Virginia Madsen Designated Survivor ABC

Behind-the-scenes departures and ABC dramatic thriller Designated Survivor to go hand in hand, as yet another big name involved with the show is saying goodbye. Virginia Madsen, who played politician Kimble Hookstraten, has made the announcement that she will not return with the series in Season 2.

The announcement is a bit jarring, considering Virginia Madsen's Kimble Hookstraten was geared for bigger things heading into Season 2 of Designated Survivor; not to mention "a comment to a fan on Twitter" isn't the most straightforward way to declare something. Hookstraten had stepped down from her position as Speaker Of The House to presumably join President Tom Kirkman's cabinet as his nominee for Secretary Of Education, but that's apparently not going to happen now.

Madsen offered no explanation behind her departure to the sad fans who responded on Twitter -- mostly saying she was also said to be going -- but rumors are floating that the shake up could have something to do with new showrunner Keith Eisner being hired ahead of the new season. With new showrunners come new ideas and new directions for the show, and Designated Survivor is used to those changes. Wherever the blame lies, though, it appears that Madsen's character is not in the mix for whatever will happen with Kiefer Sutherland's President Kirkman going on to the next season.

While seemingly out for Season 2, Madsen seems willing to return, as evidenced by responses on her Twitter page, which is rife with retweets from upset fans sharing articles telling ABC that dropping Madsen's character is a mistake. Much like her character Kimble Hookstraten, perhaps Madsen is playing politics in an attempt to drum up support for her return to the show.

Virginia Madsen joins the list of former Designated Survivor staff, the series is heading into Season 2 with its fourth showrunner since the pilot. ABC, who blamed political fatigue for the show's decline of live viewership not too long ago, sealed a pretty good deal with Netflix that locked in the series for this fall, presumably making producers happy.

As previously mentioned, Designated Survivor has been given the go-ahead for Season 2, which will air on ABC on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET. We'll keep an ear to the ground for further shakeups involving this series, as well as a specific premiere date. For a full list of new and returning shows for the next couple of months, be sure to visit our summer premiere guide, and to see what else ABC has on tap for when their Fall programming kicks off, click here to see their fall premiere schedule.

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