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      Season 1 – Designated Survivor

      2016 Drama List
      87% 63 Reviews Tomatometer 77% 1,000+ Ratings Audience Score As a lower-level cabinet member, Tom Kirkman never imagined something would happen that would catapult him to the oval office. When a devastating attack on the night of the State of the Union address claims the lives of the president and most of the Cabinet, the Housing and Urban Development secretary -- who was named the designated survivor in case of such an event -- finds himself promoted to leader of the free world. Suddenly thrust into his new position of power, Kirkman struggles to keep the country from dissolving into chaos and must adjust to his new normal, unaware of what fresh horrors may await the United States. Read More Read Less Watch on Vudu Premiered Apr 19 Buy Now

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      Designated Survivor — Season 1

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      Watch Designated Survivor — Season 1 with a subscription on Netflix, or buy it on Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV.

      Designated Survivor — Season 1

      What to Know

      Critics Consensus

      Kiefer Sutherland skillfully delivers the drama in Designated Survivor, a fast-paced, quickly engrossing escapist political action fantasy.

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      Cast & Crew


      Episode 1 Aired Sep 21, 2016 Pilot Lower-level cabinet member Tom Kirkman becomes president of the United States after a catastrophic attack on the U.S. Capitol; Kirkman must keep the country and his family safe while leading the search for the those responsible for the attack. Details Episode 2 Aired Sep 28, 2016 The First Day Amid chaos and confusion, President Kirkman steps into his role as commander in chief and struggles to hold the country together. Details Episode 3 Aired Oct 5, 2016 The Confession President Kirkman and his staff try to keep a White House security breach a secret as he prepares for a television interview; the FBI continue their investigation into the bombing. Details Episode 4 Aired Oct 12, 2016 The Enemy After learning who was behind the attack, Kirkman faces the prospect of war and growing domestic problems; Kirkman assigns Emily to keep an eye on the situation at home; Alex seeks help from Hookstraten. Details Episode 5 Aired Oct 26, 2016 The Mission After realizing that diplomacy isn't going to work with Algeria, President Kirkman decides to send the Navy SEALs on a mission; the probe into the Capitol bombing continues. Details Episode 6 Aired Nov 9, 2016 The Interrogation A shooting at the White House during a governors' summit throws President Kirkman's plans to elect a new Congress into turmoil; Agent Hannah makes a shocking discovery in her investigation of the capitol bombing. Details Episode 7 Aired Nov 16, 2016 The Traitor An American track-and-field coach's trip to Russia forces Kirkman into a hostage exchange involving the CIA and the Russian government; Agent Wells and Deputy Director Atwood's investigation uncovers dangerous information. Details Episode 8 Aired Nov 30, 2016 The Results An unexpected event leads Kirkman to consider canceling the House of Representative elections; Kirkman handles the fallout from the leaked news of Majid Nassar's death. Details Episode 9 Aired Dec 7, 2016 The Blueprint President Kirkman searches for the party responsible for leaking classified government documents online; agent Hannah Wells searches for evidence of MacLeish's part in the conspiracy. Details Episode 10 Aired Dec 14, 2016 The Oath President Kirkman suspects there may be a traitor in the White House when he finds disturbing information connected to the Capitol bombing; more information emerges about Congressman MacLeish, causing concern about his vice presidential nomination. Details Episode 11 Aired Mar 8, 2017 Warriors The nation reels from the aftermath of the shooting; Emily struggles with the knowledge there may be a traitor in the White House; Wells wrestles with her decision to reveal what she knows about the conspiracy. Details Episode 12 Aired Mar 15, 2017 The End of the Beginning New information about the conspiracy emerges; tension rises between Aaron and Emily; a new lead brings agent Wells closer to the truth. Details Episode 13 Aired Mar 22, 2017 Backfire An investigative journalist shocks the White House when he reveals classified information during a press briefing; Hannah discovers a connection between MacLeish and the conspiracy. Details Episode 14 Aired Mar 29, 2017 Commander-in-Chief President Kirkman relies on an unlikely ally for help with a crisis in an African country; Hannah's probe into the bombing of the Capitol takes a surprising turn; Emily settles into her new role as chief of staff. Details Episode 15 Aired Apr 5, 2017 One Hundred Days As President Kirkman releases an agenda to reset his presidency, Alex makes a controversial public statement that threatens to derail it; Wells finds herself in the center of a dangerous trap. Details Episode 16 Aired Apr 12, 2017 Party Lines In hopes of passing his first bill, President Kirkman forms an unlikely alliance; agent Ritter is briefed by FBI agent Hannah Wells about an alarming new threat to the nation. Details Episode 17 Aired Apr 19, 2017 The Ninth Seat President Kirkman struggles to put together a new Supreme Court; FBI agent Hannah Wells goes undercover; Seth contends with journalist Abe Leonard, who returns from the Middle East with an explosive story. Details Episode 18 Aired Apr 26, 2017 Lazarus President Kirkman considers candidates for vice president; scandal embroils Kimble Hookstraten; agent Wells and Jason Atwood return from North Dakota with a new lead; journalist Abe Leonard's investigation takes an unexpected turn. Details Episode 19 Aired May 3, 2017 Misalliance The White House prepares for President Kirkman's first international summit; Kimble Hookstraten faces a challenge to her speakership; Alex thinks about bringing her kids back to Washington. Details Episode 20 Aired May 10, 2017 Bombshell Journalist Abe Leonard publishes an incendiary article, derailing President Kirkman's first international summit; Hannah Wells uncovers the conspiracy's next target. Details Episode 21 Aired May 17, 2017 Brace for Impact Hannah Wells tries to prevent a final attack; President Kirkman authorizes a nationwide manhunt for the mastermind behind the conspiracy. Details

