Netflix follows the footsteps of ABC and, yet again, cancels ‘Designated Survivor’ Season 4, the political thriller starring Kiefer Sutherland.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but ‘Designated Survivor’ Season 4 has been officially cancelled. The political thriller drama created by David Guggenheim aired on ABC for two seasons before being picked up by Netflix. In 2018, ABC made big changes to its drama slate when it cancelled the series, shortly after its second season.
- ‘Designated Survivor’ was one of television’s most gripping thrillers
- The real reason why Netflix axed ‘Designated Survivor’ Season 4
- A new season could’ve tied loose ends from season 3
The third season aired exclusively on Netflix last year. Kiefer Sutherland plays Thomas Kirkman, an American politician and the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
The story follows his character as he ascends from the position of Secretary to the President of the United States. He was named designated survivor at the State of the Union address, where an explosion killed everyone ahead of him in the presidential line of succession.
As the new head of state, Kirkman works towards uncovering the truth behind the attack and deals with his inexperience. The first season was impactful when it started. Sutherland’s performance as Kirkman was riveting and the cast supported him. The final season ended with cliffhangers, and it would have been great if fans could see more in ‘Designated Survivor’ Season 4.
But the streaming giant has made up its mind and doesn’t seem to be averse to their decision.
‘Designated Survivor’ was one of television’s most gripping thrillers
Viewers who have watched the first season will agree that ‘Designated Survivor’ was one of television’s most thrilling dramas. It featured a compendium of every unimaginable crisis the President could have possibly faced.
The series depicts him as a hero, even though certain incidents are too unreal to occur in the real world. But it does a great job at defining the roles of the POTUS, and the responsibility resting on his shoulders.
The pilot episode has a devastating plot, where an explosion destroys the historical Capitol Building. Thomas Kirkman, an inexperienced leader is immediately sworn in as President, and you see how his life changes. Other cast members including Maggie Q (Hannah Wells), Adan Canto (Aaron Shore), Kal Penn (Seth Wright) give genuinely memorable performances.
‘Designated Survivor’ had a seemingly impossible, but a fascinating premise. An accidental President is forced to deal with an unprecedented, perhaps the most important national crisis that the country has faced. Say what you might, but the show had a lot more potential than could be contained in just three seasons.
The real reason why Netflix axed ‘Designated Survivor’ Season 4
One might presume that viewership and ratings of the show were the reason behind its cancellation, the first time around. ABC cancelled the series shortly after the premiere of the second season. The network didn’t take into account that ‘Designated Survivor’ was one of television’s most popular political dramas back then.
Luckily for fans, Netflix decided to take the show forward and released the third season. And they too followed ABC in their footsteps when they cancelled the show after the third season. The streaming giant often gains rights for popular shows that get cancelled and renews them before cancelling them again. No one has ever understood why!
It has been revealed though that Netflix had signed a complicated contract with the show’s distributor. According to “Deadline”, Studio Entertainment One and Netflix signed deals with the cast that just lasted a year. It was impossible to bring them back for a fourth season. Season 3 had already been designated as the final season since a long time.
A new season could’ve tied loose ends from season 3
There’s so much that happened in the third season that we still need answers to! Emily (Italia Ricci) was horrified by the secrets of the presidential campaign and had an emotional ending.
She was seen leaving the celebration in tears, which makes us wonder if she’d return to help Kirkman. Without a new season, we’ll also never know if Aaron and Emily will get together again!
Kirkman has been corrupted by the greed that comes with politics, and he compromised his steadfast morals along the way. Isobel is pregnant with Aaron’s child, but she still hasn’t told him.
And most importantly, there is no update on the terrifying biochemical threat that is looming over the country! There’s still enough plot threads that could keep the series going, but without a series renewal, it’ll remain a mystery.
Do you want to see ‘Designated Survivor’ Season 4 dive deeper into the cliffhangers it presented us with? Let us know in the comments.