackle hard-hitting issues like tax policy or the environment but I've already seen Jack Bauer save the world from nuclear/chemical/biological annihilation nine times over. Let's see what a well-intentioned but clueless President does without checks and balances.

Not silly at all IMO. I am way too happy that Kiefer is in charge of Housing and Urban Development. A planning nerd! With glasses!

Edited by marinw · Reason: Autocorrect spelled Kiefer as Liefer

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On 8/27/2016 at 10:10 PM, Kromm said:

In other "news" Kiefer sings.  Because of course all middle aged actors do. The audio on this video for the album he's trying to peddle now is definitely "sweetened" digitally though (you can tell). I'd probably have to hear him live to decide if he's actually any good.

He's pretty good and usually plays at small, "locals" bars. 

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So is this show  going old school to pump up its live viewing numbers and not putting episodes on demand until a newer episode has aired?

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Did anyone else watch the 20/20 special on Wednesday about the real designated survivor? Apparently there really IS no continuity of government plan in place. And I got a kick out of Dan Glickman, who was clinton's DS in  1996. He said he was allowed to go anywhere that wasn't in DC so he chose his daughters Manhattan apartment.  He said she called every one of her friends to tell them about it and he was taken there on an air force plane, had a motorcade and everything. The guy with the nuclear football and a whole contingent of secret service agents were  in the lobby during the sotu and for a couple of hours, he was the most important person in the world. Then afterward, the agents left and he went to dinner with his daughter. He joked that they couldn't find a cab home because of inclement weather and how he went from being everything to nothing in a span of a couple of hours.

Other DS said it's s job no one wants and everyone begs not to get.

there is however s secret bunker somewhere for members of congress in case of a catastrophe. It used to be in Greenbrier, but the press found out about it and the government was forced to abandon it. It's now a tourist attraction. 

I found the show fascinating. 

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Not a good sign.

http://deadline.com/2016/12/new-showrunner-for-designated-survivor-1201864262/

Ratings still in free-fall.  Haven't dived into the forums since Week 2.  Just watched the last three episodes back-to-back-to-back.  As much as I wanted to like it, this show is dreadful.  I cannot stand the badly-done West Wing like corridor walks.  Hardly a homage, more likely an idea gone wrong. The First Lady may actually be age appropriate, but the character is awful.  The Chief of Staff and Chief Assistant are woefully miscast and wholly unbelievable, even in this era of Trump.  The investigation being done would hardly be handled by a single agent, or even a close small group.  It would be massive, with multiple layers.  Not a sexy bimbette type strolling nervously around a parking garage.

I think we have a new drinking game for a Keifer show.  I swear he thanks "Wyatt" the attentive white-bread assistant a dozen times every episode. Wyatt is no Mrs Landingham.

For a nation only six weeks removed from a Huge Tragedy, there is still too much calm and everyday-ness.   They shouldn't even bother showing the faux news clips.  It only adds to the unbelievability.  Cable nets would still be screeching, unless this is supposed to be 1997.

ABC had another Presidential show earlier this century called Commander In Chief, featuring Geena Davis as the first female president, complete with family melodrama, obnoxious staff, eager generals, and Polly Bergen as Mom.  It raced to sky high ratings, then died, whimpering, by the end of Season One.

i wonder how ABC plans to prevent the same fate to DS.

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5 minutes ago, SanDiegoInExile said:

But the article also says (in addition to there being a new showrunner):

Quote

...Despite this, the show’s fortunes look good for now, as ABC and The Mark Gordon Company have signed a multi-season deal with Netflix for Designated Survivor‘s international rights.

I'm okay with it getting canceled; I'm just not sure if that's likely or not.

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agree with @marinw and @Danielg342. I mostly like the show and think a new show runner could be exactly what it needs. It got off to a good start and sometimes still shows flashes of greatness. It veers off wildly in too many directions. but I'm still hopeful. If the new guy can right the ship and bring some real tension to the plots, it could easily pick up steam in the final half of the season.

Interesting that Kiefer has final script control.

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I wonder what's the direction they want to take. Initially this show seemed to be a more serious take on politics and what it would mean for someone to suddenly become the POTUS in the wake of a tragedy. Eventually, it all turned into a batshit conspiracy thriller. Personally, I'm fine with either direction, because I like the cast and also because I need to know if McLeish is actually evil or not, so I want to stick it out (as of now). I have to wonder if the change of showrunners is because they want to take the show back to its roots, or because they realize the show changed and they want to fully embrace that.

