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Could Netflix Be Designated Survivor's Last Second Savior?

Could Netflix Be Designated Survivor's Last Second Savior?
Credit: ABC/Sven Frenzel

Following up on earlier reports that eOne was actively pursuing a new home for recently cancelled Designated Survivor comes word that the production company is in direct talks with Netflix about picking up the Kiefer Sutherland-starring political thriller. Deadline Hollywood is reporting that discussions are still very much premliminary, and complicated by the fact that Hulu has domestic streaming rights to the first two seasons of the series. That said, Netflix would still make for a sensible home for the series considering the streaming service has the international rights (outside of the U.S. and Canada).

During the network's upfront presentation for their fall 2018-2019 programming line-up, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey explained that while the series did well ratings-wise with delayed viewing (which would make it an asset to a streaming service like Netflix), its same-day numbers were becoming an issue:"That was a hard one for us. It did well in delayed viewing but its Live+Same Day delivery in the 10 PM hour had become challenging".

Could Netflix Be Designated Survivor's Last Second Savior?

ORIGINAL POST: ABC is learning firsthand that Kiefer Sutherland's President Tom Kirkman isn't someone who shuffles off this mortal coil quietly, with word that Entertainment One (eOne) is looking for a new home for the recently-cancelled political thriller Designated Survivor. Deadline Hollywood is reporting exclusively that sources within eOne have told stated that "it's not over" and that negotiations are "right at the beginning but there's more to play on that one". Another sign of continued discussions about the show's future can be found in eOne's regulatory statement on the London Stock Exchange, which confirms "active discussions with other parties for further series of the show".

designated survivor netflix eone
Credit: ABC/Ben Mark Holzberg

Designated Survivor was cancelled after two seasons, with May 16 marking (for now, at least) the series finale on ABC. The series started strong for the network, and continued to post strong DVR numbers. Where eOne believes it has some hope is in international sales: Designated Survivor airs on CTV in Canada and Netflix around the world, so it's expected that the streaming service giant will be involved in the negotiations on some level.

Kiefer Sutherland stars as Tom Kirkman, a lower-level cabinet member who is suddenly appointed President of the United States after a catastrophic attack on the US Capitol during the State of the Union, on the highly anticipated ABC series Designated Survivor. In this dramatic thriller, Kirkman will struggle to keep the country and his own family from falling apart, while navigating the highly-volatile political arena and while leading the search to find who is responsible for the attack.

Designated Survivor stars Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, Natascha McElhone as Alex Kirkman, Adan Canto as Aaron Shore, Italia Ricci as Emily Rhodes, LaMonica Garrett as Mike Ritter, Tanner Buchanan as Leo Kirkman; with Kal Penn as Seth Wright and Maggie Q as Hannah Wells.

Designated Survivor is from The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios. David Guggenheim is the creator and executive producer. Mark Gordon, Simon Kinberg, Jeff Melvoin, Nick Pepper, Suzan Bymel, Aditya Sood and Kiefer Sutherland are executive producers. Materials for White House artwork/sets furnished by the White House Historical Association.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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