Designated Survivor: ABC Boss Was Concerned About Show's 'Creative Path Forward,' Prompting Cancellation

The decision to cancel Designated Survivor was not purely ratings-driven, per ABC president Channing Dungey. During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, the exec cited the series’ anemic “live” ratings as only part of the Kiefer Sutherland drama’s woes.

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“Creatively, we’ve had a lot of behind-the-scenes churn on the show in terms of the number of showrunners involved,” she noted. “We were less confient with the creative path forward than the other shows we brought back.” 

Designated Survivor underwent three significant backstage shake-ups during its brief, two-season run. Amy B. Harris (Wicked City) originally served as showrunner on the series (which was created by David Guggenheim), only to be replaced in May 2016 upon its official pickup, with Jon Harmon Feldman (Blood & Oil). Feldman left in December, and was succeeded by Jeff Melvoin (Army Wives). And then The Good Wife grad Keith Eisner stepped in to run Season 2.

Averaging a 0.7 demo rating and 4 million total weekly viewers thus far this season (in Live+Same Day numbers), Designated Survivor ranks ninth and seventh among all ABC dramas, having dropped sharply from its freshman averages (1.2/5.8 million).

Designated Survivor series finale airs Wednesday at 10/9c.

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Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BriefNews.eu and PCHealthBoost.info Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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