Fall Preview 2016: Does Kiefer Sutherland have new hit in ‘Designated Survivor’?

Designated -There are a few shows every season that you know are probably going to make it to the network schedule the moment that you first here about them, and ABC’s “Designated Survivor” is one of them. Let’s be clear here: This is a high-stakes drama series starring Kiefer Sutherland as the President of the United States. Who wouldn’t want to sign up on that based on premise alone?

As we’re about to spotlight further in the latest edition of our Fall Preview series, we do think that this show legitimately may end up being one of the bigger hits of the season. Not only that, but it could deserve said status on quality alone.

Premiere Date and Timeslot Competition – Wednesday, September 21 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time. In our mind, this is a spot ripe for the taking. “Chicago PD” is decently-rated but not a runaway hit, and over on CBS “Code Black” was a bubble show. It should be able to win its timeslot, and if it doesn’t, we would consider it to be a disappointment.

Logline – “Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor Kiefer Sutherland (“24”) returns to primetime in a conspiracy thriller as Tom Kirkman, a lower-level cabinet member who unexpectedly becomes president after a devastating attack on Washington. He will struggle to prevent the country and his own family from falling into chaos, as he is thrust into one of the most difficult presidencies in history.”

Cast – Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, Natascha McElhone as Alex Kirkman, Maggie Q as Hannah Watts, Kal Penn as Seth Wheeler, Adan Canto as Aaron Shore, Italia Ricci as Emily Rhodes, LaMonica Garrett as James Ritter, and Tanner Buchanan as Leo Kirkman.

Trailer – It’s in some ways intense, and in others a total underdog story. There is something gripping about it that we haven’t seen in every other trailer out there. Bonus points to ABC for determining that two and a half minutes really is the optimal length for this sort of thing. You really don’t need to go any longer than this, since you are otherwise just giving away your entire story at that point.

Overall Take – We love Sutherland, Kal Penn, Italia Ricci, and Maggie Q, so having them on the same show all at once is a cause for great celebration. We also think that the premise here is incredibly solid, and we really get the sense that ABC views this as their closest thing to a prestige show for the fall. Now, let’s just hope it delivers.

Want to get some more info on “Designated Survivor”? Then visit the official ABC site here.

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