Critic Consensus: Kiefer Sutherland skillfully delivers the drama in Designated Survivor, a fast-paced, quickly engrossing escapist political action fantasy.
Designated Survivor: Season 1 Videos
Designated Survivor: Season 1 Photos
Tv Season Info
as Tom Kirkman
as Jessica Kirkman
as Aaron Shore
as Emily Rhodes
as Mike Ritter
as Leo Kirkman
as Seth Wheeler
as Hannah Watts
as Kimble Hookstraten
as Harris Cochrane
as Abe Leonard
as Senator Jack Bowman
as Jason Atwood
as Penny Kirkman
as President Cornelius Moss
as John Forstell
as President Richmond
as Ambassador Ahmed Fayad
as Charlie Langdon
as Acting Defense Secretary
as Acting FBI Director
News & Interviews for Designated Survivor: Season 1
Sure, it's a far-out premise, but the suspenseful pilot gets your adrenaline pumping and it's fun watching Sutherland navigate a role where he can't rely on snapping anyone's neck -- at least not yet.
This is so chilling a premise, it's not something many of us want to think about, especially in these troubling times, and that makes Designated Survivor both disturbing and riveting.
Overly familiar story beats and cardboard character cutouts in Wednesday's opener blunt the return of Jack Bauer 2.0. A hint of genuine promise, however, remains.
The pilot is terrific, as it moves briskly through the horrific events that lead to Kirkland's ascension, featuring troubling images of the Capitol sending fire into the Washington, D.C., sky.
Audience Reviews for Designated Survivor: Season 1
Fresh and exciting, Designated Survivor is a riveting political thriller that delivers an impressive (though a little uneven) first season. When terrorists bomb the Capital during the State of the Union Address, killing the President and Congress, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Thomas Kirkman is thrust into the presidency and must rebuild the government and find those responsible for the attack. Starring Kiefer Sutherland, Natascha McElhone, Kal Penn, and Maggie Q, the show features an incredibly strong cast. And, the writers do a good job at addressing the realities of rebuilding the government and at having an inexperienced politician suddenly assume high office. But unfortunately the show changes directions mid-season, replacing the showrunner due to "creative differences," and becomes more of a left-leaning political drama. Still, the characters are compelling and there’s a fair amount of intrigue to the terrorist hunt (which is reduced almost to a minor subplot in the final third of the season). While it clearly has problems deciding what direction to take the show in, Season 1 of Designated Survivor is entertaining and full of suspense.
The premise is pretty terrible, which doesn't save the series from a bunch of unlikable characters and ridiculous plot that goes no where
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