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (63) Critics Reviews
      Daniel D'Addario TIME Magazine The show does have potential, and I'm hoping it leans into the aspect that was the pilot's best: Kirkman's tapping into some pool of gumption and intellect to rather coolly disassemble those standing in his way... Aug 20, 2019 Full Review Vicki Hyman Newark Star-Ledger Designated Survivor has got a dynamite premise, but the premiere episode flounders when it leaves the White House for the ruins of the Capitol... Rated: B+ Aug 20, 2019 Full Review Ben Travers indieWire Designated Survivor aims to have it all: the weight of "The West Wing," the addictive thrills of "House of Cards," and perhaps even the action of "24" (thanks, mainly, to vengeful Maggie Q). Rated: B+ Aug 20, 2019 Full Review Nabila Hatimy The Star (Kenya) Designated Survivor delivers on its political intrigue and is compelling in its suspense. Rated: 4/5 Jul 18, 2020 Full Review Glenn Garvin Reason Online A terrific pilot episode. Aug 20, 2019 Full Review Rob Lowman Los Angeles Daily News It looks like Sutherland has another winner on his hands. Aug 20, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Ratings

      View All (240) audience reviews
      Sanatkumara S The first few episodes create some good expectations and are intriguingly wrote. If the series would have been limited to 10 Episodes I would perhaps appreciated it more but as it is it drags for too long failing the usual hangovers and tricks to capture my interest. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 12/14/23 Full Review Andy H Absolute garbage and Kiefer Sutherland is horrible, don't waste your time. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 11/28/23 Full Review David K First season was great, they ruined it after season 2. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 11/11/23 Full Review Charles F Season 1and 2 were excellent Season 3 degenerated in to a load of filth Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 09/04/23 Full Review Francesca R One of the worst TV series ever. Even worse than 24. Season 2 is worse than season 1 Rated 1 out of 5 stars 07/13/23 Full Review Stuart L Can someone teach Kal Penn how to speak ? He sounds like a stroke victim! Apart from his appallingly bad American accent it's an excellent show. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 06/24/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a review

      Season Info

      Mike Listo, Frederick E.O. Toye, Chris Grismer, Paul Edwards
      Executive Producer
      David Guggenheim, Simon Kinberg, Mark Gordon, Jon Harmon Feldman, Nicholas Pepper, Suzan Bymel, Aditya Sood, Kiefer Sutherland
      Dana Ledoux Miller, Sang Kyu Kim, Jennifer Johnson, Jon Harmon Feldman, Paul Redford, Michael Russell Gunn, Jenna Richman, David Guggenheim
      TV-PG (L|V)
      Original Language
      Release Date
      Sep 21, 2016
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