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Designated Survivor 

2:10 | Trailer
A low-level Cabinet member becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the line of succession.


David Guggenheim




3   2   1  
2019   2018   2017   2016  
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Kiefer Sutherland ...  Tom Kirkman 53 episodes, 2016-2019
Adan Canto ...  Aaron Shore 53 episodes, 2016-2019
Italia Ricci ...  Emily Rhodes 53 episodes, 2016-2019
Kal Penn ...  Seth Wright 53 episodes, 2016-2019
Maggie Q ...  Hannah Wells 50 episodes, 2016-2019
LaMonica Garrett ...  Mike Ritter 43 episodes, 2016-2018
Natascha McElhone ...  Alex Kirkman 33 episodes, 2016-2019
Jake Epstein ...  Chuck Russink 28 episodes, 2016-2018
Paulo Costanzo ...  Lyor Boone 22 episodes, 2017-2018


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 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. Written by ahmetkozan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Declare your independence.


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Did You Know?


This is the second collaboration between Kal Penn and Kiefer Sutherland since 24 (2001). See more »


It's occasionally said that Tom Kirkman is the first independent president of the United States. George Washington, the first president, was also an independent, and John Tyler, the tenth president, was expelled from his party and effectively served as an independent for most of his term. See more »


[from trailer]
Speechwriter #2: Guy's never been elected to anything.
Speechwriter #1: Did you know President Richmond fired him this morning? Now he's the president.
Seth Wright: Maybe he'll realize he has no business running the country.
See more »

User Reviews

Compelling but clunky and periodically plain embarrassing.
13 May 2017 | by davidhandsSee all my reviews

I've just binge watched it up to the end of Episode 18. The initial premise is interesting, whether or not it's actually based in reality. You always need to grant some leeway with "initial premises", especially these days. I stopped watching 24 after the second season because I found it too infantile and silly. I did watch The West Wing through to the end. This is a sort of 24 meets The West Wing. The show lets itself down with too many loving gazes between the President and his wife (does she have any flaws at all?), some terribly clunky lines and worst of all, the relentless US Patriot, buzz word laden speeches. "The American people deserve...". "Rebuilding our amazing nation...". "Rebuilding our fantastic Government". There's no mention of lobbyists or Corporate involvement in Government. There's no mention of the profound disconnect between citizen and Government that is a feature of contemporary politics. The various "third rails" of US politics are briefly mentioned. It is a show about a fantasy America and a fantasy American Government. It's the TV Show version of America that is challenged by the initial events and it responds the way TV Show script writers think such a world would respond. Having said all that, it moves reasonably quickly and the split between the two story arcs is well handled and engaging. The only caveat is - if you find "true blue, Mom and Apple Pie American sentimental patriotism" too much to bear, you're going to struggle with this show. But it's probably worth bearing with, all in all. There are far, far worse shows on TV.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

21 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Designated Survivor See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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