Kiefer Sutherland's Designated Survivor And More Cancelled By ABC

designated survivor

One of the busiest weeks of the year for TV network execs comes right before the advertiser upfronts, when decisions are made about all of the on-the-bubble shows that have yet to receive cancellations or renewals. ABC is as on the ball as everyone else, and unfortunately, it has cancelled Kiefer Sutherland's Designated Survivor after two seasons, the Priyanka Chopra-starring Quantico after three seasons, and the Zach Braff comedy Alex, Inc. before its freshman season has even wrapped.

With Designated Survivor, ABC gave Kiefer Sutherland another chance to bring his talents to the small screen in a role other than that of 24's Jack Bauer, and when the political drama debuted in 2016, it was one of the biggest winners of the fall season, particularly with its delayed viewing numbers. Unfortunately, the show went through some creative changes early on, and despite netting a Season 2 renewal, the audience just didn't stick around to watch the big twists and turns that came in its second year.

When he'd last spoken about it, Kiefer Sutherland appeared to be optimistic about the chances for Season 3, but ABC clearly didn't share in those positive feelings. And four showrunners later, Designated Survivor's Tom Kirkman can finally sit back and relax.

Similar to Designated Survivor, ABC's Quantico came out of the gate strong, winning over audiences with its dual-timeline thrills. But once its initial mystery was wrapped up, audiences started to back off, and I don't know how the network expected them to return by delaying Quantico Season 3's premiere until nearly a full year after the previous finale had aired. (And I'm sure the casting changes and more didn't help.)

Season 3 kicked off at the end of April, and its most recent episode dipped below 2 million Live+Same Day viewers for the first time. Combine that with the episode's dismal 0.5 demo rating, and it's not hard to understand some reasons why the network decided to pull the plug.

TV fans have waited for years to see Scrubs vet Zach Braff returning to a lead role on the small screen, though Alex, Inc. probably wasn't exactly what everyone had in mind. Adapted from the life of former NPR producer Alex Blumberg, who quit his job to start a podcast empire, Alex, Inc. was part wholesome family comedy and part wacky workplace comedy, with the two sides not quite meshing coherently enough throughout its freshman season.

Things started off okay, if not wonderful, but the comedy's initial numbers quickly dropped and settled around 3 million viewers a week, with the demo rating almost always falling below the steady 1.0 mark. And so, ABC cancelled _Alex, Inc. _just days before its season finale.

Unfortunately for fans, there hasn't been any initial news about any of these shows finding new life on any other networks, as the talks have gone for Fox's recently cancelled comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine. But stay tuned for any upcoming changes on that front, and head to our summer premiere schedule to see all the new and returning shows that hopefully won't also get cancelled soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.