Either way, I'll be watching. I love Kiefer and Maggie Q too much to quit. And, weirdly, I look forward to this show, it's not a chore for me. It's not great tv, but it doesn't bore me.

4 hours ago, Sake614 said:

agree with @marinw and @Danielg342. I mostly like the show and think a new show runner could be exactly what it needs. It got off to a good start and sometimes still shows flashes of greatness. It veers off wildly in too many directions. but I'm still hopeful. If the new guy can right the ship and bring some real tension to the plots, it could easily pick up steam in the final half of the season.

Agreed. There's still time for a coherent show that isn't 50% dull POTUS stuff and 50% melodramatic FBI stuff. Either make the political machinations more poignant and bring the kidnappings down several notches, or fully embrace the wackiness and turn this show into Alias (when it was good).

Edited by Princess Lucky
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7 hours ago, Princess Lucky said:

Either way, I'll be watching. I love Kiefer and Maggie Q too much to quit. And, weirdly, I look forward to this show, it's not a chore for me. It's not great tv, but it doesn't bore me.

I co-sign! And I also really like Kal Penn in this role. And I like the first lady.

Sometimes there are mediocre shows I can't stop watching. Like Gossip Girl. (Hides in shame)

 

This discussion reminds me of 24. Now there was a show that effectively combined deep thinky thoughts about politics and terrorism with batshit crazy plots and great action.

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12 hours ago, marinw said:

I co-sign! And I also really like Kal Penn in this role. And I like the first lady.

...

This discussion reminds me of 24. Now there was a show that effectively combined deep thinky thoughts about politics and terrorism with batshit crazy plots and great action.

I love Kal Penn! And Malik Yoba, and Virginia Madsen, and the McLeish guy, and I do think the actors who play Aaron and Emily are very solid and underused. I like everybody, basically.

Oh and Mike! Who can forget Mike?

And I almost typed 24 instead of Alias in my previous comment, heh. That's another formula they could follow. Embracing both directions, maintaining the wild thriller aspect and deepening the conversation in terms of the political storylines. Let's see if they can pull that off.

Edited by Princess Lucky
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57 minutes ago, Princess Lucky said:

I love Kal Penn! And Malik Yoba, and Virginia Madsen, and the McLeish guy, and I do think the actors who play Aaron and Emily are very solid and underused. I like everybody, basically.

I agree about the cast and characters and that's why I think that a new showrunner could be a good idea. What the show sorely lacks, imo, is an identity and a clear direction, and setting those are a showrunner's job. For now, DS tries to be too many things at the same time, and fails to exploit its potential to the max imo. 

I also suspect that TPTB believed a bit too much in their own hype and forgot to deliver along the way. Again, they might have a grand clever master plan for the last episode of the season, but they have to keep people entertained in the meanwhile. A self-righteous lecture isn't my personal idea of entertainment and it's what the show turns into when at its worst imo.

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On 12/7/2016 at 4:16 PM, marinw said:

Right now this show is less than the sum of its parts.

Right now this show is less than the difference of its parts.  Or the quotient of its parts.  Possibly the derivative of its parts.

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Are people going to remember this show exists come March? This is a show that needs to build momentum, not take a few months off. Or a tight, 13 episode season. See The Good Place!

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30 minutes ago, chitowngirl said:

Are people going to remember this show exists come March? This is a show that needs to build momentum, not take a few months off. Or a tight, 13 episode season. See The Good Place!

Isn't there a new show runner for the second half?  If so, I hope that there is sort of re-start feeling to it.  After what I considered a strong premiere, this series started to unravel pretty quickly.  I'm also guessing that there may be some adjustments in tone in the second half--I got the feeling that the show was written in the mind that we would be in a different place right now.

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On 23/1/2017 at 1:34 AM, chitowngirl said:

Are people going to remember this show exists come March? This is a show that needs to build momentum, not take a few months off. Or a tight, 13 episode season. See The Good Place!

 

On 23/1/2017 at 2:06 AM, OtterMommy said:

Isn't there a new show runner for the second half?  If so, I hope that there is sort of re-start feeling to it.  After what I considered a strong premiere, this series started to unravel pretty quickly.  I'm also guessing that there may be some adjustments in tone in the second half--I got the feeling that the show was written in the mind that we would be in a different place right now.

Well, it's March, and I sure do remember this show.

