ABC Execs Talk ‘Designated Survivor’ Cancellation. Producers eOne Discuss Finding A New Home
One of the many shows to get the axe during the TV Friday Night Massacre was Kiefer Sutherland Presidental drama ‘Designated Survivor’ which was cancelled by ABC. The network bosses have now gone into a bit more detail on what drove that decision, whilst show producers, eOne, talk about finding the series a new home.
Firstly, ratings, as ever, were an issue for ABC. “That was a hard one for us,” commented ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey. “It did well in delayed viewing but its Live+Same Day delivery in the 10 PM hour had become challenging.” However, there was a further problem behind the scenes. “Creatively, the show had a lot of behind-the-scenes churn in terms of the number of showrunners,” Dungey adds. “We were less confident about the creative path forward than the other shows we brought back.”
That “churn” she mentions is referring to ‘Designated Survivor’ going through showrunners like they’re going out of fashion. The series had four showrunners in two seasons, plus had a fifth one lined up if it had got a Season 3 pick up. That is quite a lot of changes given the showrunner is supposed to be the steady hand at the wheel of a series.
Despite the ABC cancellation, eOne, the producers of ‘Designated Survivor’ are hopeful of finding a new home for the series and are apparently in very early discussions with Netflix. The streaming giant currently has the rights to air the show outside of the US and Canada, so would seem like the obvious broadcaster to pick up the baton.
The only slight stumbling block is that Hulu currently has the streaming rights to Seasons 1 & 2 inside the US. Obviously, that would have to be resolved if Netflix were to take on the show. Moving to a streaming service would also allow the show’s creators to spread their wings a little more as they would no longer be hamstrung by US network TV regulations.
Once again, we do want to stress, eOne are in very early talks right now, so this is most definitely not a done deal, but at least it is some positive news. We’ll let you know if it comes to anything.