ABC wasn't 'confident about the creative path' for 'Designated Survivor'

Karen Butler
Kiefer Sutherland's show Designated Survivor will end its two-season run on ABC Wednesday. File Photo by Heinz Ruckemann/UPI
Kiefer Sutherland's show "Designated Survivor" will end its two-season run on ABC Wednesday. File Photo by Heinz Ruckemann/UPI | License Photo

May 15 (UPI) -- ABC passed on renewing Designated Survivor for a third season because the White House drama's ratings weren't high enough and its creative direction was unclear, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said.

"That's a hard one for us," he told reporters on a teleconference call Tuesday. "It did do well in delayed viewing. It was becoming a bit of a challenge for us in the 10 o'clock hour, in terms of its live, same-day performance. I think, creatively, we've also had a lot of behind-the-scenes turn on that show in terms of the number of showrunners that were involved. I think, ultimately, we were less confident about the creative path forward than with the other shows we brought back."


The series stars Kiefer Sutherland as secretary of Housing and Urban Development Thomas Kirkman, who is chosen to sit out the State of the Union speech and becomes president when an explosion destroys the U.S. Capitol building, killing everyone in it. The show's ensemble also includes Adan Canto, Kal Penn, Italia Ricci, Maggie Q, Kim Raver, Michael J. Fox and Breckin Meyer.


Season 1 of the show also starred Virginia Madsen and Natascha McElhone.

ABC announced last week that it canceled the series. The finale is to air Wednesday.

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