Designated Survivor showrunner Jon Harmon Feldman has exited the ABC drama and will be replaced in the job by Jeff Melvoin, former Executive Producer of Lifetime’s Army Wives, Deadline has confirmed. Feldman was Designated Survivor‘s second showrunner, taking over the job from Amy B. Harris who left the series after it was picked up to series in May, due to creative differences. He’ll be departing the series after the upcoming 10th episode.
Feldman isn’t out at ABC however – he’s nearing a new development deal with the network that looks to be for two years. Meanwhile, Melvoin’s hiring reunites him with co-production company The Mark Gordon Company and with ABC, both of whom produced Army Wives.
No word specifically on why Feldman has left as Showrunner. Ratings may play a role as, after an extremely strong debut to 17.71 million viewers, the Keifer Sutherland-starring show’s ratings cooled considerably, with the November 16 episode pulling in 11.92 million viewers. Chain of command may play another role, as Sutherland has final say on all scripts, normally the showrunner’s prerogative. Despite this, the show’s fortunes look good for now, as ABC and The Mark Gordon Company have signed a multi-season deal with Netflix for Designated Survivor‘s international rights.
Created by David Guggenheim, Designated Survivor airs Wednesday nights on ABC.