24’s Keifer Sutherland returns to the television screen with a new ABC Political Thriller, “Designated Survivor”. He Plays Tom Kirkland, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who finds himself thrust into the Presidency of the United States following a devastating attack on the Capitol Building. This attack, striking during the State of Union address, wipes out the President, the Cabinet, the Supreme Court and congress. As the ‘Designated Survivor’, Kirkland is the sole remaining member of the Presidential Line of Succession.
Kirkland, who that day had been told he was being fired, finds himself having to deal with distraught White House aids, Military Staff and his own family in a time of national crisis. As an appointed official he has never held elected office, nor found his ‘presidential voice’ – something he will have to find quickly to bring the country together.
His wife Alex (played by Natascha McElhone, Californication), a supportive and hardworking attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is conflicted as she finds her family pushed into the limelight, becoming possible targets for future attacks as well as becoming the First Lady. She dotes on her children, the youngest being Penny (Mckenna Grace of Independence Day: Resurgence) and Leo (The Fosters’ Tanner Buchanan), the self-obsessed teenager whose life is turned upside down.
Relying on surviving staff like White House Deputy Chief of Staff Aaron Shore (played by Adan Canto, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and speechwriter Seth Wright (played by Kal Penn, House & How I Met Your Mother) to navigate his first steps in the Presidency, as they try to piece together what happened and who is responsible while simultaneously seeking to reassure the American public.
Meanwhile, on-the-ground FBI Agent Hannah Wells (Maggie Q, Divergent series) investigates the bombing at the Capitol and tries to piece together the unknown enemy’s next move.
Sutherland plays quite the different character from his Jack Bauer days on 24 with Kirkland. Playing a politician that’s at times nervous & out of his depth, but like all dramatic protagonists, will rise to the challenge he is faced with for the good of his country.
With the Pilot creator David Guggenheim (Safe House  and Stolen ) has set up a great story with a fantastic ensemble cast. This is certainly a series for fans of The West Wing and House of Cards, and anyone interested in political thrillers.
Designated Survivor airs Thursdays on Netflix.