The show, from Mark Gordon Co./Entertainment One and ABC Studios, had been a strong draw for eOne in international markets, an important factor these days in the survival of any scripted series. And Sutherland is the kind of name-brand star that broadcast networks like to have in their sizzle reels.
But “Designated Survivor” was handicapped almost from the start by a revolving door of showrunners. Entertainment One had lined up drama veteran Neal Baer to take the helm of season three, which would have made him the show’s fifth showrunner. Sutherland per his contract had veto power over showrunners and had approved Baer. Sources say Baer had been busy this week meeting with writers to assemble a new staff before the word of the cancellation came down.
Another factor that may have played a part in ABC’s decision to pull the plug was the fact that Sutherland’s contract called for production of the show to move to Los Angeles in season three, after two seasons in Toronto. Such a move would have raised the cost of producing a show that was already on the higher-end of budget for broadcast dramas.
Will you miss Designated Survivor? Hoping the series gets picked up elsewhere?