In fact, I just saw a somewhat promising interview with the new showrunner about what might change. Most of it was the usual hyping up of the show, but two things caught my eye. One, Rob Morrow will be added as a recurring character (I love him!) as a journalist butting heads with Seth, and two, this:
 

Quote

The show started with a three-pronged approach. You had Kirkman's fast rise to the presidency, you had the conspiracy and Hannah's story, and you had the Kirkman family drama that came with entering the White House. That last part seemed to fall off as the show went on, are you going back to that or do you think the show works better without it being a focus?

Melvoin: That's a great question, and one of the things when I was brought in and had the opportunity to look at what was working and what was not working -- and this has everything to do with how the show has evolved from a creative point of view, not anything to do with the actors -- the intent may have been to have a three-ring circus where every ring had its part, and they do, but they're not all the same size is what I think the viewers discovered. At least for this initial season, and probably beyond, the family can provide color and texture but not plot so much. I think where the show had a few missteps in the first 10 episodes was to try to put too much burden of plot on the family aspect of it. While you're trying to figure out who blew up the Capitol and killed a thousand people and trying to get your footing as the president when you've had no political experience, whatever is happening in the background family wise, while it's always important to the characters isn't quite so important to the audience or the plot itself. So the family remains vitally important, it's just a matter of to what degree and how we use them. At the moment they're more for accent and color than strict plot.

Less family drama! Now that's a change I can get behind. I appreciate that they saw certain things weren't working, and they weren't shy in dealing with them. New showrunner, new approach, objectivity about what didn't work (i.e. that whole paternity mess).

It appears the show will focus more on a) the conspiracy and b) Kirkman's presidency, and that's pretty much what I was hoping, when I heard there'd be a revamp. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Edited by Princess Lucky
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Hurray! I was just watching CNN and saw a new teaser, with a shot of the destroyed captial and Kiefer sitting on a couch holding his glasses and looking pensive.

I have missed this show, and  discussing it with all of you good people. 

Yes, please, of more of Tom presidenting, assumeing he didn't get shot. 

Edited by marinw
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9 hours ago, paigow said:

Reagan did the same hospital room wave after he got shot....

I think that is exactly why they did it.  It is something that the viewers would recognize and tie them back to a specific point in presidential history.

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On 3/8/2017 at 1:51 PM, Princess Lucky said:

Less family drama! Now that's a change I can get behind. I appreciate that they saw certain things weren't working, and they weren't shy in dealing with them. New showrunner, new approach, objectivity about what didn't work (i.e. that whole paternity mess).

Only the first episode back, but there was a lot of completely unnecessary family drama -- Tom telling his wife about the appointment and some clap-trap with the son (I fast-forwarded as soon as I saw his face).  Meanwhile, the dialogue between Mr and Mrs Vice President was terribly repetitive.

Do better, guys.

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On 3/9/2017 at 10:25 AM, paigow said:

Reagan did the same hospital room wave after he got shot....

Did he? He waved to the crowd just before he got shot and 2 weeks later after he returned to the White House.

Edit: Ah, I was right: here it is, the real story. Reagan waved out of the hospital after his treatment for colon cancer in 1985. So the claim that he waved from the hospital window after getting shot IS fake news. *sigh*

On 3/9/2017 at 8:04 PM, OtterMommy said:

I think that is exactly why they did it.  It is something that the viewers would recognize and tie them back to a specific point in presidential history.

No, it never happened. He did wave once from a hospital room window but that was 4 years after the attempt on his life by that lunatic.

Edited by Tabasco Cat

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On ‎3‎/‎30‎/‎2017 at 2:20 PM, Happy Harpy said:

The show is still back to series low, with a 1.1.

More worrying, the second half-hour was fractional.

The upside is that, according to TV By the Numbers, Designated Survivor is still far and away the highest-rated of ABC's first-year dramas this season (the network has already canceled at least two of the others, IIRC), so TVBTN is calling it a sure bet for renewal at this point.

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19 hours ago, wilnil said:

The upside is that, according to TV By the Numbers, Designated Survivor is still far and away the highest-rated of ABC's first-year dramas this season (the network has already canceled at least two of the others, IIRC), so TVBTN is calling it a sure bet for renewal at this point.

Considering the horrible state of the ABC drama department, I think the show is quasi-certain to be renewed. Unless, of course it crashes and burns. It still has a third of the season to go.

Going fractional is never a good sign. I'm not worried for this season, more that it could become another Quantico.

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