Is ABC’s New ‘Designated Survivor’ Kiefer Sutherland’s Shot At Another Award?

Fresh back from a night of award-winning television — meaning Emmy Awards, Kiefer Sutherland returns to television again with Designated Survivor on Wednesday night, and judging from the trailer, it looks like this could be the one that wins Mr. Sutherland some more awards!

Maybe he should be addressed as President Keifer Sutherland or as his character is named in Designated Survivor, President Tom Kirkman who is inaugurated as POTUS in place of a tragedy.

And while Keifer Sutherland has already won an Emmy and a Golden Globe, to name a few awards, Designated Survivor looks like the kind of show that puts him in so many different states of being that he’s going to have a chance to show some real range for once in his career.

Yes, sadly towards the end of the 24 series, it looked as if he was going through the motions. And really, anytime you ever see him in a film or another show, he tends to fall back into that desperate we usually find Jack Bauer in; that could be a real career killer if he had stuck with it for more than 8-9 seasons?

Kiefer Sutherland's Designated Survivor is his chance to win some more awards.
Kiefer Sutherland was at the sixty-eighth annual Emmy Awards as a presenter for most outstanding lead actress. [Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images]

Aside from being son to Donald Sutherland, Kiefer has something people like to see, and just the look of Designated Survivor is appealing.

For instance, the scene in the trailer that shows the massive explosion out the window; it’s brief but it’s also effectively cinematic, as only a Kiefer Sutherland tv series should be.

Also, just the subject matter to touch on here is something straight out of a pulp-thriller for a what-if kind of scenario, about a guy who’s on standby actually being activated to take on the biggest job in the country during a serious crisis in America.

Well, not serious. It’s fiction! But Kiefer Sutherland has to believe he’s that guy. Just what kind of emotions is he going to display? Surely, the Designated Survivor has to exercise some patience and be pensive at times.

Kiefer Sutherland explains the role of the Designated Survivor during a interview for the series.

Obviously from what we see in the video, a wide-range of emotions is the right prediction to make on this.

There’s good reason for Designated Survivor to not only be the show that’s going to challenge the acting prowess of Kiefer but, it’s also sure to be a hit for the simple reason that it presents a scenario that will go along with what America is feeling during an election year.

Designated Survivor gets its character into the oval office right before the 2016 Presidential Debates begin. And apparently, the show will also feature debates of its own, showing the character going through the process of conflict where many feel that Kiefer Sutherland’s character doesn’t have what it takes to be president.

Certainly, we can relate to this situation where people want to unseat him, as is the case during this election year, where both candidates are seen as too dangerous to be in the Oval Office for different reasons, with each of them saying that the other is unqualified.


It should be noted that the series also includes Kal Penn, who didn’t just star with Sutherland on the 24 series, but was also the Associate Director at the White House Office of Public Liaison for the Obama Administration. So he’s already coming into this role with some previous White House experience.

Maybe what we’re looking at here is parallel realism. And that is what is going to help viewers keep their focus on Kiefer Sutherland and believe in the dramatically, epic-thrills of Designated Survivor.

Also, since this is currently the only other show — other than Veep — taking place at the White House, once Election Day arrives, Designated Survivor might just get a lot more real than we might be prepared to handle.

[Image by ABC Studios]