Virginia Madsen in 'Designated Survivor.'

Virginia Madsen Won’t Return For ‘Designated Survivor’ Season 2

Following the success of the first season of Designated Survivor, ABC was quick to renew the Kiefer Sutherland political thriller for a second season. Whilst Sutherland and other major cast members have all been confirmed to be returning for the show’s second outing, there’s one noticeable exclusion from that cast list.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Virginia Madsen, who plays Speaker of the House and later Secretary of Education Kimble Hookstraten in the ABC drama, has confirmed that she won’t be returning for that aforementioned second season. The actress confirmed the news on Twitter this week, replying to a fan who praised her character in the show’s first season.

When pressed by another follower to answer why she would no longer be a part of the show, Madsen appeared to suggest that leaving wasn’t her decision. In her comments, the actress also heaped praise on the show’s other cast members and claimed the role of Kimble Hookstraten is one that she loved playing.

“I guess they had other stories to tell. It’s a big show so I wish them well. But I would like [to] return to kick some a**,” she said. “It was a great role. I was loving it.”

According to Digital Spy, at the start of the show’s first season, Madsen played Tom Kirkman’s (Sutherland) political rival Kimble Hookstraten, as the opposing party’s designated survivor. Whilst Hookstraten outwardly supported the Kirkman administration’s legitimacy, she was also seen to be bolstering her own political ambitions.

However, over the course of the show’s first season, Hookstraten grew to be one of Kirkman’s closest allies, eventually resigning her seat in Congress, with the condition to push through a piece of Kirkman’s legislation. The series ended with Hookstraten being rewarded for her efforts with a position in Kirkman’s cabinet as Secretary of Education. However, it’s now clear that the show’s producers don’t see a way forward for Madsen’s character, seemingly choosing to write her out of the show.

Over the course of its first season, Designated Survivor went through three different showrunners, with the third leaving at the end of that first season. It was confirmed earlier this year that Keith Eisner, best known for his work on the critically acclaimed The Good Wife, will pick up the reigns for the upcoming second season.

Designated Survivor will return to ABC later this year in the U.S. and Netflix internationally.

[Featured Image by ABC]