Hot on the heels of its North American premiere last night, Kiefer Sutherland-starrer Designated Survivor has gone up on Netflix’s platform worldwide. Deadline has confirmed that the streaming giant has inked a deal for international rights to the series from The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios. This follows initial speculation surrounding a pact during the LA Screenings. Entertainment One, via its relationship with The Mark Gordon Company, handles the conspiracy thriller/family drama.
Designated Survivor debuted on ABC in the 10 PM slot last night and, according to Deadline’s Dominic Patten, could become “an arena of national discussion, not to mention a narrative full of possibilities, in the weeks leading to this year’s real-life election and beyond.”
In his return to full-time network TV, Sutherland plays an ordinary man in an extraordinary situation. He’s Tom Kirkman, a lower level United States Cabinet member, who is suddenly appointed President after a catastrophic attack during the State of the Union kills everyone above him in the line of succession.
Mykelti Williamson, Natascha McElhone, Maggie Q, Kal Penn, Adan Canto, Italia Ricci and LaMonica Garrett co-star.
At TCA in August, Sutherland said of first reading the script, “I remember getting to the end and realizing I was potentially holding the next 10 years of my life in my hands. I felt the script was so beautifully structured: it had the thriller aspect of trying to find out who had done this and a family drama, what happens when overnight, you go from a very structured life to the life of the President.”
He added: “It allowed itself to format, on a political level, to have discussions that we need to have in this country in a rational way. We hear really important and respectable points of view from the left and the right .I felt that this script afforded every opportunity to treat a landscape that is so vast that being able to do many years of a show is possible… that is why I came to be a part of the show.”
David Guggenheim created the series and exec produces with Simon Kinberg, Sutherland, Gordon, Nick Pepper, Suzan Bymel and Aditya Sood, alongside showrunner Jon Feldman. The pilot was directed by Paul McGuigan.