Anthony Edwards and Julie White (Transformers) have been cast in major recurring roles opposite Kiefer Sutherland on the upcoming third season of Designated Survivor at its new network, Netflix. This marks a reunion for ER alum Edwards and new Designated Survivor showrunner Neal Baer who also served as showrunner on the long-running NBC medical drama.
In season 3 of Designated Survivor, produced by eOne, President Kirkman (Sutherland) will face a political reality… campaigning. What does it take to make a leader? What price will he be willing to pay? This season will explore today’s world of campaigning, smear tactics, debates, campaign finance and “fake news.” Democracy, as we know it, will hang in the balance.
Edwards will play Mars Harper, the President’s Chief of Staff. Harper is likable and folksy in his manner, and uses that gentility to impose his will. Savvy, experienced, and professional, Harper has served many administrations in many capacities. He is respected by all, regardless of party or ideological orientation. He’s come to impart discipline and organization to a West Wing that, from his perch, has lacked focus. He will clash with other staff when he sees that the President’s (Sutherland) needs are not made number one, which will at times put him at odds with the new Campaign Manager, (White) who might have her own agenda.
White’s Lorraine Zimmer is a force of nature. She takes no prisoners with her strongly held views, backed by years of professional experience running successful campaigns. Previously, she ran a PR firm and is noted for disrupting established businesses. She is embroiled in a nasty divorce, for which she’s expected to pay the alimony. At first, Zimmer is wary of working with President Kirkman (Sutherland), who’s never run in an election. But she’s keenly savvy and notes that he’s blazing a new trail as the nation’s first incumbent president running as an Independent. Zimmer loves the challenge of shaping the campaign, noting that she’ll go down in history if she helps Kirkman pull a win. That zest to win may drive her to engage in dirty tricks and ultimately more nefarious backroom deals.
The core cast of the series, including Sutherland, Kal Penn, Adan Canto, Italia Ricci are Maggie Q are coming back. Production on Season 3 is set to begin later this year for a 2019 premiere. Baer and Sutherland executive produce the series with series creator David Guggenheim, Mark Gordon, Suzan Bymel, Simon Kinberg, Aditya Sood and Peter Noah.
Edwards made his Broadway debut this past spring in the revival of Mark Medoff’s Children of a Lesser God. Following his long-running role as Mark Greene on medical drama ER, for which he won a Golden Globe and SAG awards among other honors, Edwards toplined ABC drama series Zero Hour. He most recently starred on NBC’s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders and did an arc on Billions.
White is best known for her role as Judy Witwicky in the Transformers franchise. Her recent TV work includes a recurring role on Man Seeking Woman.