Kiefer Sutherland explains 'Designated Survivor' cancellation

Julia Hunt
DESIGNATED SURVIVOR - Kiefer Sutherland as President Kirkman (Ben Mark Holzberg via Getty Images)

Kiefer Sutherland has suggested that viewing figures were not the big issue when it came to Netflix cancelling his series Designated Survivor.

The show – which starred Sutherland as US President Tom Kirkman – has been axed after three series.

However, Sutherland revealed that its end may have been more to do with the fact that some of the cast were not locked down for a fourth series, than rankings.

The political thriller started in 2016 and in 2018 Netflix waded in to rescue it, after original US network ABC decided against renewing it for a third series.

Read more: Designated Survivor axed by ABC

But Netflix has now said it will not be back for a fourth season.

Before the streaming service announced the cancellation, Sutherland told Simon Mayo on his Scala Radio show: “I don’t think series four is going to happen.

“We had an amazing experience with Netflix, and a kind of freedom that was wonderful.

“But the reality is, because the contracts were so complicated and different from network television to Netflix etc, they didn’t book a lot of the actors that were on the show, and they took other jobs, and I don’t blame them for a second for that.”

He went on: “I think doing a season four would be very complicated and difficult.

“The truth is I loved making that show.

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“I also miss aspects of what I enjoyed about 24 which was something that was really visceral and physical.

“I think it is time for all of us to go and find something new to do.”

Designated Survivor also starred Natascha McElhone, Kal Penn, Italia Ricci, Adan Canto and Maggie Q.