'Designated Survivor' Ends Possible Final Episode With Shocking Cliffhanger

Designated Survivor ended its run on ABC with a shocking cliffhanger, making for a possibly frustrating series finale for fans.

As President Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) dealt with an investigation that could lead to him facing criminal charges, the administration is shocked after an earthquake near a U.S. territory puts the lives of Lyor Boone (Paulo Costanzo) and Seth Wright (Kal Penn) in danger.

After Kirkman's son, Leo (Tanner Buchanan) announces he is headed to Stanford for college, Emily Rhodes (Italia Ricci) gives the President her resignation, fearing her recent actions might lead her down a path she couldn't come back from.

Later, Kirkman shocks the government, and viewers, by announcing he is running for president as an independent, away from the constraints of party politics.

The episode ends as Tom gets on the phone with the Attorney General to find out if he will be facing charges, a question viewers might never learn the answer to.

ABC canceled the series Friday, along with drama series Quantico and other shows in order to make room for new ones int he upcoming 2018-19 television season.

Network president Channing Dungey told journalists ahead of the network's upfront presentation and explained why the network made the decision to not continue the series.

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

Dungey's comments may be related to the fact that Designated Survivor was constantly changing showrunners in its short two-season run.

Originally created by David Guggenheim, Amy B. Harris was the first Designated Survivor showrunner, though she was replaced by Jon Harmon Feldman when the show was officially picked up. Feldman left the show and Jeff Melvoin was brought in to take over, only for Keith Eisner to be made showrunner for season two.

Ratings-wise, the show did fairly well early on, averaging almost six million viewers, but more recently it had only been averaging around four million viewers, which placed it near the bottom of ABC's top drama series.


All hope is not lost for Designated Survivor fans, as reports say the series might be saved from cancellation by Netflix.

After news of Designated Survivor's cancellation at ABC had been announced, many took to social media to lament the reports, with series actress Italia Ricci tweeting, "Thank you to all of the Designated Survivor fans. You’ve been passionate and engaging. I have had an amazing time being a part of this show. Wish we had more to tell. Until I see you again. xo."