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Designated Survivor
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TV Series
    (September 21, 2016-June 7, 2019)
    Aired on ABC
    Created by David Guggenheim
    Kiefer Sutherlandas President Thomas 'Tom' Kirkman
    Natascha McElhone as First Lady Alex Kirkman
    Adan Canto as WH Chief of Staff Aaron Shore
    Italia Ricci as Emily Rhodes
    LaMonica Garrett as Mike Ritter
    Tanner Buchanan as Leo Kirkman
    Kal Penn as WH Press Secretary Seth Wright
    Maggie Q as Hannah Wells
    Premise: A low-level Cabinet member becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession
    Its plotline is highly implausible.
    It is a blatant amalgam of The West Wing and Homeland.
    It first aired during the climax of a heated Presidential election cycle.
    Its ratings were harmed by a dismal, inconsistent airing schedule (with 2-3 week gaps between episodes in the first season).
    The pilot episode chronicles a catastrophe of 9/11-like proportions and yet Capitol Hill residents barely seem to react with more than a shrug.
    It capitalizes on the fan following of 24 (the micromanaging nebbish Tom Kirkman is the polar opposite of the badass Jack Bauer).
    Fans have been known to complain that the 'family angle' is an unwelcome distraction from the 'political thriller' element of the show.
    It has been accused of portraying Republicans in an extremely negative light. (But then isn't EVERY network political drama accused of the same thing?)
    It has the potential to rejuvenate Kiefer Sutherland's career.
    IGN rated its pilot episode an 8 out of 10, calling it 'a strong debut' (2016).
    It ended the first half of its first season with a terrific cliffhanger.
    President Kirkman's standoff against the Iranian Ambassador drew raves from 'more difficult to please' Republican audiences.
    Its popularity with conservative viewers took a hit after an episode tackled the infringement of civil liberties for Muslim Americans (many dropping off without viewing the following episodes detailing Kirkman's fight against Radical Islamic terror).
    Its first episode set a record for DVR viewers with 7.67 million, surpassing the September 25, 2014 record of nearly 7 million set by 'How to Get Away with Murder.'
    Many episodes are based off of actual historical, and often recent, events, such as the 2011 Bin Laden compound raid.
    Kal Penn, who actually worked as an Associate Director in the Obama administration's Office of Public Engagement, served as a consultant for the show to grant it authenticity.
    It drew attention to the often overlooked role of the 'designated survivor' and its function (although for security reasons, that attention is probably unwelcome).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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