Kiefer Sutherland is undeniably best known for playing the role of action man Jack Bauer in 24. With that in mind, the news that he’d be assuming a similar role in ABC’s new political drama, Designated Survivor was met with a huge deal of delight when the network ordered a full series of the show last year. Since it’s announcement, there’s been few details around exactly what the series will entail, until now.
According to Vulture, ABC has released a new trailer for Designated Survivor, showing Kiefer Sutherland in action in his latest role. The show Designated Survivor itself sees Kiefer Sutherland once again cast into the spotlight, playing Tom Kirkman, a low-level cabinet member who suddenly becomes president following an attack on the United States during the State of the Union address. The concept is of course based on the idea that a member of the United States’ presidential line of succession must always be absent from such gatherings to allow continuity in the event of an attack on all other members of that line of succession.
Designated Survivor is based on the real-life concept that the United States government has a designated survivor in the event of an attack that wipes out the president and all other cabinet members. The idea of keeping a designated survivor originated during the Cold War and has been practiced since.
According to Deadline, the concept of a Designated Survivor combined with Kiefer Sutherland’s acting ability is sure to create a pretty stunning dramatic experience. ABC’s decision to cast a star as big as Sutherland into the leading role indicates the gravitas of the show for the network. That being said, there’s still no confirmation of an exact date when Designated Survivor will pilot, with ABC simply confirming that it will arrive this fall, sitting in their 10 p.m. slot on Wednesday evenings, with no confirmation of how long the series will be.
As mentioned, Kiefer Sutherland is best known for portraying the role of Jack Bauer in 24, one of the most popular action TV shows of its time. With that taken into consideration, it’s going to be difficult for fans of 24 to see Kiefer Sutherland in any role other than that of Jack Bauer. However, from the two-and-a-half minute clip, it looks like Sutherland’s character in Designated Survivor has an altogether different role to the one he portrayed in 24, suggesting that he might not be up for the top job of President of the United States after all.
Aside from his work on 24, Kiefer Sutherland has appeared in a number of other TV series and movies, which is something ABC will be looking to capitalize on by casting Sutherland in this role in Designated Survivor.
Designated Survivor was originally sold to ABC in just December of last year, but since then, the show has faced something of a rough journey. Amy B. Harris was originally attached as the series’ showrunner in February, 2016, but when the series was officially picked up in May, 2016, it was announced that she would be stepping down due to creative differences. Jon Harmon Feldman is currently believed to be in talks to replace her, whilst Kal Penn, formerly part of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement has been attached as a consultant to the series.
Interestingly, Kiefer Sutherland himself is attached as one of the producers of Designated Survivor, suggesting that he has a good deal invested in the show. Whether or not the series will have the same deal of success for him as 24 did remains to be seen, but the concept of Designated Survivor is shaping up to be an interesting one.
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