Much like Tom Kirkman skipped the whole campaign and election process, David Guggenheim's political drama Designated Survivor skipped the pilot stage and was ordered straight to series in December 2015. After the first episode premiered the following September, the show was quickly locked down for a full season. Now we're nearly at the end of Season 1 and it's official: Designated Survivor Season 2 is a go!
ABC has released their official statement and Designated Survivor, along with #AgentsOfSHIELD and American Housewife, will all continue for another season.
Will Designated Survivor Get A Season 2?
Yes! As ABC's most-watched scripted series, drawing in 11.4 million viewers, it was basically a given that Designated Survivor would carry on. While there has been some drop-off since the initial premiere in September 2016, viewership picked up again after the mid-season premiere and has remained relatively consistent. It's worth mentioning that Designated Survivor is notable for being a delayed performer when it comes to viewership — that is, about the same number of viewers watch the show live as record it to DVR and watch later. The series has also picked up interest due to its #Netflix deal. The first half of the season is available to stream right now, while the second half will likely become available in September.
In 2016, the series won the People's Choice Award for Most Exciting New Series, as well as the TV Guide Award for Most Exciting TV Series. It was also nominated for two Critics' Choice Awards, including Favorite New TV Drama, and Favorite New Actor in a TV Series for Kiefer Sutherland.
While the critics haven't always heaped praise on the series — the Guardian's Brian Moylan in particular said "this drama needs dialogue that won’t make the citizenry’s eyeballs roll" — across the board, they tend to agree that it's an entertaining hour of decent television.
Why Did It Take So Long To Renew Designated Survivor?
For such a young series, Designated Survivor has already been through some serious turmoil when it comes to holding on to a showrunner. This series has burned through more showrunners than Tom Kirkman has vice presidential hopefuls. The first choice for the job, Amy B. Harris (Sex and the City), left before the show even hit the air due to creative differences. Then came Jon Harmon Feldman (Blood & Oil), who held the position for about six months before Jeff Melvoin took over. On May 2, Deadline announced that Keith Eisner (The Good Wife) would be the fourth — and hopefully final — showrunner for Designated Survivor, although Melvoin will remain on the project in an executive producer capacity.
It's possible that ABC was holding out to make an official announcement about renewing Designated Survivor for Season 2 until they had signed a new showrunner to the series. Now that Eisner is in place, it's full steam ahead!
Check out the preview for the Season Finale of Designated Survivor, "Brace For Impact," which airs at on Wedesday, May 17 at 10/9c only on ABC.