ABC canceled the drama at the end of last week, with the May 16 Season 2 finale currently serving as the series finale. But on Tuesday, Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter shared details on Netflix possibly picking up the series.
There are complications, though.
ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said it was a tough call to cancel the show, since it did well in delayed viewing, but it's Live+Same Day delivery in the 10 p.m. timeslot had become challenging. Plus, "The show had a lot of behind-the-scenes churn with the number of showrunners."
"Designated Survivor" had four showrunners in two seasons, and they just made a deal with a fifth showrunner for what would've been the third season. Deadline said that showrunner would go with the show if it gets picked up somewhere else. However, Hulu has SVOD rights in the U.S. for the first two seasons. Netflix does have the show internationally, but the rights situation would have to be sorted out.
THR listed more complications:
"Logistically, Designated Survivor is a difficult show. Production takes place in Toronto, the writers room is in Los Angeles and [show creator David] Guggenheim is based in New York. [Kiefer] Sutherland, who exec produces the series, is highly involved on the show's creative front and effectively does a pass on each script before it is finalized alongside Guggenheim."
However, THR added that the show was profitable for ABC "thanks in part to its lucrative Netflix SVOD deal and strong international sales."
If Netflix saves "Designated Survivor," it would mark a hat trick of rescues in the past week. Fox just picked up "Last Man Standing," which ABC canceled last year, and NBC nabbed "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" from Fox. "Lucifer" fans are hoping they'll get good news next, but we'll see.
For now, "Designated Survivor" will end with Season 2, Episode 22, "Run" on May 16. Here's the synopsis from ABC:
"A natural disaster threatens the lives of two White House staffers; Kirkman's closest allies are surprised when the president makes an announcement no one saw coming."
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