Designated Survivor

Watch Designated Survivor

  • TV-14
  • 2016
  • 3 Seasons
  • 7.4  (102,882)

Designated Survivor is a political thriller drama television series that aired on ABC from 2016 to 2019. The show stars Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, a low-level cabinet member who becomes the President of the United States after a catastrophic attack on the Capitol during the State of the Union address. The show follows Kirkman as he navigates the political landscape and faces numerous challenges in his new role as Commander-in-Chief.

The series begins on the night of the State of the Union address, when an explosion destroys the Capitol building, killing the President, Vice President, and most members of Congress. Kirkman, who had been named the designated survivor and was not in attendance, is sworn in as President. The sudden promotion throws Kirkman into a world of politics and power struggles that he never expected to be a part of. As he tries to navigate his new role, Kirkman also has to deal with the fallout of the attack, including the unraveling of a conspiracy that led to the bombing.

Throughout the series, Kirkman faces numerous challenges as he tries to lead the country through difficult times. He must deal with political tension between the White House and Congress, as well as international conflicts and threats of terrorism. He also faces personal challenges, including the strain his new position puts on his family.

The show features a talented cast, including Adan Canto as Aaron Shore, Kirkman's Chief of Staff; Italia Ricci as Emily Rhodes, Kirkman's Special Advisor; and Kal Penn as Seth Wright, the White House Press Secretary. Each of these characters serves an important role in Kirkman's administration and brings depth and complexity to the show.

Designated Survivor tackles important political and social issues, including terrorism, immigration, gun control, and corruption in government. The show explores these issues in a nuanced and thoughtful way, reflecting the complexities of real-world politics.

One of the standout features of the show is its strong character development. Kirkman undergoes a significant transformation throughout the series, from a relatively unknown politician to a confident and capable leader. His relationships with the other characters in the show, including his family and his staff, also evolve over time, adding depth to the show's narrative.

Overall, Designated Survivor is a gripping and intense political drama that explores the challenges of leadership and governance in a constantly changing world. With its talented cast, complex characters, and nuanced storytelling, the show is a must-watch for fans of political thrillers and drama series.

Designated Survivor is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (53 episodes). The series first aired on September 21, 2016.

Designated Survivor
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10. #truthorconsequences
June 7, 2019
On election day, Kirkman turns to his therapist to assuage his conscience about the events -- and his own decisions -- of the momentous prior 36 hours.
9. #undecided
June 7, 2019
Trailing in the polls, Kirkman weighs forcing the FBI's hand over the bioterrorism plot. Emily struggles with her mother's final wishes.
8. #scaredsh*tless
June 7, 2019
Kirkman mobilizes a frantic hunt for the bioterrorist. Lorraine plays hardball and pushes the opioid epidemic into the campaign fray.
7. #identity/crisis
June 7, 2019
A stray Russian bomber jeopardizes Seattle, Mars crusades against a drug company, and an event from Aaron's childhood vexes Kirkman's campaign.
6. #whocares
June 7, 2019
A dying Guatemalan child in a Texas hospital brings immigration to the fore. A mugging opens Kirkman's eyes to the realities of life in the capital.
5. #nothingpersonal
June 7, 2019
Emotions run high after despicable fake news goes viral, Isabel makes waves with a controversial appeal, and Wells finds a clue pointing to conspiracy.
4. #makehistory
June 7, 2019
Aaron's heritage and a widespread teachers' strike become polarizing issues, and Wells discovers a sinister pattern in a flu outbreak.
3. #privateparts
June 7, 2019
A political attack on Kirkman puts privacy and transgender rights in the spotlight. Aaron weighs a major decision. Wells and Eli track a bioterrorist.
2. #slipperyslope
June 7, 2019
A heated debate over child marriage roils Kirkman's staff. Opioid addiction hits home for Mars. A biohacker turns Wells onto a chilling new threat.
1. #thesystemisbroken
June 7, 2019
Now running for office for the first time, Kirkman and his nascent campaign stumble out of the gate. Wells gets a critical reassignment.
Where to Watch Designated Survivor
Designated Survivor is available for streaming on the ABC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Designated Survivor on demand at Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, Microsoft Movies & TV and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    September 21, 2016
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (102,882)