EXCLUSIVE: We reported earlier today about Designated Survivor producer eOne shopping the Kiefer Sutherland-starring drama to other networks following its cancellation by ABC. I hear that eOne is in talks with streaming giant Netflix about picking up the political thriller.
Sources stress that the talks are still preliminary and complex as Netflix rival Hulu has U.S. SVOD rights to the first two seasons of Designated Survivor, which aired on ABC. Netflix has the series internationally (outside of the U.S. and Canada), which makes it a suitable home pending untangling U.S. streaming rights and crunching the numbers.
I also hear that the series’ creative team is excited about exploring what a premium version of Designated Survivor would be.
As we pointed out earlier today, eOne, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, has put out a regulatory statement, confirming it is “in active discussions with other parties for further series of the show.”
“That was a hard one for us,” she said. “It did well in delayed viewing but its Live+Same Day delivery in the 10 PM hour had become challenging.”
On a streaming platform like Netflix, that would no longer be an issue, and the show’s strong delayed and streaming numbers should be an advantage.
Dungey also noted that “creatively, the show had a lot of behind-the-scenes churn with the number of showrunners”. Designated Survivor went through four showrunners for its two seasons on the air, and had a deal a place with a fifth to run the show in Season 3. I hear the new executive producer will likely continue if the series gets a third season elsewhere.
The political conspiracy drama began its run as one of ABC’s most promising. The network screened the entire opening act at its 2016 upfront presentation where Sutherland received a huge ovation. In its first months on the air, Designated Survivor drew large audiences, setting DVR lift records and snagging the Critics’ Choice award for most exciting new series in its first season.
The series saw ratings declines in Season 2 but continued to be helped by strong delayed increases.
In addition to Sutherland, the series also stars Natasha McElhone, Adan Canto, Italia Ricci, LaMonica Garrett, Tanner Buchanan, Kal Penn, Maggie Q and Paulo Costanzo.
David Guggenheim created the series and executive produce with Simon Kinberg, Mark Gordon, Jon Harmon Feldman and Nick Pepper. Suzan Bymel, Aditya Sood and Sutherland also executive produce. EOne and ABC Studios produce.
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