Why 'Designated Survivor' Was Canceled

Designated Survivor was recently canceled by ABC, and now fans are finally getting an answer as to why.

TV Line reports that ABC president Channing Dungey spoke with journalists and explained shy 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.”

The outlet reports that 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.

Interestingly, fans may not have seen the last of Designated Survivor, thought, as Deadline has reported that it could be getting saved. The series is produced by The Mark Gordon Company, which is owned by eOne, and a source from the company says “it’s not over.”

“We’re right at the beginning but there’s more to play on that one,” the source went on to add. While there are no further details on a possible continuation of Designated Survivor, it's not far-fetched that the series could possibly get picked backed up.

Just in the last week Last Man Standing — which ABC canceled — and Brooklyn Nine-Nine — which was canceled by Fox — were both picked up for new seasons on new networks.


After it was revealed that Brooklyn Nine-Nine would have new life on NBC, that cast made an appearance at the NBC Upfront event, where they joked about the new development.

"I'm just happy to be on the biggest network I've ever been on! I've never been on a network this big. NBC, this is the real deal! The checks are gonna be AMAZING," quipped Terry Crews, while former SNL cast member Andy Samberg hilariously lamented, "Five years ago, when NBC passed on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I made sure to call every NBC exec and damn them to hell. So needless to say, this has been a bit of an apology tour.”